You’d think the prospect of seeing two legends of the ring face off against one another would be a mouthwatering one for fight fans. But when Mike Tyson announced his bout with Roy Jones Jr. earlier this year, it had alarm bells ringing around the boxing fraternity for the health of both fighters. It’s always a little concerning when an old boxer dusts off his gloves and steps into the square circle one last time, and though there is a certain cinematic romance to it, often the result is distressing.
Doubly so given that two old fighters intend to do so – Tyson and Jones’ combined age is 105. But recently more concern has been expressed for Roy Jones Jr., especially since the release of images and videos from the Tyson training camp, with their charge looking well conditioned and as fast and heavy gloved as ever.
When the fight was announced it was derided in the boxing scene, drawing comparisons from farcical appearances from once-great fighters such as Muhammed Ali’s bout with Antonio Inoki, a wrestler, and more recently Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fights with Connor McGregor and Tenshin Nasukawa.
Tyson and Jones seemed unperturbed, with customary verbal jousting in the build-up – Tyson declaring he was ready for war, and Jones claiming he was willing to ‘die in the ring’. Onlookers will be hoping for a less intense event – Tyson is 54, and Jones 51, and of course, the match is for charity.
The results we will anyhow witness on November 28th, as is the new match schedule.
Mike Tyson was notorious for under-training, particularly over the latter part of his career – drinking, drugs, girls, wild parties – basically everything a boxing trainer advises against. However, he seems to have taken this fight very seriously. Video footage has emerged of him pummelling the pads with his trainer, almost knocking him over and at times begging him to stop. Images show Mike rolling back the years, with a physique not far off what he had in his prime in the late 1980s.
Roy Jones Jr. has also released training videos, with his skills also looking sharp and quick in the gym, his prowling stance as distinctive as ever. Jones has been in a professional ring as recently as 2018, although many commentators believe he should have retired years before. Notable recent losses include a devastating knockout by former cruiserweight champ Enzo Maccarinelli, and his final winning streak was against fighters referred to as ‘journeymen’ or ‘tomato cans’, depending on who you ask.
Tyson’s physique has drawn concern from around the boxing world, and his natural size advantage could spell danger on fight night. Jones also relied heavily on his reflexes during his professional career, skills which are among the first to erode with the passing of time.
An iconic, divisive and controversial figure during his pro career, ‘Iron’ Mike has softened in retirement, gradually overcoming a host of personal problems to become a well-regarded source of boxing wisdom.
A devastating run of knockouts made him seemingly invincible until his shock loss to James ‘Buster’ Douglas in Tokyo in 1990.Due to the popularisation of boxing in Asia that followed the Tyson-Douglas match, most of all the Asian bookies now offer odds on major matches all over the world. If you live in India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, or Malaysia it is very easy to deposit and get paid at such sites since these bookies support many languages and currencies and have local methods for deposit and withdrawal. This means you can support your players no matter where you find yourself at the moment of a fight.
Tyson was a fearsome and intimidating warrior – entering the ring wearing black boots and trunks (no socks) and a towel with a hole crudely cut into it as a robe. His punching power has gone down in boxing legend, just as his erratic behavior in and out of the ring made their mark in popular culture.
Roy Jones Jr
A multiple weight world champion, Jones was rated as the pound-for-pound champion in his prime. In fact, many pundits rate him among the greatest ever boxers to have graced the ring.
Quick, slick, tough, able to throw punches from all angles, Jones dominated at middleweight, super-middleweight and light-heavyweight, winning titles in all three classes. On March 1st, 2003, Jones defeated John Ruiz in Las Vegas to claim the WBA Heavyweight title – the first boxer to win titles at middleweight and heavyweight for 106 years.
Jones carried on fighting professionally until 2018, with mixed results, and a general consensus among fans that he should bow out and retire. He will go down as one of the all-time greats and is now an insightful and engaging boxing commentator.
Whether you think Tyson vs Jones Jr. is a farce or a fight for the ages, there is no doubt that the world will be watching. When the old warriors step into the ring on November 28th, we’ll see how much the passing of time has taken its toll.