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Mike Tyson, 57, will return to ring against YouTuber turned fighter Jake Paul

Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson returns to the ring against YouTuber turned fighter Jake Paul as the appetite for crossover boxing matches shows no signs of slowing down.

The two will face off on July 20 at the 80,000-capacity AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The fight will be broadcast live on Netflix, the first broadcast of a combat sports event on the streaming platform.

Paul is 30 years younger than the 57-year-old Tyson, and the fight will be the subject of criticism from those who believe such fights tarnish the status of boxing. However, few can deny that they are lucrative: Paul earned around $9 million from a loss last year to boxer and reality TV star Tommy Fury. July’s fight will likely earn both men a lot more.

Paul rose to fame as a YouTube prankster, but he has developed a lucrative career as a surprisingly competent, if limited, boxer. Before his loss to Fury, he was off to a respectable start to his fighting career, with a 6-0 record, although some of his opponents were of questionable quality. Since then he has won his last three fights. Paul said he has even more ambitions as he approaches his fight with Tyson.

“My goal is to become world champion, and now I have the chance to prove myself against the greatest heavyweight champion ever, the baddest man in the world and the most dangerous boxer of all time,” he said. “This will be the fight of your life.”

Tyson, perhaps unsurprisingly, spoke about his opponent’s credentials.

“He has grown significantly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what a child’s will and ambition can do with the experience and aptitude of a GOAT,” he said. “It’s a full-circle moment that will be extremely exciting to watch; as I started him on his boxing journey on the undercard of my fight with Roy Jones and now I plan to finish him.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is sanctioning fights in the state and it is unclear how they will handle a fight involving a boxer who will be 58 by the time the bout takes place. It could pass as an exhibition or as an official professional fight.

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At his peak, Tyson was the most destructive heavyweight champion of all time, known for his brutal knockout power. His last fight – an exhibition – came in a draw against another former world champion, Roy Jones Jr, in 2020. Paul fought on the undercard of that fight and defeated former NBA star Nate Robinson. Tyson’s last professional fight was in 2005, a loss to Irish journeyman Kevin McBride.

Netflix has entered the sport in recent years, most notably with the hit F1 documentary series Drive To Survive. It has broadcast two live sporting events in recent months: the Netflix Slam, a match between Spanish tennis stars Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal; and the Netflix Cup, in which golfers and F1 drivers compete against each other.