Mike Tyson x Roy Jones: Reborn legacy

Fight card, date, PPV price, rules, location, start time for the exhibition

The two legends are set to square off in an exhibition in California over Thanksgiving weekend.

Two legendary boxing names will once again enter the ring this weekend when former champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. meet in an 8-round exhibition match from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After months of buildup as well as a delay from the original date by two months, Tyson and Jones Jr. will finally meet in the ring in what the California Athletic Commission has deemed “sparring” in hopes that neither fighter goes for the knockout.

But don’t tell Tyson or Jones that because the two have said multiple times in the buildup that this is going to be a legitimate fight.

Tyson, of course, was one of the most feared heavyweights in history, dominating the division over the late 1980s, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history with brutal punching power that carried him to a 37-0 record before he fell victim to one of the greatest sports upsets in history when he was knocked out by James “Buster” Douglas in Tokyo in February 1990. Tyson remained a star despite years spent in prison after being convicted of rape. Tyson would go on to infamous lows such as twice biting Evander Holyfield in their June 1997 rematch and quitting against Kevin McBride during his final pro bout. He has, in recent years, rehabilitated his image as a kinder, gentler version of himself, appearing in films, hosting a podcast and becoming an outspoken advocate for marijuana.

Jones was named the best boxer of the 1990s by Ring Magazine. At his best, Jones displayed a dazzling combination of speed, power and defense, while being able to showboat in fantastic and improbable ways. Jones won wold championships at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and eventually heavyweight in a historic accomplishment. After a near-flawless first 50 fights of his career — his lone loss a controversial disqualification against Montell Griffin that was avenged in less than one round in the rematch — Jones career slowly began to unravel as his style was too dependent on reflexes that diminished over time.

This card will also feature some more celebrity attractions as YouTube influencer Jake Paul takes on former NBA player Nate Robinson in a cruiserweight fight. The two have beefed over social media the past few months, leading to this interesting showdown. Paul, who made his professional debut in January with a first-round TKO, will have the height advantage at 6-foot-1, but Robinson should not be counted out. The former three-time NBA Slam Dunk champion has plenty of power in his slightly smaller frame.

Below is all the information we know about the bout, including the fight card, odds and rules. Be sure to check in on this page often as it will be updated frequently.

Fight card

As of Oct. 23

Main card

  • Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. — WBC Frontline Championship (8 rounds)
  • Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson — cruiserweights (6 rounds)
  • Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan — light heavyweights (8 rounds)
  • Viddal Riley vs. Rashad Coulter — cruiserweights (6 rounds)

Preliminary card

  • Jamaine Ortiz vs. Nahir Albright — lightweights
  • Irvin Gonzalez Jr. vs. Edward Vasquez — featherweights
  • Juiseppe Cusumano vs. Nick Jones — heavyweights

Odds

Odds via SportsLine oddsmakers

  • Mike Tyson -220 vs. Roy Jones Jr. +170, Draw: +1200
  • Over/Under 7.5 Rounds: Over +150, Under -180

Viewing information

  • Date: Nov. 28 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET (main card)
  • Location: Staples Center — Los Angeles
  • TV: Traditional PPV providers | Live stream: TysonOnTriller.com or FITE TV 
  • Price: $49.99

Tyson vs. Jones predictions

Brian Campbell: Tyson will likely have one-punch knockout power until the day he dies, which makes “Iron Mike” still a very dangerous challenge for anyone in the opening rounds. But Jones, who should enjoy a legitimate speed advantage, is very much the fresher fighter of the two having stayed active as a professional through 2018 after closing his career on a 12-1 run. Jones has also been operating at cruiserweight in recent years, which means the size disadvantage against an already small heavyweight in Tyson won’t be as much of a concern. Provided Jones can survive the early storm, expect him to pick Tyson apart with relative ease as the fight rolls on. 

Brent Brookhouse: Predicting a fight like this is an exercise in guesswork. What does a 54-year-old Tyson have at this point? Jones has the edge in being “fresher” off his pro career, but his chin is long gone in being able to take clean power shots from hard punchers, and Tyson is still a power puncher if nothing else. But nobody seems to fully understand the rules of the fight. The commission says it’s hard sparring and they’ll stop anything beyond that, but the promoters and fighters say it’s 100% a “real fight.” If they can’t actually try to hurt each other, as the commission has said, that would make it a fairly easy fight for Jones as he can use his speed and just pop off easy jabs and combinations and let his speed carry the fight. If they can let their punches fly at full speed and Jones plays around on the ropes like he has a tendency to do, maybe Tyson catches him clean and finishes it off. There’s way too many unknowns here to make any sort of meaningful prediction, but the edge would seem to lie with Jones heading into Saturday.

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