Actor Jamie Foxx confirms Tyson biopic

By Pete Reilly Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/27 0:58:40

Mike Tyson Photo: VCG

US actor Jamie Foxx got his fans excited recently when he showed off his swollen physique ahead of playing boxer Mike Tyson in an upcoming biopic of the controversial fighter.

"The transformation begins ... 'FINDING MIKE,'" the 52-year-old Foxx captioned his post on Instagram

"It is no secret that I have been pursuing the @miketyson biopic for some time ... People always ask me when is it going to happen?... things have finally lined up…"

The timing could not be better as Tyson has been making headlines on the back of talk of a possible return to the ring, which would make the film's title Fighting Mike even more apt.

Tyson told the rapper TI in a podcast interview that he was in training for a comeback, at the age of 53.

"I've been hitting the mitts for the last week. That's been tough, my body is really jacked up and really sore from hitting the mitts. I've been working out, I've been trying to get in the ring, I think I'm going to box some exhibitions and get in shape," he said.

"I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three- or four-round exhibitions for some exhibitions for some charities and stuff. Some charity exhibitions, make some money, help some homeless and drug-affected motherf*cker like me."

Tyson has since gone further, calling out UFC fighter Jon "Bones" Jones for a supergfight.

"Listen to this, UFC is more popular than boxing, right? Higher ratings, right? But a UFC fighter will never be richer than a first-class fighter," Tyson told Charlie Mack on another Instagram Live interview, referencing Jones' complaints over pay for fighters in the UFC. "To make a $100 million, Conor McGregor had to fight Floyd Mayweather. Jon Jones got to fight me if he wants to make some super money."

Change the body

Foxx is clear that his own hard work is only just starting as he has to try to get into the same shape as Tyson, who was once described as "the baddest man on the planet."

The actor, 52, explained the work he is putting in to change his body. "The first but biggest task is to transform the body ... with a regiment of pull-ups dips and push-ups we are off to a pretty good start."

Foxx confirmed the film was happening before sharing the pictures on his Instagram account. 

"It's a definitive yes," Foxx told producer Mark Birnbaum on Instagram Live. "Doing biographies is a tough thing. Sometimes it takes 20 years to get it done but we officially got the real ball rolling," he said. 

This is not the first boxing biopic to get fight fans into a frenzy, and it is not even the first on the life and times of "Iron Mike."

The first of them was Tyson in 1995, which starred a young Michael Jai White as the New York fighter and covered his life from the early formative days in Brooklyn to his conviction of rape in 1992 and release from jail in 1995, when he announced his first comeback. Much has happened in the intervening years, as Foxx intimated to Birnbaum.

"I saw him at the height of his career, and then when things got bad and bumpy I also saw him as well. So what I'm excited about the movie is to show those moments," he added. "I think everyone, young and old, will be able to understand this man's journey."

Holyfield's ear

Aside from the rape conviction, Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and was also arrested for cocaine possession and driving under the influence in 2007.

In the ring it has not necessarily been much smoother for the former superstar. In 1996, he made his comeback and a return to the very top of the sport, winning the WBC and WBA titles with victories over Britain's Frank Bruno and US' Bruce Seldon.

That feat put Tyson in illustrious company, joining an elite few in having regained the heavyweight title after losing it. Among them are Floyd Patteson, Tim Witherspoon, George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield.

It was the last of those men that would prove Tyson's undoing. First he lost the WBA title to Holyfield with an 11th-round stoppage before the rematch in 1997 would make headlines around the world.

That was the fight where Tyson famously bit off some off Holyfield's ear during the clinch and was disqualified.

It did not end Tyson's career but added fuel to the fire for his critics - and there have been many over the years.

Still, at the age of 35 in 2002 he would find himself fighting Britain's Lennox Lewis for a chance to win the world heavyweight title once again. It was not to be, with the former Olympic gold winner winning by knockout over Tyson.

It would be four years before he would retire from the ring again, with the decision coming on the back of two embarrassing knockouts in consecutive fights - worse still they came against journeymen fighters Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. It was not meant to end like this.

And so it didn't. Tyson was back that year in exhibition bouts to try and earn some money. It has been estimated that he amassed and lost more than 300 million in the course of his career.

Despite branding himself a "failure" for that, Tyson has something of a latter-day renaissance in the last decade or so. He played a version of himself in the comedy film The Hangover in 2009 and has been seen on film and television since.

Foxx will soon bring him back to the big screen once more, perhaps introducing a new generation to one of the most fearsome boxers in the history of the fight game. There's certainly enough source material - and that is before whatever this latest comeback becomes.
Newspaper headline: On the Mike

Posted in: BOXING

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