‘I have a weird personality’ – Mike Tyson claims he is ‘scared to death’ of boxing Jake Paul in bizarre pre-fight admission

Mike Tyson said he was ‘scared to death’ to box Jake Paul, but insists his nerves will only benefit him.

The former world heavyweight champion will face Paul on July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, live on Netflix.


Tyson faces YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul on July 20Credit: Jake Paul – Instagram

Tyson, who will be 58 on fight night, has not fought since his exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr in November 2020, so he is understandably feeling the weight of the occasion.

“I have a weird personality, but I don’t think it’s weird. Whatever I’m afraid to do, I do it. That’s what it is,” Tyson told Fox News.

“I was scared of the Roy (Jones) fight. I was 100 pounds overweight, I was old though, 54, 53, and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’

“Whatever I’m afraid of, I face it. That’s my personality. Right now, I’m scared to death.

“I always believed that adversity and nerves catapulted me to success.

“If I didn’t have those feelings, I wouldn’t go into this fight. I have to have those feelings to fight. Without them, I would never go into the ring.

“The closer the fight gets, the less nervous I get because it’s reality, and in reality, I’m invincible.”

It’s not yet clear exactly what rules Tyson and Paul will fight under, although “Iron Mike” says it will be an exhibition fight.

How the couple's records compare


How the couple’s records compare

“It’s called exposure, but if you look for exposure, you won’t see any of the laws we’re fighting against,” he added.

Concerns have been raised about Tyson’s health as he prepares to face a man 31 years his junior.

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Paul is in his physical prime at age 27 and is a ten-fight active professional (9-1) who has knocked out six of his opponents in the paid ranks.

Stephen Hughes, senior lecturer in medicine at Anglia Ruskin, insists that Tyson, as an elderly man and a recovering alcoholic, is at increased risk of suffering a subdural hematoma (a brain haemorrhage) while boxing again.

“In older people, the brain tends to lose volume,” Hughes explained. “This lengthens the bridging veins and makes them more vulnerable to rupture.

“Bleeding from these torn veins causes a pool of blood that puts pressure on the brain. This causes confusion, loss of consciousness, neurological disability and, in some cases, death.

“Alcohol is known to accelerate brain shrinkage, and it appears that Tyson considers this a past risk factor.”

The fight sparked widespread outrage from the boxing fraternity with talkSPORT’s Eddie Hearn, Carl Froch and Spencer Oliver all criticizing the crossover clash.

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