Chomp On This
July 16, 2020

Mike Tyson is going to fight a shark...let the bite jokes begin

"Every great white shark has a plan until it gets punched in the mouth."

Those aren't the exact words from Mike Tyson's iconic quote about fight strategy, but since Iron Mike is about to fight an actual great white, they'll have to do. As part of this summer's Shark Week, Discovery has announced that the main event will feature the world's mightiest fish vs. the world's mightiest mammal. Watch the promo here:

I'm glad he said "someone's gonna get bit," in order to spare us making jokes about the times Tyson himself has gone Jaws-adjacent in his fights against Evander Holyfield.

Now, details about the actual "fight" remain scant. We know it's called Tyson Vs. Jaws: Rumble on the Reef (solid), and we know it's airing Aug. 9 at 9 pm. We know Michael Buffer is going to be involved. (I hope they do an underwater effect with his voice.) During the event, Tyson will face off against the animal in the "name of research." Adding to the excitement, iconic ring announcer, Michael Buffer, will also take part. But there are only two details from the release that actually tell us how this will go:

1. "these two heavyweights will square off underwater"

andddd . . .

2. "don’t worry, no sharks were harmed (or bitten) in the making of this episode."

Another bite joke!

Will Iron Mike be using scuba apparatus? Will he be in a cage? Surely, they can't let these two actually touch each other, right? Also, why won't the coward shark meet him on dry land?

Here's my guess: They're going to let Tyson throw a punch against some machine that measures its force, and then they're going to lower him in a cage and let the shark ram into him. Whoever delivers the fiercer blow "wins."

But that's just speculation. A few years ago on Shark Week, Michael Phelps raced and lost to a great white shark, but it was actually a computer simulation (of the shark, not Phelps). Turns out, it's hard to get an animal besides a horse or dog to race along an exact course at a specific time, particularly if nobody's riding on top of it.

However, all animals know how to fight, right? Feels like there's a way to make this thing both real and visceral. In the press release, Tyson, now 54, mentioned that he's fighting the shark to overcome his fear of returning to the ring in general. It's not a joke, either; Tyson seems intent on resuming actual combat sports, either boxing or some variety of MMA, and the man looks good. There's even talk that he and Holyfield might fight a charity bout, and if that's the case, Holyfield should be quite concerned that Tyson is about to learn some new techniques from a great white.

Verdict: Must-watch. And I'm taking Jaws in a unanimous decision.