Illustration for article titled Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship to Offer Mike Tyson Over $20 Million to Return to the Ring
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

The last time we saw Mike Tyson in the squared circle, it wasn’t pretty. He was sloppy, washed up and on the receiving end of vicious blow after blow from journeyman Kevin McBride. He would quit that ugly 2005 bout prior to the seventh round and it was widely assumed that we’d never see Iron Mike in the ring again. But now 15 years later, the stage is set for a surprising comeback that could potentially restore his tarnished legacy and prove to be pretty damn lucrative, too.

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According to MMA Fighting, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship is hell-bent on luring the 53-year-old boxing legend from off of the couch and back into the ring. And with an offer expected next week, it’s clear that BKFC will spare no expense in order to achieve its goal:

BKFC President David Feldman told MMA Fighting the contract will exceed the $20 million offered to Tyson earlier this month, adding additional sweeteners that include charitable donations. He said he wasn’t able to provide the exact value of the contract because it’s still being finalized.

“I think I know what we need to do to make this thing happen,” Feldman said.

Me too: money.

Earlier this month, BKFC dangled a $20 million offer at Tyson, but apparently the former heavyweight champ didn’t take the bait. So with a bigger payday imminent as multimillion-dollar offers pour in from several promoters, it’s going to become harder and harder to turn those offers down.

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To sweeten the pot, UFC legends such as Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock are among those who’ve volunteered to serve as Tyson’s opponent in a future bout. But in order to justify the millions on the table, Feldman would prefer former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva.

“I didn’t offer that (to Ortiz),” Feldman said. “I don’t know that it really draws. I think a Wanderlei Silva, someone of that nature. No matter how old Silva gets, he’s dangerous, and I think that would be an intriguing matchup. Something like that, but I don’t actually have anything in mind right now.”

Tyson has piqued everyone’s interest since he began posting videos of his training sessions on social media earlier this month. He’s been so impressive that even Rafael Cordeiro, the trainer tasked with catching those punches, can’t even believe what’s he’s seen.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Cordeiro told ESPN. “He hasn’t hit mitts for almost 10 years. So I didn’t expect to see what I saw. I saw a guy with the same speed, same power as guys 21, 22 years old.”

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With so many of us starved for sports right now, between the money that’s being proposed and the amount of attention his return would garner, this sounds like the perfect opportunity for Tyson to resume his boxing career if his mind and body are 100 percent committed to the cause.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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