“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
- Mike Tyson
If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a good deal of time pondering the great mysteries of life, like, “Are hot dogs a form of sandwich?”, “Do giraffes wear their ties under their chin or at the base of their neck?”, and “Who would win in a fight: Mike Tyson or a shark”? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night. Luckily, the good folks at Discovery Channel are about to put one of those questions to bed for good!
That’s right, amigos — Shark Week is back for the 20th time and our friends at Discovery Channel are pulling out all the stops this year! Tune into Discovery between Sunday, August 9 and Sunday, Aug. 16 to catch incredible specials featuring celebrities like Will Smith, Shaq, and Adam Devine; a celebration of the classic Discovery Channel documentary Air Jaws; and a look at how the COVID crisis is affecting sharks.
As cool as those all seem, the piece de resistance of Shark Week 2020 this year features legendary boxer “Iron” Mike Tyson fighting a shark in Tyson vs Jaws: Rumble on the Reef! No, I’m not kidding (I would never joke about such a serious matter); It’s in the email I got from Discovery Channel giving your intrepid Shark Enthusiast the low down on what to expect this year. I wonder if the freakin’ shark will have a freakin’ laser beam attached to its freakin’ head.
Seeing as how we are only days away from Rumble on the Reef, I figured the proper thing is to put my hours of thoughtful contemplation to use and break down this epic battle of Man vs. Beast.
|“Iron” Mike Tyson||The Shark|
|Species: Human||Species: Blacktip Reef Shark|
|Age: 54||Lifespan: 13 years|
|Height: 5’10”||Length: 5’3” (1.6 meters)|
|Weight: 240 lbs||Weight: 30 lbs|
|Reach: 71”||Teeth: 44 - 56|
|Habitat: Las Vegas||Habitat: Indo-Pacific Coral Reefs|
|Record: 50-6 (44 KOs)||Record: 0-0|
As we can see, “Iron” Mike holds a devastating advantage in several categories. He is 7 inches taller, weighs 8x more, has a much longer reach than the shark, and has vastly more professional fighting experience. To be fair, the shark has never lost a fight and has more teeth than Tyson, but that may not be enough to overcome his myriad other disadvantages.
Tyson is known for his unique style of boxing called “Peek-A-Boo”. Basically, he would duck, bob, and weave underneath his opponent’s punches, then use his legs to rise up and deliver a devastating punch. He was known as a ferocious and aggressive boxer who was without fear in the ring and took the fight straight to his opponent. Over the years, Tyson used this fighting style to great effect on both humans and tigers.
Blacktip Reef Sharks are described by various internet sources as being “timid and skittish,” easily frightened,” and “generally not posing a threat to humans.” I gotta say, that attitude is just not going to cut it against the former Heavyweight Champ. According to the International Shark Attack File, Blacktip Reef Sharks have bitten humans 11 times since 1959. That’s ten more times than Tyson has bitten a human in the same timeframe, but will it be enough to counter the impetuous style and impregnable defense of The Baddest Man on the Planet?
Discovery Channel has kept pretty mum about the details of the venue, but they have mentioned that it will be underwater. Why? Is the shark afraid to step into the ring with Tyson and fight him straight up? Frankly, there may be some behind-the-scenes shark politics at work here, as this feels a bit like the bigwigs at Discovery pressing their finger on the scale to even the odds for the shark. Mike Tyson does have a swimming pool at his mansion outside Las Vegas, but the shark has probably spent more time in the water than Mike.
After scientifically analyzing the metrics surrounding our two combatants, I think we can safely predict the outcome of this fight. Tyson holds the advantage in height, weight, reach, fighting experience, and ferocity. The shark has a great advantage insofar as the fight is being held underwater, but that won’t be enough to take out the champ. Blacktip Reef Sharks are considered a “near-threatened” species due to overfishing and the destruction of their natural habitat, but I think this particular shark is on the endangered list.
Prediction: Tyson wins by TKO
Tyson vs Jaws: Rumble on the Reef airs Sunday, Aug. 9 at 9pm ET on Discovery. Check out the full Shark Week 2020 schedule below.
Air Jaws: Ultimate Breach Off – Sunday, August 9 at 8PM ET (Note: All descriptions courtesy of Discovery)
Three teams of researchers return to one of the last hunting grounds for AIR JAWS. They will use decoys, drones, and underwater cameras to count the number of breaches and collect data on hunting techniques to see if the shark population is rebounding. Produced by Shark Entertainment.
Tyson vs. Jaws: Rumble on the Reef – Sunday, August 9 at 9PM ET
Legendary boxer and entrepreneur Mike Tyson is taking on a new challenge…and he picked the most unlikely training partner. Iron Mike will go head to head with some of the ocean's top apex predators including the black tip reef shark in TYSON VS. JAWS: RUMBLE ON THE REEF. With famed ring announcer Michael Buffer calling the shots, these two heavyweights will square off underwater, where Mike Tyson will try to score a TKO over the massive shark… all in the name of research. And don’t worry, no sharks were harmed (or bitten) in the making of this episode. Produced by Pilgrim Media Group.
Shark Lockdown – Sunday, August 9 at 10PM ET
In the waters off New Zealand, the largest female great whites are measuring over 20ft long, earning the nickname “the 747s.” With no human interaction during COVID-19, researchers built a self-propelled cage to see how hunting patterns have changed. Produced by Lucky 8.
Abandoned Waters – Monday, August 10 at 8PM ET
COVID-19 has changed the world’s behavior and that has presented shark researchers with a once in a lifetime opportunity to study the massive great whites at Australia’s Neptune Islands. With no human interaction for the first time in decades, some of the biggest great white sharks on earth are returning to their natural behaviors…allowing scientists to study them up close and personal in ways that were nearly impossible before. Produced by Stephen David Entertainment.
ShaqAttack – Monday, August 10 at 9PM ET
After surviving a shark encounter in Shaq Does Shark Week, Shaquille O’Neal is back…and now he’s on a mission to determine what shark has the perfect predatory attack. But he can’t do it alone. Shaq is deploying YouTube stars Dude Perfect and Mark Rober to put various species to the test and uncover the most mind-blowing hunting techniques of this ultimate predator. Produced by Will Packer, Will Packer Media and Anomaly Entertainment.
Jaws Awakens – Monday, August 10 at 10PM ET
Shark expert Chris Fallows joins Jeff Kurr and Dickie Chivell to search for the largest male great white shark in the world. Together, Chris, Jeff and Dickie explore the waters of New Zealand trying to find a nearly 20-foot long, two-ton shark named Fred. Produced by Anomaly Entertainment in association with Shark Entertainment.
Extinct or Alive: Land of the Lost Sharks – Tuesday, August 11 at 8PM ET
Wildlife biologist and conservationist Forrest Galante dives into some of the most treacherous, shark-infested waters in the southern hemisphere all in an attempt to rediscover three unique sharks lost to science for as long as 100 years. Produced by Hot Snakes Media.
Will Smith: Off The Deep End – Airing Tuesday, August 11 at 9PM ET
Will Smith is diving headfirst into action, excitement, and shark infested waters, as he confronts his fear of the open seas and the open jaws of nature’s fiercest predators. Produced by Westbrook Media.
Great White Serial Killer Extinction – Tuesday, August 11 at 10PM ET
The Great White Serial Killer returns and it's on a killing spree that may push the California Sea Otter to extinction. Investigators deploy an otter dummy to get a closer look and witness one of the most spectacular attacks in Shark Week history. Produced by Shark Entertainment.
Monster Under the Bridge – Wednesday, August 12 at 8PM ET
Scientists believe that monster sharks make their home under the Old Seven Mile Bridge. Fishermen claim that one of the sharks is an 18-foot-long, one-ton great hammerhead named Big Moe. If this is true, he will be the largest hammerhead on the planet. Produced by Hazmat Productions.
Adam Devine’s Secret Shark Lair – Wednesday, August 12 at 9PM ET
Last year, Adam Devine and a team of marine biologists deployed a CATS camera tag on a massive tiger shark that yielded a surprising scientiﬁc discovery; a SECRET TIGER SHARK LAIR. Scientists believe this may be the largest congregation of tiger sharks on the planet or in Adam's mind, the ultimate shark party! Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson find out what makes this tiger shark party so epic. Are they mating? Are they pupping? Are they feeding? What makes this such a great shark party? Produced by Hazmat Productions and Content Group.
Great White Double Trouble – Wednesday, August 12 at 10PM ET
Australia is in the midst of a rising wave of shark attacks, with great whites leading the way. And scientists have just discovered that Aussies are facing not one population of great whites, but two and researchers want to know who rules the waters. Produced by Beyond Entertainment.
Air Jaws 2020 – Thursday, August 13 at 8PM ET
Shark Week celebrates 20 years of flying sharks with Jeff Kurr, Chris Fallows, Dickie Chivell and many more as they revisit the most popular and iconic "Air Jaws" moments. Produced by Shark Entertainment.
Sharkadelic Summer – Thursday, August 13 at 9PM ET
Snoop Dogg takes a look at why Great White Sharks are taking up residence along America's shores. Will this be the "sharkiest" summer in US history? In this special, Snoop will breakdown the craziest shark encounters caught on tape, marvel at the wild and unpredictable reactions, and meet with the leading experts who are trying to unlock the secrets behind this great white shark invasion. Produced by Anomaly Entertainment.
Mako Nation – Thursday, August 13 at 10PM ET
Shark expert Riley Elliot and underwater cameraman Andy Casagrande are on an epic expedition to uncover the mysteries of the mako shark in one of the last places on earth where these apex predators rule the waters. Produced by Radley Studios.
Alien Sharks: First Contact – Friday, August 14 at 8PM ET
Mysterious & bizarre alien sharks lurk far beneath the waves in remarkably deep waters where researchers are on a quest to make first contact. Pursuing the elusive frilled shark, sleeper shark and cookie cutter shark bring even more unexpected encounters. Produced by Future Legend Films.
Lair of the Great White – Friday, August 14 at 9PM ET
A team of experts attempt to find out why a population of great whites off the coast of Western Australia is so much more aggressive than others. The team must brave the elements and venture into treacherous underwater caves to find out for themselves. Produced by TaleSmith Ltd.
Tiger Shark King – Friday, August 14 at 10PM ET
In the Caribbean, a deepsea camera captured footage of a 14-foot tiger shark suffering an assault by a large, unseen beast. It could be an unknown species of mega-shark or even a cannibalistic tiger shark. Dr. Austin Gallagher wants to find out. Produced by Anomaly Entertainment.
I Was Prey Shark Week 2 – Friday, August 14 at 11PM ET
Two adventure seekers recount their horrifying shark attack experiences. Off the coast of Australia, a spearfishing expedition turns into a nightmare featuring a ferocious bull shark and a great white attacks a paddle boarder on Ascension Island. Produced by Hit + Run.
Sharks of Ghost Island – Saturday, August 15 at 8PM ET
On the edge of the Bermuda Triangle lies Ghost Island, a place locals have abandoned after multiple shipwrecks and shark attacks. Dr. Craig O'Connell has been here before to study the potential shark hot spot, but his first trip ended abruptly when his boat nearly sank. Now Craig is back with a team of experts and they are determined to find why this island attracts so many sharks, even the great white. Produced by Off the Fence Production Limited.
Wicked Sharks – Saturday, August 15 at 9PM ET
As the number of great white shark encounters on Cape Cod spikes, shark expert Dr. Greg Skomal breaks out cutting-edge tech to capture the white shark’s point-of-view – revealing exactly how and where they hunt in the summer to better protect the public. Produced by Big Wave Productions.
Sharks Gone Wild 3 – Saturday, August 15 at 10PM ET
Everything you always wanted to know about viral shark videos but were afraid to ask! Sharks Gone Wild 3 reviews everything from viral videos and the biggest news stories to the latest in cutting-edge shark science. Produced by All3Media America and Main Event Media.
I Was Prey: Terrors from the Deep – Saturday, August 15 at 11PM ET
A California surfer, a Canadian thrill-seeker, an Alabama football coach and a mother from North Carolina reveal how they each came face-to-face with the ocean's top predator and lived to tell their stories. Produced by Hit + Run.
Naked & Afraid of Sharks 2 – Sunday, August 16 at 8PM ET
On the edge of the Bermuda Triangle, five Naked and Afraid veterans -- Matt Wright, Jeff Zausch, Serena and Amber Shine, and Alex Manard – attempt to survive on a remote strip of islands whose waters are so teeming with predators, locals call it “Shark Alley.” With limited resources and punishing conditions on land, they’ll have no choice but to take to the waters and compete with hungry sharks for the same food. Produced by Renegade 83.
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