Re-entering the ring wasn't even a thought for former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson until several suggestions landed on his radar 15 years after his last professional fight.
First there was a scheduled MMA fight against Bob Sapp, then boxing matches against former heavyweight titlelist Shannon Briggs and longtime rival Evander Holyfield. Ultimately, his camp decided to have an exhibition match against boxing legend Roy Jones Jr., which will take place on November 28th.
But Tyson told ESPN this week that it may not be the last time combat fans can see the 54-year-old who was once feared as "the worst man on the planet".
"I don't know. I could do this for a while. Let's look at this," Tyson told ESPN's Peter Rosenberg. "It would be so great if we could do this all over the world and fight the best fighter in this country, shows with this guy in this country, shows all over the world. Wouldn't that be great?"
"I wanted to fight a four-round show. Next, I'll fight Roy Jones. It's eight rounds, three judges and a belt," he continued. "Now you tell me, is this an exhibition? You tell me. What the hell is going on? I want an exhibition, now I have a belt with me. Come on man."
During this process, Tyson has said that after recovering from the losses in life, he regained his energies and exercise cravings. He's feeling a lot better in training now than he did when he started out.
Tyson, the youngest boxing heavyweight champion in history, also offered his take on the current stars of his previous division, including Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. While Tyson has respect for all three, he sees Fury as the front runner.
"I think he's very good," Tyson said of Fury. "He looks like he's not intimidating, but he's really elusive, he really knows how to box, he's really smart, and he's really hard to hit, and he's 7 feet, damn close. He's a monster . "
Mike Tyson explains which active boxers he likes to see most.
Even as Wilder recovered from his one-sided TKO loss to Fury on February 22nd, Tyson praised the former champion and urged him to continue the trilogy battle.
"If Wilder gets his head out of his butt, he's good. Wilder just has to stop internalizing things, this guy is great," said Tyson. "Just keep fighting. Fight again [anger]. Fight him a third time. Whenever you have the chance to fight for the title, he should fight. We [as boxers] can only do this for a limited time in ours Live, and then we can't do it anymore. So we have to do it as often as possible before we finish this stuff. "
Tyson still sees things that Joshua needs to sharpen his skills.
Top rank boxing is on ESPN and ESPN +. Subscribe to ESPN + to get exclusive boxing events, Tradeoffs and more.
7pm ET Saturday on ESPN +: Terence Crawford-Kell Brook undercard
10pm ET Saturday on ESPN: Terence Crawford v Kell Brook, 12 rounds, for Crawford's WBO welterweight title
"I don't think he's a paper master. I just think he's a big guy – it's hard to fight to be that big," Tyson said of Joshua. "It is very difficult to be that tall and have to fight a shorter man … that man could learn a little more. He could be taught a little more."
Although the heavyweight class has regained popularity, Tyson is also engaged and entertained by the lightweight class – which is turning out to be one of the hottest weight classes in boxing. Like the rest of the world, Tyson wants young masters like Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney to keep working on it during this phase of their careers and not wait too long.
"Spectacular. He hit the man to hit – now he's the man to hit," Tyson said of Lopez. "I think differently from these guys – these guys think, 'Hey, I want to fight this guy and then two years later I'll fight the other guy.' So if I'm Lopez now, I have Loma, I hit him.
"So now I want to get Gervonta Davis. I want Davis and I want Shakur [Stevenson] and I want to fight these guys in a year," he added. "I want to fight both of them this year instead of one, and another three years later if he's still champion. You have to fight the guys that you know are hot now."