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Mike Tyson Doesn't Seem to Know Nintendo's License to Use His Name in Punch-Out!! Expired in 1990

Knock out.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Once upon a time, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! released in western territories, touting the famous boxer's name. Then the World Heavyweight Champion, Tyson's name in the title and likeness as the final boss in the 1987 NES game gave it clout. Then Nintendo's license to use Tyson's name expired, and for future releases of the NES game, the character was removed and replaced with a new character named Mr. Dream.

Cover image for YouTube videoNintendo Entertainment System - April Game Updates - Nintendo Switch Online

But everyone knows the truth. Mr. Dream should be Mr. Mike Tyson. Tyson, on Twitter today, seemingly wasn't aware of the licensing lapse. As a result, he took aim at Nintendo for its new re-release of Punch-Out!! on its Nintendo Switch Online service. "Heard @Nintendo was doing the new “Punch Out” without even contacting me. it wont be the same. my knockouts made the game. thats whack. [sic]," he writes in one tweet. In another tweet, he calls upon his followers to tweet at Nintendo of America about the grievance.

Nintendo's license expired in 1990, meaning it's been 29 years of Tyson remaining blissfully unaware of his name and likeness being stripped from Punch-Out!!. Hell, if I were living in the same blissful ignorance, I'd probably be upset too when I found out! Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! may not live on in its "true" form in Nintendo Switch Online's classics library, but it at least lives on in our hearts. And apparently, Tyson's too.

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Caty McCarthy


Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. Her work finds its way to VG247 via her time as USgamer's Senior Editor.