Mike Tyson’s fight against Jake Paul will be a sanctioned professional bout after all

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul are set to fight live on Netflix on July 20

Mike Tyson’s upcoming fight against YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul is apparently very real after all.

The fight this summer will be classified as a sanctioned, professional bout by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, ESPN’s Andreas Hale confirmed Monday. The heavyweight fight will include eight two-minute rounds, and both fighters will use 14-ounce gloves.

While it feels like it should be an exhibition bout — considering who the two fighters are and the fact that Tyson said it would be an exhibition fight earlier this month — the outcome will impact their professional boxing records.

"Mike Tyson and Jake Paul signed on to fight each other with the desire to do so in a sanctioned professional fight that would have a definitive outcome," Most Valuable Promotions co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said in a statement to ESPN. "Over the past six weeks, MVP has worked with its partners to satisfy the requirements of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR) to sanction Paul vs. Tyson, and we are grateful that we have gotten to this point."

Paul confirmed the news on social media, too.

Tyson and Paul are set to fight July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The fight will be streamed live on Netflix.

Tyson, the former heavyweight boxing champion, hasn’t fought in a professional match since he fell to Kevin McBride in 2005. His last win came in February 2003 when he beat Clifford Etienne. Tyson finished his career with a 50-6 overall record with 44 KOs.

Paul holds a 9-1 record with 6 KOs since he started his boxing career. Most of his major wins, however, have come against former UFC fighters like Tyron Woodley, Ben Askren, Anderson Silva and Nate Diaz. His lone loss came against Tommy Fury last year, who was by far the best traditional boxer he’s gone up against.

Mike Tyson will be 31 years older than Jake Paul when they step into the ring this summer.
Mike Tyson will be 31 years older than Jake Paul when they step into the ring this summer. (Ahmed Yosri/Reuters)

Paul will be 27 when the fight is held this summer, 31 years younger than Tyson. Their age gap will be the biggest in professional boxing history.

Monday’s news comes weeks after the boxing legend said in a Fox News interview that their fight was going to be an exhibition match, but without most restrictions that would come with it. It sounded like he was trying to sell the fight better than the exhibition match that Paul’s older brother Logan had against Floyd Mayweather in 2021 — which did not go over well.

"This is called an exhibition, but if you look up exhibition, you will not see any of the laws that we're fighting under,” Tyson said. “This is a fight. I don't think he's faster than me. I've seen a YouTube of him at 16 doing weird dances. That's not the guy I'm going to be fighting.

"This guy is going to come, he's going to try to hurt me, which I'm accustomed to. He's going to be greatly mistaken."

Apparently, the fight is going to be very real after all. Tyson is sure to be a very different and unique challenge for Paul — even with him pushing 60 years old.