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Mike Tyson v Roy Jones Jr – it’s on
This week’s Fight Talk is all about two men: Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
In Tyson, you have the most ferocious heavyweight in boxing history. Jones is a former four-weight world champion who possessed talent and ring generalship that few will ever match.
But the two Americans have a combined age of 105. Just let that sink in for a second.
The last time Tyson, 54, was in the ring on 11 June 2005, the Crazy Frog song was number one in the UK charts. He looked a shadow of his best as he lost to Irishman Kevin McBride.
Jones, 51, has been more active, albeit against low-level opposition, and was last in action when he beat Scott Sigmon in February 2018.
He has recently been training middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. As expected, the British fighter is backing his coach…
But how has the rest of the boxing world reacted to the fight?
Former fighters George Foreman and Bernard Hopkins, who know a thing or two about excelling later on in their careers, have differing views.
Foreman, who in 1994 became boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion at 45, described it as “a beautiful thing” but worries for their health.
“I would just tell them it’s really dangerous but when you make up your mind to do something like that, you can’t tell them ‘don’t do it.’ They’re not going to hear that,” Foreman told TMZ.
Hopkins told Fight Hub TV that the current heavyweight division is lacking in depth of talent and that even British world champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could struggle against ‘Iron’ Mike.
“Mike has a chance of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world because of this era we are in,” Hopkins, who in 2014, at the age of 48, became the oldest world champion in boxing history, said.
Well Joshua, the WBA, WBO and IBF title holder, said he wishes Tyson and Jones well, but warned them not to get too carried away.
“They haven’t got to do it to compete with the young lions in the division now,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
“We’re bigger, we’re stronger, sport science has improved so there is more technology.
“The whole sporting world has kind of developed.”
‘This is not a real fight’
Before we get too excited for Tyson-Jones and start making all kinds of knockout predictions, California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster has emphasised that it will be just an exhibition and more like a sparring session rather than a sanctioned bout.
“We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt,” Foster told Boxing Scene.
He also added that the fighters will wear bigger gloves, there will be no judges ringside to score the bout and the boxers will be told not to go for a knockout.
Boxing fans suggest that there might be one very disappointed boxing commissioner come fight night…
‘I’m the pioneer of exhibition fights’ – Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather knows all about making easy money from exhibition fights. The former pound-for-pound star, who won all 50 of his professional fights, was last in the ring when he travelled to Japan to beat the little-known kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition bout.
The American was asked by rapper Fat Joe about his views on the Tyson-Jones fight and Mayweather, being Mayweather, made it pretty much all about himself…
Youtuber v Basketballer on the undercard
It was also announced this week that YouTuber Jake Paul will take on ex-NBA player Nate Robinson on the undercard of Tyson-Jones.
American Paul won his professional debut in February, beating internet rival AnEsonGib. Robinson meanwhile has not featured in the NBA since 2016.
Some boxing fans feel that this match-up just adds to the circus surrounding Tyson-Jones…