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This combination shows former US boxer Mike Tyson (left) and boxer Jake Paul. Tyson will return to the ring to face Youtuber-turned-boxer Paul in an exhibition bout screened on Netflix. Image Credit: AFP

Los Angeles: Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will return to the ring to face Youtuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul in an exhibition bout screened on Netflix, organisers announced on Thursday.

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Tyson, 57, and Paul will face off at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, on July 20, Netflix and Most Valuable Promotions (MVP) announced.

Tyson said in a statement he was looking forward to fighting an opponent who is 30 years his junior, insisting that he had been impressed by Paul’s performances in his fledgling boxing career.

“He’s grown significantly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what the will and ambition of a ‘kid’ can do with the experience and aptitude of a GOAT,” Tyson said.

Eight-round exhibition

Paul fought on the undercard of Tyson’s last outing, an eight-round exhibition against former middleweight king Roy Jones Jr. in Los Angeles in 2020.

“I started him on his boxing journey on the undercard of my fight with Roy Jones and now I plan to finish him,” Tyson quipped.

The fight is the latest in what has become a popular trend in recent years, pitting internet celebrities against each other or against recognised boxers, who have already retired or are well past their prime.

Jake Paul’s brother Logan Paul played a key role in pioneering the trend, even fighting against boxing icon Floyd Mayweather in 2021.

Jake Paul however has become a bigger draw, building a 9-1 record with six knockouts.

He scored back-to-back knockouts against professional boxers in his last two fights with victories over Ryan Bourland and Andre August.

Tyson, meanwhile, was regarded as one of the most ferocious heavyweight boxers in history, reigning as undisputed champion between 1987 and 1990 and winning his first belt at the age of 20 years, four months and 22 days to become the youngest heavyweight champion in history.