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Mike Tyson responds to reports of a $1million comeback bout in Australia

Mike Tyson has rubbished reports about a potential charity fight against Sonny Bill Williams, calling the rumours ‘totally false’.

Melbourne boxing promoter Brian Amatruda exclusively revealed to Daily Mail Australia his plans to arrange a $1 million charity bout Down Under.

Amatruda proposed the 53-year-old could go head-to-head with one of Australia’s footballers-turned-boxers Paul Gallen, Barry Hall, or Sonny Bill Williams.  

It came after a video of Tyson engaged in a ferocious sparring session went viral earlier in the week, proving the 53-year-old was still on fighting form.

But the boxing legend denied the fight would be taking place, writing on Twitter that any indication that he was taking part were false.

An Australian boxing promoter wants to lure former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson (pictured) to Australia to fight footballers Barry Hall, Paul Gallen or Sonny Bill Williams in a charity match. Tyson is pictured at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in February this year

The response is a blow to boxing fans who hoped to see the star in the ring, after Williams’ rugby club – the Toronto Wolfpack – gave him the green light to take part. 

The Canadian rugby league club, which plays in the UK Super League, was even hoping to help get the match organised.

A source told the Sun: ‘Sonny can fight with the club’s permission during the off-season.

‘He hasn’t asked yet but we are following up with his agent to see if it is for real.

‘It could be a hell of a fight.’  

Mike Tyson's close friend Jeff Fenech has warned Sonny Bill Williams could die if he finds himself in the ring with Tyson. Pictured: Fenech and Tyson train together

Mike Tyson’s close friend Jeff Fenech has warned Sonny Bill Williams could die if he finds himself in the ring with Tyson. Pictured: Fenech and Tyson train together

Amatruda said the proposed fight could lure up to 30,000 fans into an Australian stadium. 

‘I’d hold it at Melbourne Arena where we’d get over 10,000 or even Princes Park where they got 30,000 for Jeff Fenech versus Azumah Nelson,’ he said on Thursday.

‘He might be 53 years old but he’s still a huge name and any of those blokes Hall, Gallen or Sonny Bill would jump at the chance to get into the ring with him.

‘I’d make it part of a card with a world title fight for Tayla on it. It would be enormous. Not just a fight, it would be an event.’

But Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech laughed off Amatruda’s idea and said Williams, a former All Black and rugby league star, would find himself ‘in the morgue’. 

‘Let me tell you something. If he hits Sonny Bill Williams or Paul Gallen, he will be up for manslaughter,’ he Sydney Morning Herald.

‘You see what he’s doing to the pads, imagine Mike hitting one of those guys with one of those uppercuts. More than likely they will be in the morgue the next day.’ 

Amatruda said he had already taken the first steps to bring Tyson back to Australia.

Former All Black and rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams is another target for promoter Brian Amatruda, who wants to bring Mike Tyson to Australia for a charity boxing match. Fenech warned Williams could end up in a morgue

Former All Black and rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams is another target for promoter Brian Amatruda, who wants to bring Mike Tyson to Australia for a charity boxing match. Fenech warned Williams could end up in a morgue

‘The first thing I did was contact (celebrity agent) Max Markson and ask him to offer Tyson $1million,’ he told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘Max brought him to Australia in 2012. He gets on well with him and his wife but the main thing is that he got him a visa to get into the country back then and that’s the key.’ 

Fenech, the Australian triple world champion, said Amatruda’s proposal would make for ‘great publicity’ but it was not likely to happen.

‘They’re offering him half a million or a million dollars – he could get more than $20million to do it in Saudi Arabia. Why would he come here?’ he said.    

Paul Gallen said he would jump at the chance to take on Tyson but is not confident the 53-year-old would be swayed to return to Australia.    

‘I know who Brian Amatruda is – he’s a reputable promoter. But I haven’t spoken to Brian Amatruda myself and to think that Mike Tyson’s going to come to Australia and fight for $1 million I think is a bit far-fetched,’ he told Wide World of Sports on Thursday. 

The 38-year-old ex-Sutherland Sharks captain said $1million may be off the mark as Tyson could earns ‘tens of millions’ for a comeback bout. 

Paul Gallen (pictured) said he would jump at the chance to enter the ring with Mike Tyson if he chooses Australia for a $1million comeback bout

Paul Gallen (pictured) said he would jump at the chance to enter the ring with Mike Tyson if he chooses Australia for a $1million comeback bout

Celebrity agent Max Markson (pictured) brought Mike Tyson to Australia in 2012 and brokered an advertising deal for the boxer with Ultra Tune

Promoter Brian Amatruda (pictured) has contacted celebrity agent Max Markson with a view to bringing Mike Tyson to Australia

Promoter Brian Amatruda (right) has contacted celebrity agent Max Markson (left) with a view to bringing Mike Tyson to Australia. Markson brought the former heavyweight champion Down Under in 2012

Gallen said his name ‘always gets thrown up’ when promoters suggest charity boxing matches. 

‘I’d be happy for a charity to be involved, but I’d be getting paid for it. You’ve got to remember, Mike Tyson is Mike Tyson – he hasn’t got an off switch, he hasn’t got an exhibition fight switch,’ he said.

‘How could you not want to get in the ring with Mike Tyson, to be honest? It’s like a young halfback coming up and not wanting to play against Andrew Johns.’ 

The footage of Tyson showing he has lost little of his once-feared hand speed and prompted President Trump – himself a one-time boxing promoter – to tweet ‘Keep punching Mike!’   

With news that Tyson was considering a return to the ring for a series of three-round charity bouts once the coronavirus shutdown is lifted, there was even talk of a title fight against his namesake, UK world champ Tyson Fury, earning him $150million. 

Former AFL star Barry Hall (left) and retired NRL star Paul Gallen fought to a draw at Melbourne's Margaret Court Arena on November 15 last year. Now an Australian promoter wants one of them to step into the ring with 'the baddest man on the planet', Mike Tyson

Former AFL star Barry Hall (left) and retired NRL star Paul Gallen fought to a draw at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena on November 15 last year. Now an Australian promoter wants one of them to step into the ring with ‘the baddest man on the planet’, Mike Tyson 

US president Donald Trump wasn't the only fight fan impressed with this week's YouTube video of Mike Tyson engaged in a ferocious sparring session (pictured)

US president Donald Trump wasn’t the only fight fan impressed with this week’s YouTube video of Mike Tyson engaged in a ferocious sparring session (pictured)

Markson described Tyson as a ‘pussycat’ on his last trip to Australia, a personal appearance tour with his wife Kiki, two children and mother-in-law.

‘When he arrived I asked him if there was anything he needed and the only thing he wanted was a PlayStation and some games,’ he said.

‘From then on if he wasn’t doing scheduled appearances or sleeping or eating, he was playing PlayStation.

‘When the tour was over I asked him if he had enjoyed himself and he said he’d had the best time of his life. I said, ”But Mike, you didn’t do anything” and he said, ”I know, but that was a really good PlayStation”.’

Markson said during the trip he saw a very different Tyson to the man who once infamously told an opponent, ‘I want to eat your children’. 

‘I found him very intelligent and funny but Kiki told me that most nights she has to put her arms around him and comfort him until he goes to sleep because he can feel so sad and insecure.

‘I never saw that side of him. He was always very easy to work with and eager to please. He loved signing autographs and interacting with his fans.

‘If anyone asked him to bite them on the ear for a photo he’d be happy to do it.’ 

Mike Tyson is considering a return to the ring for a series of three-round charity bouts once the coronavirus shutdown is lifted. Tyson is pictured delivering an uppercut to Buster Mathis Jnr on his way to knocking him out at the Corestates Spectrum in Philadelphia in 1995

Mike Tyson is considering a return to the ring for a series of three-round charity bouts once the coronavirus shutdown is lifted. Tyson is pictured delivering an uppercut to Buster Mathis Jnr on his way to knocking him out at the Corestates Spectrum in Philadelphia in 1995 

Max Markson described Tyson as a 'pussycat' on his last trip to Australia. 'When he arrived I asked him if there was anything he needed and the only thing he wanted was a PlayStation and some games,' he says

Max Markson described Tyson as a ‘pussycat’ on his last trip to Australia. ‘When he arrived I asked him if there was anything he needed and the only thing he wanted was a PlayStation and some games,’ he says

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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