Boxer Mike Tyson, 54, is returning to the boxing ring for the first time in 15 years. The plant-based athlete will compete in an eight-round exhibition match against 51-year-old former boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. on September 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. The event, which will also feature live musical performances, will air on pay-per-view and social media channel Triller.
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At age 20, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1986 and went on to have a lucrative, albeit controversial, boxing career until 2005 when he retired after losing to Irish boxer Kevin McBride. In 2010, Tyson—who had a habit of eating steak prior to fights—adopted a plant-based diet in an effort to alleviate health issues associated with drug use.
“Well my life is different today because I have stability in my life. I’m not on drugs. I’m not out on the streets or in clubs and everything I do now is structured around the development of my life and my family,” Tyson told Oprah in 2013. “I lost weight. I dropped over 100 pounds and I just felt like changing my life, doing something different, and I became a vegan.”
Last year, Tyson reaffirmed his commitment to veganism to GQ Sports. “I don’t eat anything that has a mother and father. If you were created through a mother and father, through any kind of intercourse, I won’t eat you,” Tyson said. “So that means I only eat vegetables and stuff.”
This week, Tyson launched Legends Only League, a new venture that helps older legendary athletes return to the sports at which they excelled.