Here are the facts: Former world champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr will face off in an 8-round exhibition match on Saturday night. Tyson, 54, is a 2-to-1 favorite to beat the 51-year-old Jones Jr. Both men will make an awful lot of money. After those facts, we are left with a slew of questions for Tyson vs. Jones Jr, including, most importantly, is this a legitimate sporting event or a carnival act, a la Muhammad Ali vs. Lyle Alzado?
First and foremost, this fight is about making money. Will people watch it? The guess here is yes – for the same reason that car accidents cause traffic jams of cars flowing in the opposite direction. Tyson and Jones Jr. will profit handsomely, as will anybody associated with running the fight. It’s a spectacle: two iconic fighters (one, a celebrity) fighting in a ring after they turned 50. Think Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor. Or the Super Bowl. The event will turn out many viewers who have little interest in the sport of boxing.
But will it live up to the hype? Possibly, but probably not. After all, it is an exhibition fight. The rounds will only last two minutes, and there will be no judges at ringside. What’s more, according to the rules, the fight will be called off if either fighter suffers a cut. Both combatants have laughed off the rules. Tyson said, “It’s Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, and I’m coming to fight and I hope he’s coming to fight.
That’s all you need to know.” But, of course, this is fighter talk, trying to get people to tune in. Usually, events like this turn out to be a major letdown. But you never know. Tyson knows only one way to fight: to knock people’s heads off.
Tyson vs. Jones Jr
Who will win? Well, this is the kicker. The rules are somewhat murky. As previously mentioned, the fight isn’t being judged at ringside, so if the contest goes the distance, nobody wins, and how unsatisfying will that be to those who shell out $50 to watch it?
The fighters won’t be wearing headgear, but they will be using 12-ounce gloves, which will blunt the power of the punches. Not to mention, the fighters have been “encouraged” to try to avoid knocking his opponent out. Cus D’Amato must be rolling in his grave.
If Tyson looks good, regardless of whether the fight goes the distance, he could set himself up for another payday. Since he wouldn’t have the time or patience for tune-up fights, could he possibly get an immediate shot at a heavyweight title? Money would talk if a match between Tyson and Fury could be made.
It might be billed as Tyson vs. Tyson. But Jones Jr., once considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, will have a say in the matter. He’s faster and fought much more recently than Iron Mike. So even though the rules seem to do him no favors as the smaller, slicker fighter, don’t be surprised if he overwhelms Tyson and stops him.
Set up like this, Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. should play out in one of two ways. Either, it will be a boring sparring match, and viewers will be extremely disappointed. Or, one of the fighters (or both) will go all out – which again brings us back to the central question. Is this a one-time pay day for these aging former champions or is it a stepping stone?
By: Peter Mooney CruelFan.com