Without very many professional sports being allowed to move forward during these unfortunate times, audiences have to take what they can get when it comes to competitions, from game shows to America's Got Talent to sports documentaries. Thankfully, the UFC has been back in business for months now, but it sounds like that organization's octagon battles are about to get overshadowed by a completely different kind of fight: Mike Tyson vs. Jaws. At least, that's how Discovery Channel is marketing Tyson's upcoming debut in the wild and wet world of Shark Week.
To be that much more precise, the former heavyweight boxing champ will be front and center for Tyson Vs. Jaws: Rumble on the Reef, which is presumably meant to be a play on Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's iconic fight dubbed "Rumble in the Jungle." But instead of on land in Zaire, Tyson will be facing off against a shark underwater. Like...seriously, and famed ring announcer Michael Buffer will be calling the shots.
According to Discovery, Mike Tyson will be squaring off against a shark underwater, but it's more about research than going twelve rounds. The network makes it clear that no sharks were actually harmed during the filming, and hilariously enough, the release even jokes that the sharks weren't bitten, either. (In reference to Tyson's infamous fight where he bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear.) Tyson was seen earlier this year inside of a shark cage, so it's good that this is what became of that, and that he isn't involved with an actual Jaws sequel.
Considering Ali introduced the "rope-a-dope" technique for the Rumble in the Jungle, I can only hope that Mike Tyson will himself come up with his own rhyming tactic for his latest brawl. Perhaps the "park-a-shark" would be his way of putting the creature in the dirt. Alternately, there's the "spin-a-fin," the "swish-a-fish" and the "punch a shark right in his big eyeball." That last one doesn't so much rhyme, I guess.
Below, you can read what Mike Tyson had to say about taking part in Discovery's Shark Week festivities.
I took on this challenger to overcome fears I still deal with in life. I equate this with overcoming my fear of getting back into the ring at 54 years old. I learned from this experience doing Shark Week that whatever intimidates me, I am still able to step up to the challenge of overcoming anything that would prevent me from accomplishing my life’s mission of reaching my highest potential in life and bringing me closer to God.
Mike Tyson has once again become a go-to source of entertainment in recent years, through podcasts, interviews and his embrace of marijuana. Not only has he done some introspective reflecting on his years as a badass boxer, but also on his post-boxing years, when he got more invested in drinking and doing various drugs. While he might not get back into the boxing ring anytime soon, Tyson has indeed been training once again and looks every bit as fierce as he did in his 20s, even if he's smiling more these days. (And having Jamie Foxx playing him in an upcoming biopic.)
With more than 30 years of shark-related programming behind it, Discovery Channel will air its Shark Week 2020 programming starting on Sunday, August 9, at 8:00 p.m. ET, with many hours of new content that will air in primetime throughout the week, concluding on Sunday, August 16. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates, and check out our Summer 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what else will be knock viewers out soon.