By Norm Clarke
Mike Tyson isn’t buying into the hype of a superfight between unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC sensation Conor McGregor.
“I’ll believe it when they sign the contract. I don’t think it’s going to happen,” the former heavyweight champion said during an appearance Saturday at the Field of Dreams memorabilia store at the Forum Shops at Caesars.
But if it happens, Tyson doesn’t see McGregor, who started his career as a boxer, agreeing to a boxing-only format. That would favor a skilled boxer over a mixed martial arts champion, he said.
“I don’t think McGregor would want to get into a boxing match with him,” Tyson added.
Asked if he would have fought a top MMA fighter, with leg kicks allowed, Tyson said only if it was early in his career “and I was getting trained by somebody like the great Royce Gracie.”
Tyson was lined up to serve as the trainer for singer Chris Brown in his grudge match against rapper Soulja Boy. Mayweather was going to train Soulja Boy. Brown pulled out last week, without informing Tyson.
Soulja Boy took to social media to call out Brown in a video and vowed to “slap the (expletive)” out of him the next time their paths cross.
The beef reportedly originated with Brown making a threatening telephone call to Soulja Boy after the latter “liked” an Instagram of Brown’s ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran.
Brown posted his withdrawal statement on Tuesday, saying “all the wrong people got in the way, the middle man people got in the wrong way. The ‘homies,’ so to speak, got in the way because they wanted a piece of the pie.”
Tyson has been busy making movies in China the last few years. “I play an anti-hero,” he said.
When he’s not traveling abroad, he’s a tennis dad. His eight-year-old daughter, Milan, has been attending the No Quit Tennis Academy in Las Vegas, a training camp in Orlando and major tournaments. She has met Serena Williams.
Kimmel, Damon ‘feud’ in the wings
Jimmy Kimmel stands on the biggest stage Sunday night. Matt Damon beware. Expect shenanigans to ensue when their long-running “feud” likely plays out in front of an Oscar Night crowd.
Kimmel is hosting the Academy Awards for the first time. That means Damon, as a producer of “Manchester by the Sea,” might wish to prepare for a wave of zingers.
Kimmel struck again during rehearsals on Friday, when he defaced a headshot on a chair reserved for Damon on Sunday. All of Damon’s teeth were blacked out, except for one in the middle. Kimmel added elf ears to the Instagram and the words “Best Picture Nominee Matt Damon #Oscars.”
Damon took the abuse for years before doing a music video with Sarah Silverman, Kimmel’s girlfriend at the time. The payback video, which suggested Silverman and Damon were more than friends, went viral.
The hilarious back and forth has continued. The world awaits Kimmel’s next devious move.
Comcast part of new arena deal
More on that proposed $5 billion project I mentioned here Friday that includes a 22,000-seat arena and a Marriott hotel at the former Wet n’ Wild site.
There are two other key components: Comcast, the media, entertainment and communications giant, has reportedly committed to putting 200 events in the arena and there are plans to complete the Fountainebleau, which was purchased out of bankruptcy by billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn in 2010.
Construction on the planned $3 billion, 730-foot hotel-condominium tower began in 2007 and halted when the Great Recession hit. It has 3,875 hotel rooms and condominiums.
Icahn bought it for $150 million and reportedly had a buyer for $650 million. About $2 billion was spent before the plug was pulled.
The new project, which sits on 27 acres between the Fountainebleau and SLS, would be completed by late 2019.
On this day …
February 26, 1990: Cornelius Gunter, a key member of the doo-wop group The Coasters, is shot to death in his car in Las Vegas. Three years earlier the group, whose hits included “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown,” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The killer is never found.
Amid trade rumors, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo partied at Surrender nightclub at the Wynn with a dozen pals on Friday night...
Los Angeles Chargers running back Ronnie Hillman at a VIP table (Venetian) on Thursday.
The punch line
“A new report projects that by 2020 the legal marijuana industry will create more than a quarter of a million jobs for people to be late to.” – Late-night host Seth Meyers.