At the age of 54, boxing icon Mike Tyson is making a return to the sport he dominated for nearly two decades. According to Iron Mike, the determination of a 49ers legend helped inspire him to complete his comeback.
“I was watching this insight about Jerry Rice and at his age, he’s amazingly fast and can still perform,” Tyson said during ESPN's "First Take" on Thursday (H/T 247Sports). “I’m saying, ‘Why can’t he and another five, six people play another quarterback and his five, six people? Why can’t we have a game of legends playing?’”
Rice's tireless work ethic has kept the 57-year-old in great shape, even though he retired from the NFL officially 14 years ago. As part of Tyson's new "Legends Only League," Tyson will fight fellow former champion Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition on Sept. 12.
Although no other athlete participants have been announced, it's hard to imagine Rice wouldn't at least be considered for a football version. Rice's workouts became legendary among NFL players, and he hasn't slowed down much in retirement.
Tyson had 44 knockouts over his 58 professional fights, showing off some of his own recent gains in the gym as he prepares to get back to professional fighting.
Rice finished his NFL career with 22,859 receiving yards and 174 touchdowns, and never has been one to shy away from a challenge. For the sake of his health, however, let's hope he doesn't get roped into trying to challenge Tyson in the ring.
[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]