Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson rules revealed as blockbuster fight sanctioned as professional contest

Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson rules revealed as blockbuster fight sanctioned as professional contest

Jake Paul’s blockbuster summer boxing fight against heavyweight legend Mike Tyson will be a professional bout after all, with the rules finally confirmed.

Both fighters and the promoters have now announced that the mammoth July 20 showdown at the 80,000-seater AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to be screened live on Netflix, has been officially sanctioned by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR).

“Mike Tyson wanted it to be a pro fight. Netflix wanted it to be a pro fight. So I agreed to make it a pro fight. Winner takes all,” Paul wrote on social media on Monday.

Tyson said on X: “Yes, it's a real sanctioned fight with Jake Paul.”

Paul’s promoters, Most Valuable Promotions (MVP), wrote: “Paul vs Tyson is officially a sanctioned professional heavyweight bout. Who puts another W on their record on Saturday, July 20th?”

ESPN reported that the fight would consist of eight two-minute rounds with 14-ounce gloves and no headgear with knockouts permitted.

Many expected the fight to proceed as an exhibition only, with serious doubts over whether it could be officially sanctioned as a professional contest given that former heavyweight champion Tyson will be 58 years old - 31 years older than his opponent - by the time it takes place and last fought as a pro almost two decades ago in 2005.

The result of the high-profile July crossover showdown will however now go down on both men’s pro records, with Tyson having originally hung up his gloves at 50-6-2 after losing three of his last four bouts to Lennox Lewis, Danny Williams and Kevin McBride between 2002-05.

Tyson has since returned to the ring for a four-round exhibition against Corey Sanders in Ohio in 2006 and again for an eight-round exhibition against fellow boxing icon Roy Jones Jr, which resulted in a split draw in California back in November 2020.

YouTube-star-turned-pugilist Paul has had nine professional fights so far after winning his only exhibition against arch-rival KSI’s younger brother Deji Olatunji, beating a fellow internet celebrity in AnEsonGib back in 2020 before also defeating former NBA point guard Nate Robinson and a succession of veteran mixed martial arts (MMA) stars in Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley (twice) and Anderson Silva.

He suffered defeat in his first meeting with a pro boxer in the shape of another arch-rival in Tommy Fury in a huge main event in Saudi Arabia last February, then swiftly bouncing back by outpointing UFC legend Nate Diaz before successive explosive first-round knockouts of pro boxers Andre August and Ryan Bourland, the latter fight taking place in Puerto Rico in March.

In his most recent interview ahead of the bout, Tyson revealed that he had been abstaining from both sex and cannabis as he prepares for his return to the ring.

"Right now, I’m living my life disciplined. It’s been six weeks that I haven’t gotten high or had sex," he told Forbes. "I haven’t done that since I was a little kid.

"I hate not being able to smoke. But I’m doing it like I love it; I hate not being able to sleep with my wife, but I'm doing it like I love it.”