Mike Tyson has spoken out about the swirling reports about a possible charity fight against Sonny Bill Williams, saying the rumours were “totally false”.
The Daily Mail first reported the news of boxing promoter Brian Amatruda’s attempt to cash in on Tyson’s rumoured comeback through a charity bout against one of several footy sports stars – with reports that an offer of A$1 million is on the table.
Amatruda has promoted cards featuring the likes of Danny Green, Lucas Browne and Anthony Mundine, and said several of the part-time boxers who bring in big audiences in Australia – including Williams – would fill Australian arenas if paired up against Tyson.
However, the 53-year-old former heavyweight champ took to Twitter to shut down the reports.
“Sorry @DailyMailUK you should fact check better,” Tyson said. “This is totally false.”
The tweet has since been deleted.
Tyson first sparked chatter about a potential comeback after wowing fans in a ferocious sparring session in a video that would go viral, but nothing about returning to the ring has come from the man himself.
Regardless of the return, according to Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech, Tyson would still put Sonny Bill Williams “in the morgue” if they were to meet in the ring.
Fenech, a good friend of the 53-year-old former heavyweight world champ, said the fight is “not going to happen”, but if it did, it wouldn’t end well for the former footballers.
“Great publicity, but it’s not going to happen,” Fenech told the Sydney Morning Herald. “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?
“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.
“Fighting Sonny Bill? Who has Sonny Bill fought? Sonny Bill won’t even fight Paul Gallen because I don’t believe he can beat him.”
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In the initial report, Amatruda claimed he had already begun the process of trying to get Tyson to Australia.
“The first thing I did was contact (celebrity agent) Max Markson and ask him to offer Tyson $1 million,” he said. “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.”
Tyson got a visa to visit in Australia in 2012, a week after he was denied one by the New Zealand government, due to being convicted of rape in the US in 1992.
As for Williams, the former All Blacks midfielder is now with the Toronto Wolfpack in the Super League, and was reported to be in talks to return to the ring next year against Hall.
Williams has a 7-0 professional record, but has not fought in a pro bout since 2015, or a charity bout since 2018.
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