Paul Gallen has responded after being linked to a potential $3 million fight against Mike Tyson, while a boxing legend issued a dire warning.
Boxing legend Mike Tyson was offered $1 million to come out of retirement, but that figure was bumped up to $3 million in an attempt to lure the former heavyweight champ Down Under.
The 53-year-old icon recently revealed he wants to make a ring return to compete in charity fights, and has been training for the last three weeks under MMA mastermind Rafael Cordeiro, The Sun reports.
Cordeiro, head coach at Kings MMA in California, believes Tyson would only need another five months to be ready for a genuine pay-per-view comeback fight.
And the reformed Baddest Man on The Planet has received his first offer to do so with promoter Brian Amatruda lining up AFL great Barry Hall, rugby league legend Paul Gallen or cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams as opponents.
Amatruda told the Daily Mail: “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 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. It would be enormous. Not just a fight, it would be an event.
“The first thing I did was contact (celebrity agent) Max Markson and ask him to offer Tyson $1 million.
“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.”
Ex-NSW Origin captain Gallen responded to the potential showdown against the former king of the boxing world and said he hadn’t spoken to Amatruda as of yet.
“People out there should just wait until they hear from me who I’m going to fight next and that’s who I’ll be fighting,” Gallen told Wide World of Sports.
“He’s an idol of a lot of people and he’s probably still the most famous name in boxing. I think it would be great if we could have him in Australia, but I think we have to be realistic.
“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.
“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.”
Australian boxing legend Fenech however rubbished the idea of Tyson heading Down Under, with the former superstar able to claim a much higher fee elsewhere. He also issued a warning to anyone wanting to stand in front of the former “Baddest Man on the Planet”.
“They’re offering him half a million or a million dollars – he could get more than $20 million to do it in Saudi Arabia. Why would he come here?” Fenech said, per the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Let me tell you something. If he hits Sonny Bill Williams or Paul Gallen, he will be up for manslaughter.
“I’m serious. If he punched Paul Gallen, he could kill him. These guys have never been punched by somebody like Mike.
“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.”
Tyson spent three years in prison after being convicted of rape in 1992, a sentence that has seen him face travel restrictions in the past.
But he has since turned his life around, recently spending time in lockdown preparing himself for a comeback, but if he is to accept the challenge down under he may not fight until next year.
Amatruda said: “We’d have to wait until the coronavirus shutdowns are over of course so the fight probably wouldn’t be until early next year – as long as we can get the visa.
“They gave him one in 2012 and he was fine, he’s a quiet family man now. He didn’t cause any trouble then, so why shouldn’t they let him back in?”
Tyson boxed Corey Sanders in a 2006 exhibition as part of his world tour, which was organised to help relieve some of his well-documented money troubles.
But the two-time champion insists his planned comeback is only to raise money for charity and will now decide which rugby star to take on.
His comeback has the world’s attention — a video of him working out in the gym doing pad work was viewed more than nine million times on Wednesday.
The video shows Tyson – the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles – working the pads with trainer Rafael Cordeiro.
“I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring, I think I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape,” Tyson said in an Instagram Live session with rapper T.I.
“I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff.
“I do two hours on cardio, I do the bike and the treadmill for an hour, then I do some light weights, 300, 250 reps.
“Then I start my day with the boxing thing, I go in there and hit the mitts, 30 minutes, 25 minutes, start getting in better condition.”