As Mike Tyson Prepares To Fight Jake Paul, Conor McGregor Explains How The Boxing Legend Impacted His View Of Retirement

 Conor McGregor and Mike Tyson.
Conor McGregor and Mike Tyson.

Mike Tyson has faced off with some of the most formidable fighters in the history of boxing throughout his storied career. Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Donovan Ruddock are just a few of the notable combatants “Iron Mike” has gone toe to toe with in the ring. Now, even at 57 years old, Tyson continues to take on fellow competitors here and there. And he’s currently set to take on one of his most eccentric challengers, as Tyson is fighting Jake Paul this coming summer. As the legend prepares for what could be a very engaging bout, fellow fighter Conor McGregor is opening up about how Tyson has impacted his view on retirement.

35-year-old Conor McGregor has been in the business for a little while himself, as he made his amateur mixed martial arts debut when he was 18. Since then, he’s won multiple UFC Championship titles and is widely considered a trailblazer within the sport. Considering what he’s accomplished and his growing interest in non-fighting ventures, one might be tempted to think that he’s eyeing retirement. However, that doesn’t exactly seem to be the case. While speaking with TNT Sports, he disputed the notion that he’ll stop fighting professionally one day and used Mike Tyson to illustrate his point:

There’s another one I would dispute. Look at Mike Tyson now is fighting Jake Paul, right? He fought Roy Jones also. So, you know, that’s an older guy. When he was fighting Roy Jones Jr., something that really stuck out to me was [ Mike Tyson] was asked – Roy Jones, also an aged guy, retired for so long – ‘Why?’ Recalibrate your competition.

In other words, “The Notorious” isn’t so much thinking about hanging it up but shifting up his competition and approach to the sport as he gets older. That’s honestly a smart way of looking at it. Of course, in many cases, some athletes get to the point at which they’re just not in a physical state at which they can compete in the ring. But, if one can, there are certainly viable ways for them to continue competing. The UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion spoke to that point during his interview, which was shared to YouTube:

There’s a reason that in jiu-jitsu tournaments there’s like the veteran division and all this. So, I don’t really feel like I could ever call it a day until I’m laid out flat, and that’s it, in a box and going down into the ground. That’s when I’ll call it a day.

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I can’t help but wonder if Mike Tyson feels the same way in that regard. If anything though, his career as a fighter isn’t over just yet. Based on the tidbits he’s shared thus far, Tyson has been training hard for his fight with Jake Paul, who’s been trolling him since the bout was announced. While fans on social media seem eager to check out the fight, others aren’t so high on it. UFC boss Dana White isn’t thrilled over the prospect of Tyson taking on Paul, who is 31, but can see the appeal. Also, boxer KSI thinks this is a “lose-lose” for both men, as Tyson could get hurt and, if Paul wins, he’ll be notorious for being the man who knocked out an older man.

Still, Conor McGregor’s comments indicate that the Hangover alum has at least one high-profile name in his corner. I’m personally curious as to how McGregor continues to navigate his own career not only because of his age but because of his other activities. Not only is he a businessman, but he may also be on track to becoming a movie star thanks to his scene-stealing work in the Road House remake (which is streamable with a Prime Video subscription). Whatever happens though, hopefully, the path he walks down is one that he prefers.

Based on his comments, it’s likely that he’ll be tuning in like so many fans when Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson happens on July 20. Anyone looking to check it out will want to grab a Netflix subscription.