Mike Tyson Says Psychedelics Inspired Boxing Return

Mike Tyson is getting back into the ring, all as a result of one of the world's most powerful psychedelics. Ahead of his return match against Roy Jones Jr. Saturday night, Tyson revealed he was inspired to return after taking toad venom. Speaking with USA Today, the boxing legend said the venom — called 5-MeO-DMT (and extremely potent) by professionals — is what convinced him to get back into shape.

“I took the medicine and the medicine told me to get into shape,’’ Tyson told the paper. “It really blew my mind. It told me to come back and start getting in shape.’’

Saturday's fight between Tyson and Jones is the former's first in 15 years. He last boxed professionally on June 11, 2005 against Kevin McBride. Though it's sanctioned by the California State Athletic Association, the Tyson and Jones bout is an exhibition and will have slightly altered rules compared to those sanctioned by boxing's governing bodies.

“He’s been out 15 years and he knows what it’s like to miss boxing,” Jones said of his opponent in the same interview. “He realizes what he had and he’s seeking to get that back now. … Now he has a desire to want to come out and be who he once was and do what he could once do.”

The Addiction Center released a report on "toad venom" in 2019, calling it a "trendy new psychedelic" comparable to the likes of ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, and mescaline.

"It’s such an intense experience that, in most cases, doing it at a party isn’t safe, Johns Hopkins University professor Alan K. Davis said in the report. "It’s not a recreational drug. If people get dosed too high, they can ‘white out’ and disassociate from their mind and body."


The main card of the Tyson/Jones Jr. fight begins at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Saturday night.

Cover photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images