Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.
Tyson vs Jones.jpg
DateNovember 28, 2020
VenueStaples Center
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Title(s) on the lineWBC Frontline Battle Belt
Tale of the tape
Boxer United States Mike Tyson United States Roy Jones Jr.
Nickname "Iron" "Junior"
Hometown New York City, U.S. Pensacola, Florida, U.S.
Pre-fight record 50–6 (44 KOs) 66–9 (47 KOs)
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm) 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 220.4 lb (100 kg) 210 lb (95 kg)
Style Orthodox Orthodox
Recognition Former undisputed heavyweight champion Former IBF middleweight, IBF super middleweight, undisputed light heavyweight, and WBA heavyweight champion
Result
Draw

Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. was an exhibition boxing match contested between former undisputed heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson and former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. The bout took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 28, 2020, and was officially sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). The result was a draw.

Background

Mike Tyson

In September 2006, a year after his retirement, Tyson announced that he would embark on a world tour of exhibition fights billed as "Mike Tyson's World Tour" in a bid to overcome the debt he was in at the time. His first bout lasted for four rounds and took place at the Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, on October 20, 2006,[1] against former professional boxer and Tyson's sparring partner Corey Sanders.[a] With 6,000 fans in attendance, the fight failed to live up to expectations and saw the crowd often booing with displeasure.[2] This would be the only exhibition fight of the tour to take place.[3]

Tyson first mentioned the idea of returning to exhibition fights in a YouTube interview with rapper T.I. in April 2020, saying, "I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff."[4] He further teased a potential return to the ring a few weeks later, posting two short videos online of himself training on his Instagram account, and declaring "I'm back" at the end of the second video. Later that month, he said during a Facebook live stream, "Anything's possible. I feel unstoppable now. The gods of war have reawakened me, ignited my ego, and want me to go to war again. I feel like I'm [young] again."[5]

Roy Jones Jr.

Jones' last bout of his 29-year-long career took place on February 8, 2018, in which he defeated Scott Sigmon via unanimous decision at the Bay Center In Pensacola, Florida. Jones announced his retirement after the bout, but left the door open for a return against UFC fighter Anderson Silva, saying, "Dana, I know you're listening. I know Anderson's suspended. But that's the only other fight Roy Jones will return to the ring for. Other than that, chapter's closed."[6]

Offers

Following his Instagram videos and Facebook live stream, Tyson was contacted by Australian boxing promoter Brian Amatruda with an offer of $1 million to face one of three boxers in an exhibition fight: former Australian rules football player Barry Hall, former rugby league player Paul Gallen, or former rugby league player Sonny Bill Williams.[7] According to celebrity agent Max Markson, who was acting as the middleman between Amatruda and Tyson's team, "Mike read the story in the Daily Mail that he would be fighting a rugby player. He has said he would not do that as it would be an insult to boxing. He says if he does get back into the ring, it will be with a real boxer."[8]

Other offers came from Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) president David Feldman for $20 million to fight an opponent of Tyson's choosing, providing that opponent be under contract with the BKFC,[9] and from Boston Boxing Promotions president Peter Czymor for $1.1 million to face former opponent Peter McNeeley, whom Tyson had previously defeated by disqualification in 1995.[10]

Six days after Tyson posted his training videos, Evander Holyfield posted his own video with the caption: "Are you ready? The moment you've all been waiting for... The Champ is back." In an interview with BoxingScene.com, Holyfield expressed his desire to face Tyson in the ring, saying, "I've already done what I wanted to do in my career, and have been the best that I could be. If it wasn't for charity, I wouldn't fight Tyson, I don't look at it as being a winner in this fight. This is a charity event helping our foundations. The thing is knowing what you're doing it for."[3]

Signed deal between Tyson and Jones

After two months of negotiations between Tyson and Holyfield failed to finalize a deal, it was announced on July 23 that Jones had signed a contract to face Tyson, with the exhibition initially scheduled to take place on September 12 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, alongside other boxers appearing on the undercard.[11] In August, it was announced the date had been pushed back to November 28 in order to maximize the revenue for the event.[12] At a press conference hosted by Triller on October 29, it was announced that the fight would take place at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.[13] The event was officially sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). Both fighters were required to submit CSAC medical tests for fighters over 40, and the referee was under specific instructions to stop the match if it goes beyond "the boundaries of a competitive boxing exhibition".[14] The rules for the fight included eight two-minute rounds as well as 12 oz gloves, as opposed to the more traditional 10 oz gloves worn in heavyweight boxing matches.[15]

Scorecard

The fight was a split draw and the three judges scored the fight as follows: Chad Dawson (76-76 draw), Christy Martin (79-73 for Tyson), and Vinny Pazienza (76-80 for Jones).[16]

Undercard

Entertainer Jake Paul faced former NBA player Nate Robinson in the Co-Main Event. For the first round, Paul forced the action, with Robinson often running to Paul and engaging a clinch. Robinson was dropped late in the first round, and subsequently appeared disoriented in the ring and in his corner. In the second round, he continued to rush forward and was dropped twice by Paul, with the second causing Robinson to fall face first to the canvas, unconscious. Paul was declared the winner by KO at 1:24 of the second round. In his post-fight interviews, he proceeded to call out Mixed Martial Arts fighters Conor McGregor and Dillon Danis.[17]

Opening the Main Card, Badou Jack faced undefeated fighter Blake McKernan. Jack controlled the fight, winning 80-70 on all three judges scorecards. McKernan received praise for his toughness and ability to withstand Jack's punishment.[18]

Fight card

Weight Class vs. Method Round Time Notes
Heavyweight United States Mike Tyson vs. United States Roy Jones Jr. SD 8 Note 1
Cruiserweight United States Jake Paul def. United States Nate Robinson KO 2 Note 2
Light heavyweight Sweden Badou Jack def. United States Blake McKernan UD 8
Undercard
Lightweight United States Jamaine Ortiz def. Uganda Sulaiman Segawa TKO 7 Note 3
Featherweight United States Edward Vasquez def. United States Irvin Gonzalez Jr. SD 8 Note 4

[19]

^Note 1 Exhibition fight
^Note 2 Robinson's professional debut
^Note 3 For WBC-USNBC Silver lightweight title
^Note 4 For WBC-USNBC featherweight title

Post-Fight

The fight was noted on social media for the commentary provided by rapper Snoop Dogg, who some pundits described as having "won" the night through his colorful commentary and reactions.[20] At one point Snoop described Tyson and Jones as "like two of my uncles fighting at the barbecue"; he also began singing a hymn during the undercard fight between Jake Paul and Nate Robinson, when an overwhelmed Robinson began stumbling in the ring.[20]

The fight was also very successful on PPV, surpassing expectations, with the PPV getting 1.2 million buys, making the Tyson/Jones PPV the second-largest PPV event of 2020, only behind UFC 251.

Notes

  1. ^ Not to be confused with the South African former world heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders.

References

  1. ^ Rafael, Dan (September 28, 2006). "Cash-strapped Tyson announces exhibition tour". ESPN. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  2. ^ Rozenberg, Sammy (October 21, 2006). "Tyson Happy With Exhibition, Fans Are Not". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Akopyan, Manouk (May 8, 2020). "Evander Holyfield Wants To Fight Mike Tyson In Exhibition For Charity". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Dawson, Alan (April 25, 2020). "Mike Tyson wants to return to the ring and 'box some exhibitions'". Insider. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  5. ^ Allen, Kim (May 12, 2020). "Mike Tyson prepares for potential return to boxing ring, releasing a training video that says 'I'm Back'". CNN. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Kerai, Husmukh (February 9, 2018). "Roy Jones Jr ends career with win over Scott Sigmon; but issues challenge for 'only other fight' he wants". Sky Sports. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  7. ^ "Mike Tyson Has Offer of $1 Million For Exhibition Against Gallen, Williams or Hall". BoxingScene.com. May 6, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  8. ^ "Mike Tyson Views SBW Fight as "Insult To Boxing" - Wants Real Boxer". BoxingScene.com. May 10, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "Mike Tyson Offered $20 Million By Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship". BoxingScene.com. May 7, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  10. ^ "Mike Tyson Offered $1.1 Million For Peter McNeeley Rematch". BoxingScene.com. May 29, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Kim, Steve (July 23, 2020). "Tyson-Jones Jr. exhibition match set for Sept. 12". ESPN. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  12. ^ Brookhouse, Brent (August 11, 2020). "Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition fight delayed to Nov. 28, new undercard bouts announced". CBS Sports. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  13. ^ "Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., We're Gonna Try and Kill Each Other, Period". TMZ. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  14. ^ Dielhenn, James (August 10, 2020). "Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr exhibition bout postponed, according to reports in the US". Sky Sports. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  15. ^ "Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. Odds: A Boxing Betting Breakdown". Odds Shark. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Greer, Jordan (November 28, 2020). "Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight results: Boxing exhibition ends in unofficial draw". Sporting News. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  17. ^ "Jake Paul annihilates Nate Robinson in two rounds, calls out Conor McGregor and Dillon Danis". MMA Fighting. December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  18. ^ "Badou Jack Shuts Out Blake McKernan on Tyson-Jones Card". Boxing Junkie. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  19. ^ Jesse Holland (November 26, 2020). "Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. fight card, full lineup for Nov. 28 boxing PPV in Los Angeles". mmamania.com.
  20. ^ a b Parker, Ryan (November 28, 2020). "Mike Tyson And Roy Jones Jr. Boxed — But Snoop Dogg's Commentary Won The Fight". The Hollywood Reporter.

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