Mike Tyson said a psychedelic drug known as toad venom played a part in his return to boxing at the age of 54 and his taking on Roy Jones Jr. Saturday night in an eight-round exhibition match.
“I took the medicine and the medicine told me to get into shape,’’ Tyson said Friday, referring to psychedelic 5-MeO-DMT during an interview on the day of the official weigh-in. “It really blew my mind. It told me to come back and start getting in shape.’’
The fight will be Tyson’s first first in 15 years. His pro career had ended on June 11, 2005 when he refused to come out for the seventh round against journeyman Kevin McBride.
Tyson and Jones will fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles but without spectators because of COVID-19 restrictions. The fight is available on pay-per-view for $49.99 and can be watched at tysonontriller.com.
Tyson weighed in at 220 pounds and Jones weighed in at 210 pounds.
Jones, 51, said he expects Tyson to be formidable “because he’s rejuvenated.”
“He’s been out 15 years and he knows what it’s like to miss boxing,’’ said Jones, a four-time champion in four weight classes. “He realizes what he had and he’s seeking to get that back now. … Now he has a desire to want to come out and be who he once was and do what he could once do.’’
Tyson said that road back, which involved psychedelic drugs, has tested him. He indicated he has lost 100 pounds during his training regimen, which started with 15 minutes a day on the treadmill. He called his first day of sparring “disastrous.’’
“During that session of boxing when I was getting shellacked, never once did I say, ‘What the (expletive) am I doing here?’ I said, ‘Woo, I belong here.’ ”
Tyson’s fight against Jones has been sanctioned by the California State Athletic Association and because it is an exhibition, it will have different rules. That has dampened some enthusiasm around the fight.
For example, the rounds will be two minutes rather than the standard three.
The fight will be stopped if there is a cut, according to information released by Triller, promoter of the fight. There also will be no ringside judges and no winner will be declared.
But the World Boxing Council (WBC) will score the fight and a winner will be determined by those scores or announcing the outcome of a KO/TKO/DQ. The results will not be reflected on their fight record, said Michael Goldberg, a publicist working with Triller.
Tyson sounded apprehensive about making a prediction in light of the restrictions.
“It’s going to be entertaining,’’ Tyson said, “because I’m a fighter, he’s a fighter. And of course you know we’re going to in there throwing punches and during that process anything can happen.’’
“Just as long as I hit him good, listen, I don’t know,’’ Tyson added. “Maybe I don’t know how to go easy. I don’t want to say the wrong things because some people get angry.’’