Mike Tyson is back in the boxing business. The legendary fighter is now a partner in a boxing promotion that was rebranded as Iron Mike Productions just a few months back. The concept is the exact same as Oscar De La Hoya‘s Golden Boy Promotions, where the organization recruits boxers to fight for it. Just like any other sport, young talent is heavily scouted and in some cases encouraged to join the promotion.
Iron Mike Productions made headlines this week by signing arguably the top amateur prospect in the US, Erickson Lubin (152). USA Boxing is not happy about it, because they felt Lubin was America’s most likely boxer to win a gold medal at the upcoming Rio Olympics in 2016. Now that Lubin has signed on to become a pro, he’s of course ineligible for the Olympics.
Tyson’s company signed Lubin on his 18th birthday, right after USA Boxing had wrote a letter to the former champ asking him to stay away from amateur fighters. Iron Mike has now responded to USA boxing:
“No one knows better than I the pitfalls of amateur and professional boxing. This is precisely why I am compelled to make Iron Mike Productions a transparent company. Our priority is the well-being of our fighters and to produce the most exciting fights we can and in the process uplift the sport of boxing.”
Some will argue that Lubin would have been better off trying to win a gold medal and then turning pro. Others will argue that he’s wise to turn pro now and start making money. Tyson turned pro at 18 and there’s no denying how successful he was.
We’ll have to wait and see how things turn out for Lubin and Iron Mike Productions, but I’m hoping for the best. Boxing needs more stars in the worst way.