Two combat sports legends had apparently been looking to re-kindle an old feud. Retired boxer Mike Tyson had been looking to have come back boxing match against the professional wrestler, kickboxer, football player, and MMA fighter Bob Sapp, who is a superstar in Japan.
Will Mike Tyson vs. Bob Sapp Ever Happen?
The two had previously had an in-ring over a decade ago. This fight, Mike Tyson vs Bob Sapp, was set to take place before Tyson had agreed to instead to box Roy Jones Jr.,the retired former champion.
Bob Sapp is an American-born athlete. He had spent a short time in the NFL but stateside he is largely unknown. He spent most of his career competing in Japan where he is a massive superstar. He competed in K-1 Kickboxing, PRIDE FC MMA matches, and professional wrestling matches. Bob Sapp on Japanese TV was able to pull massive amounts of viewers. His match against Akebono Tarō, both super-heavyweights, in 2003, for example, drew 54 million viewers.
Because of Bob Sapp‘s massive popularity, he had many endorsements. These Japanese TV endorsements included fabric softener, televisions, candy, pizza, among many others. Sapp even had a Pachinko slot machine which was popular at Japanese casinos, not unlike what you might find at the online kaszino.
Bob Sapp’s best days may be behind at him at this point. He’s 47 years old, 12-20-1 in MMA, and 12-19 in kickboxing.
One of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time is Mike Tyson. He made his professional boxing debut in 1985 and has an impressive boxing record of 50 wins with only 6 losses. And of his 50 wins, 44 were by way of knockout. Tyson was known for his ferocious power.
He had not stepped foot back in the ring since 2005 but in late 2020 Mike Tyson had an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr., the retired former champion. Of which Tyson fought to a draw. Tyson has also been keeping busy with his podcast and made an appearance last year on AEW.
Mike Tyson vs Bob Sapp?
Before agreeing to the 2020 match with Roy Jones Jr., apparently, the former boxing champion had been looking to set up a Mike Tyson vs Bob Sapp exhibition boxing fight. Tyson had mentioned this in an interview with TMZ, “My brother-in-law said, ‘Listen, I know you don’t wanna fight, but would you fight Bob Sapp? Somebody wants to offer you a lot of money to fight Bob Sapp.” Mike Tyson continues, “I said, ‘get outta here, I told people I don’t fight no more.’ Then my mind went ‘ding!’ What are the actual rules they want to fight under? Will they box me under the Marquis of Queensberry?’ They said yes and I said, yes I’ll fight him.”
A Mike Tyson vs Bob Sapp match had been in the works previously under the K-1 banner, in August of 2003. The two had even met in the ring in which a small brawl and scuffle had ensued, video of their exchange.
This meeting was directly after Bob Sapp had defeated a veteran UFC fighter, Kimo Leopoldo, in K-1 Kickboxing, in Las Vegas, USA. After the win, Sapp had called out Tyson, who was ringside, which led to Tyson entering the ring.
“I think Bob Sapp is awesome. He has awesome physical power. As I’ve said before, if we fight with the Marquis of Queensbury, I’d love to fight him … tonight.”
In response, Bob Sapp said: “You mess with me, I’ll put your fuse out.” to Mike Tyson.
K-1 was trying to organize the Mike Tyson vs Bob Sapp bout under either boxing or kickboxing rules but, according to one source, Tyson was unable to get a visa to compete in Japan due to his criminal history.
This fight would follow the trend of MMA fighters versus boxers, which is currently trending. If the two fought Bob Sapp would have a considerable size advantage at 6’5″ and 329 pounds, while Mike Tyson is only 5’10” and 220 pounds. Despite the size advantage this fight should see the 54-year-old Tyson be a significant betting favorite if under boxing rules.
The two have history, the underdog would have a size advantage, and this type of fight makes money. Maybe not today, but in the future, we might dust off this feud, and we may see a Mike Tyson vs Bob Sapp fight.