Mike Tyson Was Not Excited About UFC President Dana White Getting Him On Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’

Mike Tyson has always been a major draw when it comes to TV. The former heavyweight champion boxer often attracted millions of viewers to his pay-per-view matches in his heyday, but nowadays he finds other ways to keep himself busy. 

Last year, he made his return to boxing when he took on Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition match. Even though the match ended in a draw, many viewers were impressed by Tyson’s performance. However, one of his good friends, UFC President Dana White, was not excited to hear he was getting back into the ring.

In fact, White was so worried about Tyson that he managed to get the boxer his own show during Discovery Channel’s 2020 Shark Week programming. Unfortunately for Tyson, he got really seasick on the day of the shoot and was extremely scared of getting in the water with sharks. 

UFC President Dana White didn’t want Mike Tyson to fight Roy Jones Jr. 

Mike Tyson poses on the red carpet during the Box Fan Expo
Mike Tyson poses on the red carpet during the Box Fan Expo | Alex Menendez/Getty Images

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White wasn’t happy when he first heard that Tyson planned on boxing Jones Jr. after so many years away from the ring. He felt like there were other ways that Tyson could make money.  

“Somebody asked me, I told them I didn’t like it,” White said on the Hotboxin’ podcast. “And then somebody asked me publicly about it at a press conference and I said, ‘Yeah, I don’t like it. Mike Tyson is super famous, there’s lots of other ways for him to make money, I don’t want to see him get punched in the head anymore, man.’” 

He got him on Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’ for some extra cash 

Thinking Tyson needed a quick payday, White pulled some strings and got him a gig on Shark Week, one of Discovery Channel’s most popular programs.  However, Tyson wasn’t excited about it. 

“So he feels sorry for me, I can make money, he gives me a job on … Shark Week,” Tyson said in the same interview. “I said, ‘Oh, he really likes me. He really cares about me.’ … Dana really cares, oh God, he really cares about my well-being. I’d rather fight a lion, now I gotta be in there with a shark? Oh, he really cares about me.” 

Mike Tyson was terrified of swimming with sharks

When the day finally came for Tyson to get in the water with the sharks, he was having second thoughts. 

“I heard the day that he actually went in to swim he was super pissed off and the whole crew was scared that day ‘cause Mike didn’t want to get in the water with the sharks,” White added.

Tyson didn’t feel too well on that day, but he eventually got over his qualms and jumped in with the sharks. 

“And then they turned the boat off and the boat started rocking, I started [heaves] … getting boat sick,” Tyson said. “Then I gotta go in the cage, getting boat sick. So I said, ‘I’d rather a shark eat me out of the cage’ … I’m getting claustrophobic in the cage, I’m dying, I’m throwing up like a dog.”