If you are not a close follower of the martial arts world, it is most likely that you have no idea of the time Bob Sapp jumped Mike Tyson. The fight almost ended up happening, but good for the legendary boxer, it did not actually come to fruition.
Sapp might have fallen a lot in the last ten years after losing 10 successive fights in a row at one point, but he still remains a usual face in the mixed martial arts world. His last fight was against Akebono in Rinzin 2 in Saitama, Japan, where he finally won, after a few extremely unlikely first round losses.
However, this case of Sapp vs Tyson is not new. There were a few rumors back in the early 2000s of a possible fight between the two athletes.
Sapp started his career in in the K-1 kickboxing in 2002, where he lost his first fight and then went on to defeat Cyril Abidi. This was followed by TKO-ing Ernesto Hoost not once, but twice in the span of 3 months. He did finally lose KO to Mirko “Cop” Filipovic, but made a comeback with a KO victory against Kimo Leopoldo. Sapp certainly did look like he was getting into the groove after 6 kickboxing fights.
After his bout with Leopoldo, Sapp was standing in the middle of the ring and issued a public proclamation for anyone to come forward to fight him, wherein Mike Tyson did. Seeing Mike Tyson step up into the canvas was enough to get his blood boiling, and a brawl broke up, with Sapp being held back by people from his entourage. Which was just as well, since the fighters were not officially entitled to the fight, and an unofficial brawl on the sets would not have ended well. Nonetheless, if we are asked, it would have been awesome to see the 2 square off each other. A legend against a pro-MMA artist!
“I think Bob Sapp is awesome”, Tyson was heard saying, while he was standing in the ring. “He has awesome physical power. As I’ve said before, if we fight with the Marquis of Queensbury rules, I’d love to fight him….. tonight.”
The 2 athletes went on to exchange a few heated words off the mic as well. “Sign the contract,” Tyson said. “Sign the contract.”
The contract really did happen with Tyson signing up with K-1, but he was unable to get a visa for Japan because of his status as a felon.
While fans really did wait for the fight to happen, it never did come to be. What could have been a fight for the legends, sadly, never took place. Instead, Tyson suffered 2 KO losses one after the other, after which he retired.