UPDATE, May 8: You’ll be not so surprised to learn that it turns out an unknown fighting organization was looking for some free publicity and we fell for it. BKFC did reach out to Mike Tyson’s management team with an offer to get involved with them. Tyson’s management team confirmed to me that they rejected the offer but word of acceptance was leaked in spite of Tyson’s rejection of the offer. This is all the proverbial “fake news” and there is no story here other than what would appear to be an unknown organization attempting to use Mike Tyson’s to get their own 15 minutes.
UPDATE: Tyson has not yet agreed to a deal with BKFC. The organization tweeted that out Thursday evening after its owner announced a Tyson-Briggs fight. Additionally, Briggs is offering the idea of a tag-team fight featuring Briggs and Tyson vs. the Klitschko brothers, or a Klitschko and David Haye. He thinks being able to tag in like wrestling could be a fun thing. Why not?
In things I never knew existed, there is an organization called Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships. They’re in the news now because owner David Feldman has convinced former heavyweight boxing champions Mike Tyson and Shannon Briggs to square off in the main event of BKFC 12. Feldman tweeted the news Thursday afternoon, and told heavy.com he’s made Tyson a $20 million guarantee.
“While we did make a guaranteed offer of $20 million for Mike [Tyson] to fight for BKFC, we’re open to many different options as to how we can work together. Obviously, the excitement of seeing Mike’s video showing himself training and desire to participate in exhibitions inspired us to reach out and make the offer,” Feldman said.
BKFC is the first promotion to hold an official state sanctioned and commissioned bare-knuckle boxing event in America since 1889, according to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi. BKFC has had 10 events to date, and BKFC 12 was the next one planned. It was scheduled for April 11th in Birmingham, Alabama, but has since been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fights take place in a four-rope circular ring, shown on the organization’s website. According to BKFC, the ring includes scratch lines, which are, “based on the Broughton Rules which governed bare knuckle fighting in the 19th century, and which requires fighters to ‘Toe the Line’: start every round face to face, and just inches apart.”
Tyson is 53 and turns 54 on June 30th. He last formally fought in June of 2005, when he lost to Kevin McBride after quitting before the start of the seventh round. He was 50-6 in his boxing career with 44 KOs and two no contests. Briggs is 48 and turns 49 in December. He last fought in May of 2016, winning via KO over Emilio Ezequiel Zarate. Briggs is 60-6-1 with 53 KOs and one no contest.