Mike Tyson hasn’t lost his ability to captivate a crowd. | Steve Granitz/WireImage
Mike Tyson has a new outlet to sink his teeth into.
Only 20 years old when he sparked Trevor Berbick in the second round on Nov. 22, 1986 to become the youngest world heavyweight boxing champion of all time, the sports world’s most polarizing figure has returned to the stage at the age of 47.
Tyson, alongside the guidance of Acquinity Sports, founded Iron Mike Promotions to plant their flag on the promotional side of the “sweet science.” Already having signed some of the industry’s elite prospects, IMP will introduce some of its brightest talent to a national audience in the Pittsburgh area Friday, April 18 in Monroeville, Penn.
Three of Tyson’s undefeated signees will headline Showtime Boxing’s “ShoBox” card as featherweight prospect Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado (18-0, 16 KOs), of Miami, Fla., will battle Rod Salka (18-3, 3 KOs), of Bunola, Pa., in a 10-round attraction; Felix Diaz (14-0, 8 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., will tangle with Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Sammy Vasquez, Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs), of Monesson, Pa., will lock horns with Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez, Jr. (11-0, 5 KOs), of Union City, N.J., in an eight-round welterweight clash.
Amongst the unblemished trio is an Olympic gold medalist in Diaz.
“Winning a gold medal is pretty special, but this is a very different stage now,” Tyson told the Showtime Boxing Blog. “Felix should be a 10-round fighter by now. I fought 15 times in one year [Editor’s note: more accurately, Tyson fought 16 times in 1985]. These guys haven’t experienced one-tenth of that. I want them to fight once a month, whether on TV or off TV.”
Tyson, known for a passion of boxing and his own place within its storied history, envisioned one from the Iron Mike Promotions stable bringing a world title to the team.
“It’ll be an amazing feeling. I try not to be too emotional because this is a business,” declared Tyson. “Hopefully, it’ll be an exciting champion who takes on all comers.”