Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
Photo Credit: Online Gambling

Official: Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. set for September 12th

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Mark your calendars for September 12th as we’ll see a return of two legends to the squared circle as Mike Tyson (50-6 44 KO’s) takes on Roy Jones Jr. (66-9 47 KO’s) in an exhibition bout in California on pay per view.

 

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
Photo Credit: Insider

Two of the most feared fighters in history are coming out of retirement to put on a show and show that age is just a number. Tyson, at 54, posted a video back in May this year showing him hitting the pads titled, “I’m back.” The in-shape Tyson showed some of the speed, power, and ruthlessness that made him the youngest heavyweight champion in history. The video got the excitement going amongst fans asking, “what if”?

The last thing to go in a fighters skill set is their power, and Iron Mike was one of the most powerful hitters this sport has ever seen. His aggressive style of coming forward, head movement, and hooks that gave his opponents nightmares, Tyson even at his advanced age, is still one of the biggest names in the sport and brings excitement throughout the fight world.

Stepping across from Iron Mike is one of the most gifted athletes ever to set foot in the ring in Roy Jones Jr. Starting his career at Middleweight, Jones would go on to defy what was ‘traditional’ styles and come up with his own. Often fighting with his hands down and always taunting his opponents, Roy would often look away before firing off with some of the fastest combinations we’ve ever seen. Jones even adapted a signature chicken fighting move by putting his hands behind his back, luring his foe in, then unleashing a devastating hook. With his speed, quickness, ring IQ, and natural flamboyant style, Jones would hold titles at Middleweight, Super Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight.

 

At one point back in 2003, after Jones defeated John Ruiz for the WBA Heavyweight title, there were talks of Jones facing off against Tyson then but the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement. This was unfortunate because around that time is when things went downhill for both fighters in a sense.

 

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
Photo Credit: Boss Hunter

Tyson, coming off a KO loss to Lennox Lewis, would finish his career 1-2 in his last three fights before retiring in 2005. A shell of his old self, Tyson wasn’t as motivated, and the once dangerous fighter didn’t strike the fear he once did. On the other hand, Jones would make the dramatic weight cut from Heavyweight (199lbs and up) to Light Heavyweight (175lbs) to face hometown rival, Antonio Tarver.

While winning the first bout, the weight cut drained Jones as he was gassed in the second half of the fight. Winning a close decision, they ran it back, but this time, Tarver left no doubt as he KO’d Jones in the second round giving Jones his first real loss as a professional (his first loss came via DQ after hitting a down opponent).

 

From his loss to Tarver in 2004 to his last bout in 2018, Jones would go 17-8 7KOs, but it wasn’t the same. This wasn’t the RJ Jr. we had come to know. Sure, he had wins over fighters such as Felix Trinidad and Jeff Lacy, but of his eight losses, five were by brutal knockout, while the other three losses were one-sided defeats.

He would flash his brilliance at times and show highlights of what was, but he was no longer a top contender. Through it all, Jones remained positive, crediting that he still felt good, his speech hadn’t slurred, his mind was still as sharp (as shown by his boxing commentating duties for HBO Boxing), and in the wins he did earn, he would claim, “why would I retire when I just looked that good?”

 

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
Photo Credit: Biloxi Sun Herald

If you recall the movie Rocky Balboa (the sixth installment in the franchise), Rocky, along with fans, gained interest in a return of the former champ after a virtual simulation between Balboa and the then champ Mason Dixon (played by Antonio Tarver, ironically). Well, given the excitement drawn from Tyson’s video post of him working out, Jones expressed interest in fighting the former champion in a legend vs. legend bout.

Sure, both men are in their 50s, but despite their age, both are relatively more popular than most current fighters in boxing, especially Tyson, who at his peak was one of if not the most famous person in the world.

 

The bout will be an 8 round exhibition. It’s unclear if there will be headgear but the fighters will fight with bigger gloves, most likely 12oz.

 

 

Could this be the start of something to see going forward? Will we see other fighters who, despite their age, still wanna step in the ring? We won’t see the best version of these fighters, but the nostalgia factor can’t be overstated enough. Given how Tyson has taken care of his body over the years, he still looks to have some tread on the tires in his training videos. With Jones being more recently active, it’s not hard to see this being a decent throw down between two of the goats of the game.

 

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
Photo Credit: talkSPORTS

There will be a 10 part docu-series leading up to the fight, so the hype will be at an all-time high, and given the questions about sports returning this year, this fight could do big numbers.

In an interview on ESPN’s First Take with Max Kellerman, Tyson noted that he’s starting a Mike Tyson’s Legends Only League, which won’t just be for boxing but other sports. He mentioned maybe we see Allen Iverson vs. Penny Hardaway one on one to 21.

 

 

Could this be something in the making? Ice Cube showed with his Big 3 basketball league that not only do older players still have something to offer but the fans will tune in to watch it also. We just saw a video of 46-year-old Hall of Fame WR Terrell Owens race Super Bowl winner Tyreek Hill. So maybe, we will be seeing some older names coming out of retirement to show what they still have to offer in their respective sports in the future.

 

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

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