Two ancient warriors of the squared circle, former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., are set to go toe-to-toe in the ring on Nov. 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Tyson, 54, hasn’t fought since 2005 but, Tyson is the favorite to defeat Jones in this bout. Jones, 51, most recently fought in 2018, so logic suggests that he might be fresher in terms of requiring to shake off any ring rust.
With both men eligible for AARP benefits, the California State Boxing Commission has installed some special rules to govern the bout. It’s being listed as an exhibition, so it won’t count as an official fight on either boxer’s record. The eight-round bout is also being limited to two-minute rounds, instead of the usual three minutes, and that has the boxers ticked off.
“That’s for women,” Jones said during a virtual press conference promoting the fight. “I kept fighting until the last minute, saying, ‘Why [are] we fighting two-minute rounds?’ I don’t understand that. We’re not women. We’re two of the best to ever do it.
“Why [have] we got to do two-minute rounds? Why? If something’s going to happen, it’s going to happen anyway. Two minutes, three minutes, five minutes. Don’t really matter.
“I’m not happy at all.”
While also unhappy with the two-minute time limit, Tyson was the surprisingly more diplomatic of the two when addressing the issue.
“I’m sure they have their reasons for doing it,” Tyson said. The women fight for two minutes. But it’s not about me, there’s a charity [benefit]. I’m just happy we’re doing it.”
Thinking About Dying
Appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Jones admitted that the thought of getting into the ring with someone who can hit as devastatingly hard as Tyson can has led him to consider the possibility that he could die in the ring.
“You get hit by Mike Tyson, anything can happen to you,” Jones told Rogan. “Mike Tyson is not just an ordinary puncher.
“He’s one of those guys who can do just that to you, so you should know what you’re going into and you should be ready for that because this is Mike.
“I ain’t tripping at all because I know that death is a probability. That can happen to anybody. And I know it can happen to me even more going in there with somebody as dangerous as Mike Tyson.
“Problem with me is – why I love what I love and I do what I do is because I love boxing. So if I’ve gotta die boxing, I’m gonna die a happy man.”
Boxers Weigh In With Opinions On Fight
Several prominent figures in the fight world are stepping forward and offering their two cents about what they think the outcome of this unique fight will prove to be.
James (Buster) Douglas, who took Tyson’s heavyweight belt from him when he handed Iron Mike his first career loss, knocking him out in a 1990 title bout, is on board with Tyson this time around.
“I was surprised that it was even announced [at all] because I was like, wait a minute, what does [Jones] see that I don’t see or, you know, because you’ve got to actually feel like you can beat somebody to expect a fight with them,” Jones told YouTuber DJ Vlad.
“I think [Jones] has a chance but it’s a slim chance.”
Danny Williams, who knocked Tyson out in 2004, also believes that Jones could be in some jeopardy. “I think Roy is going to get seriously hurt,” Williams told DAZN. “[He’s] a natural middleweight.”
Former world champion Nigel Benn is another who fears what might happen to Jones in the ring on Nov. 28.
“If you listen to the way Roy is talking, there’s a lot of fear there,” Benn said. “I would be [scared]. Look who he’s getting in the ring with.
“He’s talking about how big and powerful Tyson is. He’s not just hyping the fight. It’s the truth.
“I wouldn’t get in the ring with him.”
Tyson offered forth his own prediction about what’s in store for Jones on fight night.
“Pain, baby, pain,” Tyson said. “A lot of pain.”