OMG! EXCLUSIVE: ‘Mike Tyson’s first press conference in 19 years felt special – as it changed boxing forever’

Netflix streamed its first boxing press conference on Monday as Jake Paul and Mike Tyson faced off, but there was a unique feel for an occasion that felt defining

NEW YORK — Mike Tyson rolled back the years when pulling up to the Apollo Theater in New York, with fans scrambling to get a glimpse of the boxing icon.

Supported by a heavy entourage, Tyson’s presence could be felt in the area as in a typically quiet street to the northwest of Central Park, there was a unique feeling lingering, one that I hadn’t experienced in my lifetime. ‘Iron Mike’ announced that he was back when agreeing to fight Jake Paul on July 20, but his arrival at the press conference made it feel real, bringing an end to any disbelief.

His last professional boxing press conference came back in 2005 before his career ended after fighting Kevin McBride in Washington, D.C. Tyson did hold a press conference with Roy Jones Jr. in 2020 as he stepped back into the ring for an exhibition, but this is no light-hearted occasion.

Tyson’s bout with Paul will be professional, meaning their records are on the line and no matter what the outcome is, it will be a defining moment in history. But away from the result, the respect between Paul and Tyson on stage was clear to see, with the pair smiling and embracing, and it’s because they know the magnitude of what they’ve done for the future of the sport.

The media section was brimming at capacity, with some being turned away from the Apollo Theater which was the hottest ticket across the whole of New York City at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Those covering the press conference were in amazement at how many outlets had arrived, seeing as the fight is still over two months away.

But the entire event, the mystery, and the pull factor, it’s clear to see that already Netflix, Paul and Tyson have everyone wrapped around their fingers. It felt as big as when Floyd Mayweather fought Conor McGregor, two titans from different combat sports that got the whole world talking.

Mayweather may be respected, but Tyson has impacted boxing more than most fighters throughout history. He is a God-like figure, an icon in the eyes of the fans, but he’s picked one of the most controversial boxers in recent times to revive his career, even if it’s only for one night.

Mike Tyson squared up to Jake Paul for the first time since their fight was agreed

Mike Tyson squared up to Jake Paul for the first time since their fight was agreed ( Image:2024 Getty Images)

No, it’s not because he wants to “end Jake Paul,” as Tyson admitted on stage that he really likes the 27-year-old. But Tyson and Paul have helped kickstart a movement, and it may be irreversible following the main event on July 20.

Paul has given back to his roots: a former YouTuber that became the global icon he is today because of the internet. His fight against Tyson will be the first combat sports event ever streamed exclusively on Netflix, and it feels like a defining moment in the future of how fans consume sports coverage.

As perfectly explained by conference host Ariel Helwani: “For the first time ever, the largest streaming platform in the world, Netflix, they have never before streamed a combat sports event… This will be the first. Many years from now they will ask ‘Which was the first?’ And it will be this one.

Ariel Helwani nói về tác động của Tyson-Paul đối với thế giới quyền anh



Ariel Helwani spoke about the impact of Tyson-Paul on the boxing world
 ( Image:2024 Getty Images)

“It’s an event and a fight that none of us ever expected to come to fruition.” He’s correct, but it has, and no matter how fans feel about Paul, the state of boxing, and live sports making the jump to digital media, everyone just wants to see Tyson again.

The event will not be subject to pay-per-view, as all subscribers are allowed to enjoy the event for their monthly subscription fee. With 270 million active subscribers and more expected, this fight could be the most-watched in modern history quite easily.

Netflix has already secured WWE rights in the future and is even rumored to have been granted two NFL games on Christmas Day, but this is the event that feels like the real turning point for the company, and for sports in the future. It really felt like something significant was in play, a moment that as Helwani referenced, I can say “I was there.”

Logan Paul was in attendance for the historic press conference in support of brother Jake

Logan Paul was in attendance for the historic press conference in support of brother Jake ( Image:2024 Getty Images)

Ariel Helwani spoke about the importance of Tyson-Paul on the boxing world)But it was a strange contrast of emotions, as despite witnessing boxing potentially entering a new modern era, it felt like I had traveled back in time as Tyson waltzed onto the stage with fans screaming his name. Mike Tyson. The former heavyweight world champion and sporting legend. The guy your grandfather spoke about.

I was in a theater that was opened in 1914, seeing the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ who dominated in the 90s go through a familiar routine in 2024. Everything about it felt historical, both reliving moments of Tyson’s career in my head while new chapters were being written in front of my eyes.

Tyson will do all he can to beat Paul and could be the first man to knock out the 9-1 boxer, marking his 45th knockout in boxing. Win or lose, Mike is back, and July 20 is going to be a truly special occasion for sports fans.

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