Dana White backs Mike Tyson’s decision to fight Jake Paul

Mike Tyson

UFC boss Dana White says Mike Tyson is a “grown man” and should be trusted to make the right decision after agreeing to fight Jake Paul.

Tyson will be 58 years of age when he steps into the ring in Arlington, Texas on July 20 – 30 years younger than his opponent.

Paul is a former YouTuber turned boxer with a 9-1 record but White has had reassurances Tyson is taking the bout, which will be shown on Netflix, seriously.

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He told the Lex Fridman podcast: “I love Mike Tyson and I’m not a fan of anybody fighting at our age, but he’s a grown man obviously and he’s going to do what he’s going to do. 

“I talked to his wife a couple of days ago and he’s taking it serious and he’s training for it.”

Tyson was one of the biggest names in world sport in the 1980s, earning a fearsome reputation for brutal knockouts on his way to holding the undisputed world title between 1987 and 1990.

And White still thinks he has a special aura about him that could prove useful against Paul.

He added: “I think Mike Tyson is one of the most unique guys who have crossed over, any of the other fighters from his generation have no way of making money without fighting and Mike Tyson has made a lot of money outside of fighting. 

“Tyson still has that aura that you could be in a restaurant, you’d be like ‘Holy f___, Mike Tyson is here.’

“He still has that aura and energy in a room, he makes lots of money outside of the ring but I think he ends up getting these offers that he can’t refuse.”

Not every one in the boxing game is in favour of the bout, however.

Former world champion Bernard Hopkins told Fight Hub TV last week: “I don’t like it. I don’t like it. 

“I look at Mike, I look at him different in a way of my era, like people looked at [Muhammad] Ali. I looked at Ali different, too. Marvin Hagler, ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson.

“I don’t like it. I think it’s becoming more of a side show with some sweat and maybe some blood, if we’re lucky. I won’t watch it. I could watch two turtles race and be more excited.”

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