Face-to-face encounter between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul in New York sets the stage for their upcoming boxing match in Texas on July 20

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul finally came face to face, marking a significant moment in what many consider to be one of the most intriguing boxing matchups in recent history.

Inside the historic Apollo Theater, renowned artists such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, James Brown, and Lauryn Hill once graced the stage with their unforgettable performances. Recently, Tyson and Paul, along with undercard fighters Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, gathered for a press conference within the theater’s walls. Their aim was to generate excitement for their upcoming boxing match on July 20, which will be available for streaming on Netflix without any extra charge for subscribers.

The atmosphere at the event was filled with celebration and a sense of ease. There was no animosity between the fighters. In fact, both competitors in the matches expressed a great deal of respect and admiration for their opponents. At the end of the face-off photo opportunity, as Tyson and Paul locked eyes mere inches away from each other, Tyson even playfully demonstrated his boxing skills by throwing quick hooks towards Paul’s body. This lighthearted interaction resulted in both of them bursting into laughter and giving each other playful shoves.

These events were certainly filled with the usual bravado that is often seen in such occasions.

Jake Paul confidently declared, “They call him ‘Iron Mike’ Tyson, but I’m titanium Jake Paul.”

And she declared, “I will demonstrate to Mike who possesses greater power.”

The press conference occasionally faced challenges in presenting itself as a promotion for the event, an exhibition, or the officially sanctioned fight that it has evolved into.

An hour before the event started, fans lined up outside the Apollo, stretching the queue all the way to 125th Street and 8th Avenue. They sported New York Knicks hats and Tyson T-shirts, proudly displaying his face on their chests. It was clear that the crowd held a special affinity for Tyson, as he hails from the Brownsville neighborhood in east Brooklyn.

However, there were also many younger audience members who expressed their unwavering support for Paul. His presence on YouTube and social media has turned him into an idol for a generation that has a unique and sometimes inconsistent exposure to the sport of boxing.

During the Q&A session, a 16-year-old named Xavier from Queens introduced himself as an aspiring boxer. He expressed his gratitude to Paul and his brother, Logan, for shaping his childhood with their presence.

During their interaction, the young boy openly expressed his support for Paul, jokingly pleading for his life. He then sought advice from Paul on how young individuals with limited financial resources can pursue their interest in boxing. By the conclusion of their conversation, Paul signaled for a member of his support team to record the boy’s information, as he promised to send him a generous supply of boxing gear and other items.

Tyson appeared perplexed as he leaned towards the microphone, expressing his disbelief at the unfolding events during the press conference.

“I apologize,” he added. “I’m not very familiar with this. It’s something new to me.”

In response to Tyson’s remarks, the host, combat sports journalist Ariel Helwani, pointed out the significant difference in the media landscape during Tyson’s fighting days. He mentioned that Netflix, which has now become a global phenomenon, wasn’t even in existence back then.

Tyson responded with a shrug of his shoulders and casually remarked, “I suppose it is now.”

Tyson unquestionably stole the spotlight, particularly in the vibrant neighborhood of Harlem.

As Helwani made his way through introducing the four fighters on the card, the energy of the crowd grew stronger with each passing moment. However, when it was time to introduce Tyson, the atmosphere reached its peak. The Apollo’s lights dimmed, and a video played on the big screen behind the stage. As the video ended, a solitary spotlight illuminated Tyson, creating a unique and captivating introduction that set him apart from the previous fighters.

Katie Taylor, the talented Irish female boxer and two-weight undisputed champion, expressed her excitement about fighting on the same card as Tyson. She described it as a “dream” come true. Prior to the Tyson-Paul fight, Taylor will have a rematch against Serrano. This rematch will be a highly anticipated event, as their previous battle two years ago in Madison Square Garden was incredibly thrilling.

Admitting to being starstruck, Taylor couldn’t help but share her excitement when asked about her own battle.

“I always had a dream of meeting Mike Tyson before retiring from the sport and achieving something significant,” Taylor expressed. “To have him standing right next to me, an icon and legend in boxing, is truly unbelievable. I still can’t believe it; it feels like a dream.”

Tyson expressed that he is currently “doing great,” but he openly admitted that his body is not in the best condition at the moment.

Despite his age, he has faced some criticism for taking on this fight. The key question in the matchup revolves around his fitness and conditioning.

“I’m feeling really sore,” he added, expressing his discomfort. “I wish I could pretend to be playing possum.”

Mike Tyson, who turns 57 at the end of June, entered retirement in 2005. Although he recently stepped into the ring for an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr. in November 2020, this could potentially be the final opportunity for fans to witness his boxing prowess. Nevertheless, Tyson has not ruled out the possibility of making a comeback in the future.

“I think this is going to be a lot of fun,” he exclaimed. “Who knows, maybe we’ll even do it again!”

Tyson quickly deflected when asked about any other fighters he may have his eye on, stating, “Well, can I take care of Jake first?”

After all of that, the promotional tour will now make its way to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which is the location of the fight. The next press conference will be held there on Thursday night.

Mike Tyson and Jake Paul come face to face in New York before their upcoming boxing match in Texas on July 20.

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MBS Staff
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