Mike Tyson – The 54-year-old former world heavyweight champion ended 15 years of inactivity to take on 51-year-old Jones in a high-profile pay-per-view ‘exhibition’ – but fears the pair would serve up some form of money-making farce were not realised as they did enough to provide entertainment.
While rap artist Snoop Dogg said it was like watching “two of my uncles fighting at a barbecue” during his stint as a ringside commentator at the spectator-less Staples Center in Los Angeles, former world champions including David Haye, Lennox Lewis and George Foreman expressed satisfaction.
Tyson said he was happy with the draw and made clear his future pursuits would not be in a professional capacity: “This is bigger than championships, we are humanitarians, we are helping people. I’m happy I got this under my belt and I’ll continue to go further and do more.”
Jones, a former four-weight world champion, said he would talk to his family before considering fighting again, and added: “I don’t do draws but the dude is so strong, man. When he hits you, his head, his punc hes, his body shots, everything hurts. I’m cool with the draw.”
While it is acceptable and entertaining, it is hard to see how repeated editions can prove as enticing. This was largely all about seeing if the 54-year-old former champion had anything left.
Tyson showed he did. He was in shape, he punched with menace and it can be argued some high-profile professional fights have been offered less in terms of entertainment.
Los Angeles, Nov 29 : Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson returned to the sport and brought an end to the 15 years of inactivity by playing an engaging draw with Roy Jones Jr.
Tyson, took on 51-year-old Jones in a high-profile pay-per-view eight-round ‘exhibition’ bout at the spectator-less Staples Center amid the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday evening.
The four-hour live event — supported, commemorated and scored by the World Boxing Council (WBC) — had rounds which were 60 seconds shorter than usual two minutes, instead of three. The fight was sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, according to CNN.
Tyson, 54, said he was happy with the draw and made clear his future pursuits would not be in a professional capacity.
“This is bigger than championships, we are humanitarians, we are helping people. I’m happy I got this under the belt and I’ll continue to go further and do more,” he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
Rap artist Snoop Dogg, who turned as a ringside commentator, said it was like watching “two of my uncles fighting at a barbecue”.
Tyson, who became the youngest heavyweight champion of all time when he defeated Trevor Berbick in 1986 aged 20, won 50 of his 58 professional fights before retiring after his loss to Kevin McBride in 2005.