Former boxing world champion Mike Tyson has taken a jab at Nintendo for being excluded from Punch-Out!! on Switch. Tyson famously starred as the final boss in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for the NES.
Although Punch-Out!! previously existed in arcades and on the Game & Watch handheld in the mid '80s, most people tend to remember the 1987 NES version the best. The boxing title puts players in the boots of underdog fighter Little Mac as they square off against a wacky roster of opponents. The game culminates in a final bout against Mike Tyson, a showdown that’s still considered one of the most difficult boss fights in video games (although this long-hidden trick might help). When Nintendo lost the license to the boxer’s name and likeness, the game was re-released in 1990 as simply Punch-Out!!. That version sees Tyson’s character model replaced with fictional boxer Mr. Dream. Outside of the aborted pseudo sequel Mike Tyson’s Intergalactic Power Punch, Iron Mike hasn’t appeared in a Punch-Out!! game since.
Perhaps Mike has caught the gaming itch again. Today he tweeted his displeasure over getting shafted from appearing in what he describes as “the new Punch-Out.” The problem with his tweet is that, if taken literally, Nintendo hasn’t actually announced a new Punch-Out!! game, so one could only assume that Tyson is referring to the recent news that Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream is heading to Nintendo Switch Online’s NES catalog. If not that, then maybe Mike has some insight about Nintendo’s upcoming portfolio that the rest of us don’t. Check out the tweet below:
heard @Nintendo was doing the new “Punch Out” without even contacting me. it wont be the same. my knockouts made the game. thats whack.— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) April 4, 2019
It's worth noting that Tyson only appeared in the 1987 version of the game, meaning that Punch-Out!! did, in fact, exist before his inclusion. Regardless, it’s a bit hard to tell if Mike is merely joking or is sincerely miffed. He seemingly didn’t have a problem missing out on Super Punch-Out!! for Super Nintendo or the 2009 Punch-Out!! for Wii. As the gaming world waits for answers, Nintendo Switch owners can look forward to playing the Tyson-less version of Punch-Out!!, along with Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels, and Star Soldier on April 10.
It’ll be interesting to see if Mike decides to elaborate on his gripe or if Nintendo offers any sort of response. A fun, though improbable outcome would be if the company worked out a new deal with Tyson to re-release the original Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! on Switch. At the very least, a stretchy-armed Tyson appearing in an Arms sequel would probably be welcomed with open... arms.
Source: Mike Tyson