Legendary former undisputed heavyweight World Champion, Mike Tyson and four-division World Champion, Roy Jones, Jr., are both coming out of retirement to face-off in an eight-round exhibition pay-per-view event at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on September 12 at 6 p.m. PST.
In their primes, both Tyson and Jones, Jr. were arguably two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. But the combined ages of 105-years-old, it leaves many in the boxing community wondering what this fight will look like once these two legendary but older boxers are in the ring once more. It begs the question, why now?
“It’s because I can do it,” Tyson, 54, said on ESPN’s “First Take.” “Just because we are 54, it doesn’t mean that we have to start a new career and our lives are totally over. Not when you feel as beautiful as I do, and I’m sure that other people feel the same way.”
Tyson, better known in the boxing community as “Iron Mike,” has teased a comeback over the course of the COVID-19 quarantine, posting a series of high-intensity boxing training videos on social media that reveal that he still has some fight left.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 1, 2020
“I feel like I took better care of my body and my state of mind than most of the fighters before me that retired and came back,” stated Tyson.
Jones, Jr. expressed that he could not turn down the chance to fight Tyson, even at age 51. At the height of his career, Jones (66-9) was considered one of the most brilliant boxers of his generation, as he boasted a knock out combination of speed, technique, and defensive prowess. He simultaneously held a record seven belts including WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, NABF, WBF, and IBA light heavyweight championships.
“I’ve been trying to enjoy retirement, but people don’t seem to want to let me retire,” Jones, Jr. said. “They keep calling me, telling me that Mike wants to come back, and that you’d be a great opponent for Mike.”
“We always wanted to see it, but I would’ve preferred it back then. Tyson is a hell of a specimen still. Still, a problem to deal with. But at the same time, life-is-life, you only live once. You want to know what it’s like; you go in there and see. You still gotta see it.”
Roy Jones Jr. speaking with Dr. Beau Hightower about getting back into the ring against Mike Tyson. pic.twitter.com/VXsuLs716Y
— Wally Sparks (@djwallysparks) July 23, 2020
In many ways, Tyson passed the baton to Jones at the heavyweight level when he retired in 2005. Just two years prior, Jones made history when he won the WBA heavyweight title as he became the first former middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in 106 years in the sport.
“I never took that many punches,” Tyson said. “After the last fight I had, I left and I lived my life, and I’ve been through some experiences, and now I’m back here.”
Both of these legendary boxers have something else in common, a long list of IMDB credits sure to make this highly anticipated fight must-see television. Tyson has appeared in several popular television shows and movies, most notably “The Hangover” movies and as a voiceover actor in an animated series titled, “Mike Tyson Mysteries.”
Jones, who acted in “The Matrix Reloaded” and more recently “Creed II,” last fought in February 2018 at the age of 49 against Scott Sigmon, which ended in a win by unanimous decision. Tyson will be returning to the ring after hanging up his gloves in 2005 when he quit midway through his fight against Kevin McBride, though he is slightly favored to win this matchup against Jones.
The middle-aged pair will be wearing 12-ounce large gloves and gear during their marquee fight. Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather weighed in to share his thoughts on the fight during an Instagram live with rapper Fat Joe.
“I mean, I think it’s gonna be very interesting, you know. I’m not here to say Tyson’s gonna win, I’m not here to say Roy’s gonna win. I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be entertaining. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna watch it, absolutely. I don’t think I can go because I don’t think there’s gonna be an audience at that particular time, but may the best man win.”
The program is sure to be just as Mayweather described, pure entertainment. The undercard bout is between three-time NBA slam dunk champion, Nate Robinson who will fight YouTuber Jake Paul. There are also set to be “iconic musical performances” that will be announced in the coming weeks according to the press release.
Tyson said that his earnings from the exhibition will go to charity.
Leading up to the fight, there will be a 10-part docuseries that features behind-the-scenes and pre-fight footage produced under Mike Tyson’s Legends Only League released exclusively on the multi-media platform Triller.