Dewey Cooper not in love with Mike Tyson vs. Jake Paul pairing, but …

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Like a lot of people in the fight game and peripheral to it, Dewey Cooper wound up with two key words when he heard Mike Tyson was going to box Jake Paul.

“Mixed emotions.”

On one hand, hearing “Iron” Mike is going to fight again brings up plenty of emotions, given he’s an all-time heavyweight boxing great. But on the other, this isn’t the Tyson from his championship days. It’s not even the Tyson from his cameo in “The Hangover,” which was 15 years ago – more than a full career ago for most combat sports athletes.

The Tyson of 2024 will be 58 when he fights Paul, who will be about 30 years his junior.

“Mixed emotions,” Cooper told MMA Junkie while in Saudi Arabia to work with Francis Ngannou this past week, and Tyson worked with Ngannou for his boxing debut. “I brought guys for Jake Paul to spar when he was getting ready for Nate Robertson and Ben Askren. I’ve seen him in the gym a lot. I used to be BJ Flores’ coach, his coach at those times. So I was in the gym with him a lot. By the way, real cool guy. Nothing like the people probably would think.

“I’ve been knowing Mike Tyson since the ’90s. Mike’s an awesome guy, an incredible guy. He’s helped our team. It’s a sensitive situation for me.”

Cooper said Tyson’s age has just about everything to do with his take, even if he understands the financial stakes for everyone are too good to pass up.

“At 58, the way Mike looks on the pads and everything, he can still do it,” Cooper said. “Just, will he be dedicated to training a real camp? And will he take Jake Paul seriously? Does Jake Paul have enough to motivate Mike Tyson, is the biggest question in my mind. If he does, it’s a serious fight for Jake Paul. If he doesn’t, then Jake Paul has an opportunity to beat an iconic legend.

“I would rather Jake Paul fight some young boxers – have a rematch with Tommy Fury, something like that, vs. Mike Tyson. But I understand that it’s going to be (big) box office and people are going to be excited about it. I just hope both fighters are okay. That’s a high number in age to be fighting young guys. But if the world wants this, wants to see it, and both men are willing, let’s do it. We’ll see what happens there.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie