Mike Tyson 'vulnerable to veins rupturing' as doctor details Jake Paul risk

An academic has warned that Mike Tyson may be at risk of several health risks – including veins rupturing in the brain – as he prepares for his comeback bout against Jake Paul. The 57-year-old, who has not boxed professionally since 2005, is set to take on the YouTuber-turned-fighter in Texas in July.

After hanging up his gloves following a loss versus Kevin McBride nearly two decades ago, the man known as ‘Iron Mike’ has fought just two exhibition contests – the most recent coming in 2020. However, his lack of activity in the interim years since his official retirement has not deterred the former unified world heavyweight champion from agreeing to face a man 30 years his junior.

Just 10 outings into his own career in the ring, opponent Paul has designs on potential world title belts in the future as he continues to navigate his transition from a child Disney star to a feared adversary in the ring. As such, it remains to be seen whether Tyson’s experience will triumph over the youthful vigour of his 27-year-old contender when the pair face off at AT&T Stadium in summer.

Either way, the prospect of a bout between two men of wildly contrasting ages has sparked some controversy within the boxing community as the wisdom of such a spectacle was questioned. Now, Stephen Hughes, a senior lecturer in medicine at Anglia Ruskin University, has warned that Tyson’s decision to fight Paul does not come without risks for the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’.

Writing for the Conversation, the academic has raised concerns over the damage blows to the head could do to the former WBA, WBC and IBF title holder. Conceding that any ‘immediate effects’ may be ‘minimal’, he warned that a ‘subdural haematoma’ – which is where bridging veins tear within the brain – could be a risk factor for Tyson due to his age.

He points out that any bleeding on the brain can cause all manner of effects including ‘confusion, loss of consciousness and neurological disability’ while ‘death’ is also a possibility in some cases. Moreover, any individuals who have suffered from alcohol abuse – Tyson claimed he was a ‘vicious alcoholic’ during a prior interview with ESPN’s ‘Friday Night Fights’ in 2013 – also are at risk of brain shrinkage and, therefore, ruptures due to the ‘lengthening’ of bridging veins.

With this in mind, Hughes warned that Tyson may also be at risk in this instance, as he gave an example of a boxer he once encountered who had suffered from a subdural haematoma previously. He wrote: “I recall a patient, a boxer who had previously sustained a subdural haematoma and had physical disability and terrible depression. These were devastating permanent effects.”

Hughes also brought attention to the impacts that ‘extreme exercise’ can have on the body in the cases of people in middle age such as Tyson. The doctor warned that the boxer could encounter ‘cardiac fibrosis’ (scarring of the heart muscles), if he was to over-exert himself with this putting him at risk of ‘heart failure’ and even ‘sudden death’.

Either way, it appears that the man once known as ‘Kid Dynamite’ is not holding back as he begins his comeback trail in the gym before his return versus Paul. During his first couple of days back training, the veteran fighter has already wowed fans with his combative displays during sessions – with Tyson having posted footage of his workouts on Instagram.

Speaking of his excitement ahead of the fight, former heavyweight superstar said: “I’m very much looking forward to stepping into the ring with Jake Paul. He’s grown significantly as a boxer over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to see what the will and ambition of a ‘kid’ can do with the experience and aptitude of a GOAT.”