Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson is returning to boxing for the first time in nearly a decade... as a promoter.
The 47-year-old hasn't had an official role in the sport for years. In fact, the last time the legend had official business in boxing was when he was knocked out by Kevin McBride in 20005.
Now, according to ESPN.com, Mike has officially launched Iron Mike Productions.
"I thought about it, I talked to my wife [Kiki] about it and we thought we wanted to do it," Tyson said in an interview Friday (July 19) about his upstart company. "I feel so awesome to be involved with the game again. That just feels so awesome."
The first card under the Iron Mike Productions banner will take place on August 23 at Verona, New York's Turning Stone Resort Casino, during the season finale of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights."
On the card is junior lightweight world titleholder Argenis Mendez (21-2, 11 KOs), who will defend his title for the first time against Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KOs) in the main event; while Claudio Marrero (14-0, 11 KOs) takes on Jesus Andres Cuellar (22-1, 18 KOs) for a vacant interim featherweight title in the co-feature.
Thanks to Tyson's mainstream resurgance in recent years, he hopes to parlay his celebrity into the promotions game and wants to be hands on... but not like the guys who promoted him when he was a champ.
"I'm going to try to be as hands on as possible to make sure that everything is on the up and up with the fighters -- properly prepared, passing all of their physicals," Tyson said. "I just want to make sure that everything is on the up and up with the fighters. I don't want them to wind up like I did when I finished fighting -- broken, useless.
"I learned, if I was ever a promoter, I wouldn't be like these guys, the guys that promoted me," he said, referring to Don King. "I would make sure that these fighters -- it's all about the fighters. I don't do this because I want to make a lot of money. Everybody's trying to make a buck. I want to see successful fighters and great fighters, and I would hate to see fighters end up like me, when I finished fighting. I'm just one of the very fortunate ones, and I'm very grateful for that. I would never like them to be like me."