Back in July Jake Paul talked about one of his long standing dream fights, a potential bout against former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. The two men have been floating the idea since 2021 and, at one point, Tyson even called the bout “really interesting”—adding that it has “gotta happen this year ,” if ever.
To date, there’s been no movement on that front, with Paul positing that ‘Iron Mike’, “wants to avoid maybe knocking me out and hurting me.” The ex-Disney actor added that if only Tyson knew how good Paul really was, “maybe the fight would happen.”
If the YouTuber-turned-pugilist had hoped that a closer examination of his boxing prowess would bring his 56-year-old idol around to the idea, a recent revelation from longtime boxing trainer Freddie Roach may have thrown some cold water on that dream. In an interview with FightHype.com, Roach revealed that Tyson was on hand for one of Paul’s sparring sessions, but left after just 30 seconds.
Whether Paul was aware of that possible snub or not, in a press conference for his upcoming bout against former UFC legend Anderson Silva, the 25-year-old was unequivocal when asked if there were any other combat sports greats he’d like to face in the ring. Once again, one name sprang immediately to mind.
“Mike Tyson,” Paul enthused when asked about other “legendary fighters” he’d like take on in a boxing match. “That would be crazy, yeah. And I have so much respect for him. He’s another one of my idols. And I think he said he wanted to do the fight. Mike, where you at, bro? Let’s make it happen.”
However, 2022 is closing fast if Paul wants to make Tyson a priority, or even a possibility. Earlier this year, Tyson was briefly connected to an exhibition bout with Jake’s brother, Logan Paul, but that fight fell apart shortly after rumors of its booking—with Tyson even teasing that he was done taking exhibition fights altogether.
The other bout, then, on Paul’s horizon is a possible fight against Nate Diaz—now that the former UFC star and one-time title contender is out from under his contract with the world’s largest MMA promotion. In another July interview, Paul told TMZ that Diaz was “first and foremost” on his priorities list.
“That’s the one that everyone’s been wanting,” Paul said of the Diaz fight. “Everyone knows he only has one or two fights left with the UFC.”
Before any of that can happen, though, he has to get through Silva.
“All the fun of it aside, when we got into the face-off you see a different Anderson Silva than the one who is there up onstage having a jolly time.” Paul said in a recent interview with ESPN (transcript via The Mirror). “That’s ‘The Spider’ Anderson that I saw in that face-off and you can tell he’s got that killer in him, 100%. It was weird but it felt right, it was felt like this was destined to happen. It was a surreal moment for sure, I never thought I’d be here and I’d be fighting one of my idols.”
Paul vs. Silva takes place on October 29th at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, AZ. As of yet, no other bouts have been announced for the card.