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Tyson Fury says he turned down 'joke' offer to face Mike Tyson in an exhibition fight

tyson-fury-081819-getty-ftr (Getty Images)

The idea for Tyson Fury to face Mike Tyson in an exhibition bout was floated to the current WBC heavyweight champion.

Ultimately, he had to turn it down after receiving an underwhelming offer. 

Fury revealed that he was on the shortlist of names for the 53-year-old's return to boxing after a 15-year hiatus. And a fight between Fury and the man he was named after was closer to coming to fruition than most realize. 

"(Mike Tyson's) people contacted me, me and Mike had a phone call, it was all real but never materialized," Fury said to IFL TV. "Someone who was offering the money to Mike came back and offered us peanuts completely. Mike was talking about $500 million figures but what came back on paper was a joke, it was crazy."

Although Fury wouldn't reveal exactly how low the offer was, he did suggest that he received another offer from ESPN in the amount of $10 million to face the former heavyweight champion. 

"I think everyone has moved on now," he said.

Aside from the money aspect, Fury also considered how a fight against a man who is beloved by many but hasn't fought in a decade and a half could affect his image. 

"I would have just loved to share the ring with him and move around," Fury said of his boxing idol. "But if he had won then people would have said I was rubbish because a 53-year-old beat me and if I had beaten him then I would have been a bully."

As much as he initially loved the idea on paper, there wasn't enough money that allowed him to truly assess the risk. Instead, he'll turn his focus to a third fight with Deontay Wilder and a pair of possible showdowns with Anthony Joshua in 2021. 

"It was a lose-lose situation for me," Fury said. "It was money I didn't need to fight a man past his best."

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