April 24, 2024

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Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson is scheduled to premiere on July 20 on Netflix

Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson is scheduled to premiere on July 20 on Netflix

Jake Paul rose to combat sports fame when he knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson on the undercard of an exhibition boxing match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. in 2020.

Now, Paul, the YouTuber-turned-boxer, and Tyson, the former heavyweight boxing champion, will meet again – as rivals – in the most polarizing spectacle yet in the latest crossover boxing craze.

Tyson will face Paul in a boxing match on July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in the main event of a card that will stream on Netflix, officials told ESPN. This will be the streaming company's first foray into combat sports and its third live sporting event overall. Paul's Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) signed a deal with Netflix for a boxing card last November 1, according to MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian.

“Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson is a dream match that happens once in a lifetime and I expect it to be the most watched boxing event in modern boxing history,” Bedarian said in a statement.

It's unclear how the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which sanctions and regulates combat sports in the state, will handle what is sure to be a bout that will garner a lot of criticism and attention. It has not yet been determined whether it will be classified as a professional fight or an exhibition.

Tyson is one of the greatest and most feared heavyweight boxers of all time. But he will be 58 years old at the time of the fight. Paul, at 27, is three decades his junior.

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Tyson was in fine form when he faced Jones to a draw in an exhibition boxing match on November 28, 2020, and he looked good in training via videos on social media. Tyson hasn't fought a professional fight since 2005 and was stopped twice in a row before hanging up the gloves. The New York native was the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990.

“[Paul has] “I have developed greatly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what the will and ambition of ‘The Kid’ can do with the experience and competence of the GOAT,” Tyson said in a statement. A complete moment that will be more than exciting to watch, as I started it on my boxing journey on the undercard of my fight with Roy Jones, and now I plan to finish it.”

Paul (9-1, 6 KOs) went on to beat former UFC stars such as Nate Diaz, Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley after knocking out Robinson in big-money main events. The Ohio native has since turned to fighting boxers with more experience than him to gain seasoning with an eye on one day competing for a world championship. Paul, who turned pro just four years ago, is coming off straight first-round knockouts to players Andre Auguste and Ryan Borland.

“It's crazy to think that in my second professional fight, I went viral after knocking out Bennett Robinson on the undercard of Mike Tyson,” Paul said in a statement. “Now, less than four years later, I'm stepping up to face Tyson myself to see if I have what it takes to beat one of boxing's most famous fighters and biggest icons. In just two and a half years of establishing MVP, we're on the cusp of producing the biggest fight in history. “A fight in the largest NFL stadium in the United States will be broadcast live on the largest streaming platform in the world – a testament to everything we have accomplished in such a short time.”

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Paul appeared in an episode of the Netflix series Untold last year. Netflix, which is aggressively moving into live sports, has been streaming the Netflix Cup, a competition between Formula 1 drivers and golfers, and the Netflix Slam, a tennis match, for the past four months.

“Mike Tyson is one of the biggest icons in boxing history, and Jake Paul is one of the biggest disruptors in boxing history,” Gabe Spitzer, Netflix's vice president of real sports, said in a statement. “Saturday, July 20 will be pure drama in the ring in Texas. We are thrilled to partner with Most Valuable Promotions for this historic event and can't wait for these two to take on fans around the world on Netflix.”