'Insult to the sport': Mike Tyson smacks down footy greats

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
Mike Tyson has knocked back offers to fight retired Australian footballers, saying such offers were an 'insult to the sport'. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)

Boxing legend Mike Tyson has categorically rejected any prospect of a fight against Sonny Bill Williams, labelling the rugby supremo’s offer an ‘insult to the sport’.

Tyson knocked back the New Zealander’s offer of a charity match over the weekend, preferring to make any comeback to the ring against ‘another bona fide boxer’.

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Williams, along with footy code rivals Paul Gallen and Barry Hall, had been linked to a rumoured bout against the heavyweight legend after videos of Tyson’s intense training workouts surfaced on social media.

An unnamed source within Tyson’s camp told the Sun he would only fight another boxer.

“Mike has ruled out the prospect of the exhibition bout in Australia because he does not want to fight a cross-over athlete,” the source said.

“If Mike returns to boxing, it will only be to fight another bona fide boxer.

“Mike believes anything else would be an insult to the sport.”

An Australian promoter had offered Williams $1 million to fight Tyson, which Williams accepted - but not Tyson.

“If it’s for a good cause, I’d love to get in the ring with Mike Tyson,” Williams told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It would be an honour, a career highlight to share the ring with an iconic figure of world sport.

‘‘I grew up watching Tyson and his fights. It’s hard not to admire the power and ferocity of Tyson like so many other sports people around the world.

“It would be a humbling and surreal moment in my life to stare at him and know I was facing one of the greats of the sport.”

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Unfortunately for Williams his career highlight won’t materialise, with a representative for Tyson confirming to English outlet The Sun that such a fight was a flight of fancy.

Rumours still persist about a Tyson comeback, but the legendary fighter is reportedly eyeing off a much more high-profile fight against fellow retired champion, Evander Holyfield.

Another rumour involves Tyson Fury’s father John Fury, who, at age 55, says he is prepared to die in the ring if it means facing ‘Iron Mike’.

Despite the rumours, it’s unlikely Tyson is going to get back in the ring with anyone less than a boxing A-lister.