Later today Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. step into the ring together.
That was something I never thought I would say, or type. Even though it’s just an eight-round exhibition, the fight carries a certain cache because of the names involved.
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Tyson and Jones Jr. are two legends of the sport.
But it is an exhibition fight, not your normal run-of-the-mill boxing match. So headgear, larger gloves, shorter rounds, no attempting to knock out the other fighter, correct?
The original rules stated the fight was to be eight two-minute rounds with 16-ounce gloves, headgear, and neither man attempt a knockout.
However, the rules, at Tyson’s urging, have been adjusted.
The fight will still consist of eight two-minute rounds, but the gloves will now be 12 ounces, neither man is required to wear headgear and, if they so choose, a knockout can be attempted.
For those keeping track at home, all of the rule adjustments benefit Iron Mike.
As for what could happen in the fight?
This could be a ho-hum snooze fest or, more likely, it will be a complete shit-show. I know Tyson has changed himself for the better later in his life, but the crazy is there. It’s always going to be there. What happens the first time Jones Jr. hits Tyson in the face?
My guess is Tyson reverts to the savage of his younger years when he destroyed the heavyweight division.
I’m not insinuating that either man will look sharp, but both men have fighting in their blood. It’s all they’ve known since they were kids. Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. are lifers. They have expressed multiple times how “done” they are with the sport, but… here we are.
The fact that Mike Tyson is even alive at age 54 is astonishing.
What I Think Will Happen
Iron Mike will come out like a god damn shark and I assume sporting his peek-a-boo style.
Jones Jr. will have his hands down, as is his common stance.
Part of me wants to believe that this will be handled like a true exhibition, but a small part of me finds it hard to overlook Tyson’s innate ability to turn something normal into something outrageous.
Ultimately, I see the first couple rounds being something to watch with both men trying to show off that they have been training, are in shape, and can still bring it.
For the rest of the bout, I expect both men to spar. I realize that sounds underwhelming, but Tyson is 54-years-old and hasn’t been in the ring since his loss to Kevin McBride in 2005. While Jones Jr. did fight last in 2018, he is 51-years-old and is what one might call “long in the tooth.”
Personally, I really hope Tyson snaps. I mean, the man recently ate the ear off of a Roy Jones Jr cake.
“Tastes so much better than Evander’s,” said Tyson about Jones Jr.’s cake ear in a video posted to his channel on Youtube.
The crazy is there. It will always be there.