Mike Tyson returns to ring, draws in exhibition with Jones

Former boxer Mike Tyson

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Mike Tyson stepped through the ropes in his signature black tights and heard the opening bell in the boxing ring for the first time in 15 years.

The former heavyweight champion of the world traded live punches with Roy Jones Jr. for eight entertaining rounds, ending with two middle-aged legends embracing each other in mutual admiration.

Their fight was only an exhibition, and it ended in a draw. But for Tyson, the experience stalled the joy and excitement he felt long before at the start of his boxing career – and it was probably the beginning of a new chapter in his epic life.

“I’m glad I wasn’t knocked out,” Tyson said. “I’ll see better in the next one.”

Tyson made a glimpse of his disastrous prime Saturday night during the 54-year-old boxing icon’s return against 51-year-old Jones.

Tyson had the most impressive punches, showcasing versions of footwork and combinations that made him the world’s most feared fighter. After eight two-minute rounds, both Tyson and Jones came out of the Staples Center to smile and were apparently healthy.

“It’s better than fighting for the championship,” Tyson said of the heavyweight exhibition, which raised funds for various charitable causes. “Now we are humane. We can do something good for the world. We have to do it again.”

Tyson’s return to the ring for the show garnered international attention, and Iron Mike showcased his work months to gauge his performance which made him a legend for a generation of boxing fans gave.

Tyson tagged Jones with body shots, head shots and a particularly nasty uppercase during a bout, which was required by the California State Athletic Commission for a very safe, glorified sparring session.

Tyson was exhausted two hours later, but was also visibly active as he recounted his feelings upon seeing his wife and team.

Mike Tyson exited the ring after receiving a split draw against Roy Jones Jr. during Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on November 28, 2020.

Joe Skarnis / Getty Images for Triller

Tyson said, “I gave up my youth.” “This incident showed me what I was really made of … My body feels fantastic. I want to kill it more.”

Tyson intends to fight in more exhibitions next year, perhaps heading to Monte Carlo to challenge the European fighter. He did not close the door on the possibility of a fullback, although it would be many fights in the future.

For one night, Tyson and Jones were back at the center of the sports world, and they reveled in it.

Former four-division world champion, widely regarded as the most skilled boxer of his generation, said Jones, “I am delighted to have scrubbed my bucket list and moved on with my life.” “He’s tougher than I thought. Everything hurt. His hand hurt. His head hurts. Everything hurt when I approached. He’s still an extraordinary puncture . He can do anything he wants next. “

Neither was deceived by the quality of the bout. While the two threw out punches filled with echoes of their spectacular crimes, they were also often chained inside, and their occasional breathing sounds could be heard on the microphone in the empty ground.

The funny television commentary from hip hop star Snoop Dogg was among the loudest noises inside Staples, and they had a handful of zingers: “It’s like two of my uncles fighting at a barbecue!”

But Tyson and Jones were the headliners in the most inappropriate pay-per-view boxing event in years, engineered by social networking app Triller and featuring fights involving hip hop performances in the vacant arena.

The incident was perceived by some critics as an anti-sports spectacle, yet both Tyson and Jones appeared to be handling themselves quite safely. His fans were clearly mesmerized, with the show heavily traced on social media.

Some of that success was due to a co-main event, in which YouTube star Jake Paul dropped former NBA player Nate Robinson in the second round of Robinson’s Pro Boxing debut. Paul recorded three knockdowns against Robinson, a three-time NBA slam dunk contest champion, in his second pro fight, an overhand right put Robinson flat on his face and apparently unconscious.

But most fans tuned in to see Tyson, many for the first time. After Tyson retired in 2005, no boxing fan of the age had ever seen a live match with a great personality – and within the confines of the event, Tyson delivered.

Tyson said he did not have the “courage or heart to fight” after leaving Peter McBride traveling in his final bout in a disappointing loss.

Finally relieving the relentless pressures of his game, Tyson slowly straightened his life, killing off a self-described drug addiction while eventually settling into a comfortable life in Las Vegas with his third wife, acting onstage Was successful in demonstrations, charity work and even marijuana cultivation. And their children

The idea of ​​a boxing comeback seemed odd, but Tyson turned to this unlikely fight when he began doing 15 daily minutes on a treadmill to lose 100 pounds of his wife a few years ago. Workouts soon became involved in multi-hour affairs, including biking, running, and eventually boxing as he gained a measure of his athletic prime through discipline and a vegan diet.

Tyson posted a video on social media soon of the pad beating in the coronovirus epidemic, and the overwhelming public backlash led to several lucrative proposals for a ring withdrawal. With a chance to earn money for himself and philanthropy, Tyson eventually agreed to take on Jones long after his dream matchup was dashed.

Tyson and Jones negotiated with the California commission over their box boundaries, eventually reaching a tough eight-two-minute span with only formal justice and no official winner. The WBC still stepped in to give both fighters a formal “frontline battle belt”.