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7 May, 2020 16:01

Russian MMA fighter who ‘tried to get Covid-19’ says he ‘accepts call’ to fight Mike Tyson, after $20m BKB offer

Russian MMA fighter who ‘tried to get Covid-19’ says he ‘accepts call’ to fight Mike Tyson, after $20m BKB offer

Sergei Kharitonov, who recently said he intentionally tried to catch Covid-19, says he “accepts the call” of a potential fight with legendary boxer Mike Tyson, after the latter was offered $20m to fight in bare knuckle boxing.

The age-old saying to ‘keep your head when all about you are losing theirs’ rings particularly true during the current covid-19 pandemic. But even during these unprecedented times, when the world seems to be going crazy, it seems you can always count on the MMA world to lose its head even harder.

Enter Sergei Kharitonov. On Wednesday the Bellator heavyweight turned the world’s collective stomach by telling of his attempts to catch coronavirus by standing next to people who cough.

Also on rt.com Mike Tyson offered $20 MILLION to become baddest bare knuckle fighter on the planet with BKB ring return

On Thursday, Kharitonov turned heads by announcing he had accepted the call to face ‘the baddest man on the planet’ himself in a boxing match after receiving an offer from Russian boxing promoter Vladimir Khryunov.

“This morning I got a call from Vladimir Khryunov, who offered me a boxing match  with the legendary boxer Mike Tyson. I never dreamed of facing Tyson. In my childhood I was a fan of his and he was my idol,” Kharitonov told his 78,000 followers in a video on Instagram.

“I think that if we fight in the rules of boxing, then we will give a great fight, show great technique and gather many fans of boxing and the sprt will be even more popular in our country.

“Therefore I accept the call. Only forward! I will show you my signature move, which I will try to repeat in the fight,” he added, before completing a three-punch combo to the camera.

Promoter Khrunyov was instrumental in obtaining a Russian passport for former pound for pound number one Roy Jones Jr, who has worked extensively on boxing projects in Russia and has even opened a gym in Moscow.

On Wednesday, the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) announced they had made Tyson an offer of a guaranteed $20 million for to make a ring return minus the gloves, which would make it just $10 million short of his biggest ever career purse which he earned in the infamous ear-biting rematch against Evander Holyfield.

Also on rt.com 'I tried to get coronavirus': Russian MMA heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov says he stood near people with coughs to 'feel the virus'

Tyson's potential return to the ring 34 years after he became the youngest holder of a heavyweight championship aged 22 years 4 months and 22 days was fuelled by footage of him smashing the pads with famed MMA coach Rafael Cordeiro.

Tyson captioned the video "I’m a Bad Boy for Life" to mark the DVD release of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's latest film franchise, and may dispel any thoughts Kharitonov, who has 29 wins and 7 losses from his professional career, has about capitalising on a near 15-year age gap in his favour.


Kharitonov hit headlines this week with his extreme skepticism of the Covid-19 measures being implemented the world over in the fight against the spread of coronavirus, hailing Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko “the most adequate coronavirus expert on the planet" and reiterating his belief that cold water is a natural antidote against the virus.

The 39-year-old even admitted that on trips to Moscow, “I went to places where people cough. I wanted to try to get this coronavirus myself, to feel what it is like, what kind of virus it is.”

In his impetuous prime, Tyson was feared the world over for the bite on Holyfield, who himself announced a comeback of sorts recently. But given Kharitonov's penchant for human contact in these most perilous of times, we're sure that wouldn't worry the World Total Kombat Federation veteran.


Bare Knuckle Fight Championship have attempted to make their mark in combat sports by signing a variety of big names in the boxing world, including former world champ and Conor McGregor nemesis Paulie Malignaggi, who fought McGregor teammate Artem Lobov last year.

Tyson would represent by far the biggest name the organisation would have acquired, but follow the current tradition of signing fighters only well past their prime.

Also on rt.com Mike Tyson offered $20 MILLION to become baddest bare knuckle fighter on the planet with BKB ring return