The comedowns have subsided, The Hangover has come and gone. What Now – Rebirth or Relapse? In the wee hours of the next Sunday morning, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jnr will shake off the dust and shuffle back into the injured arena.
Once the badass man on the planet, Iron Mike has rusted with age but remains one of the sport’s most adorable characters. Jones is one of the best fighters of all time, rising from middleweight to conquer the heavyweight giants.
For decades it remained a match-up reserved for wandering minds. “Bucket list stuff,” says Jones. Now? Reality – kind of.
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jnr return to the boxing ring split on November 28th
Iron Mike is returning to the ring for the first time since retiring from the sport in 2005
“The battle between two of the most famous athletes in history promises to be spectacular for the ages,” says BT Sport, who will broadcast the showpiece on pay-per-view.
“A boxing exhibition that puts the sport in the spotlight,” says WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, who has prepared a special belt for both fighters.
The social video app Triller reportedly paid about £ 40 million to stream the eight-round competition at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Jones has suggested he could pocket £ 7.5 million from the fight – none of their large wig supporters are motivated by goodwill. And yet that smell just won’t go away.
The 54-year-old competes against his 51-year-old colleague Jones Jr. in a controversial match in Los Angeles
Jones Jnr fought well into his forties and started training Chris Eubank Jr.
Not only because the genius of Tyson (54) and Jones (51) has declined in the decades since their reign. Not only because this circus threatens to distract from the heavyweight champions of today and tomorrow. Not only because our lust for blood is awakened by fighters who are closer to a pension than to its prime.
There is also something else left. Jones and Tyson are part of a spate of aging heroes looking back at the gold mine – Oscar De La Hoya, 47, Evander Holyfield, 58, Floyd Mayweather, 43 and Marcos Maidana, 37, are all teasing comebacks. Sergio Martinez, 45, has already done his.
It’s a darkly familiar story. Such is the flurry of celebrity fights masquerading as legitimate contests.
In Los Angeles, YouTuber Jake Paul (1: 0, 20.2 million subscribers) will meet Tyson-Jones and former NBA player Nate Robinson (0: 0) at the “Co-Main Event”.
Benefactors insist video stars get new fans to box. Many believe that it mocks the sport and offends the fighters who fight for wealth and recognition.
Tyson has tempered himself from the once fearsome evil man on the planet since retiring
Despite his age, Tyson has looked in phenomenal form in a number of workout clips
BT viewers will not lose that. In front of Tyson-Jones – and available to all subscribers – Britons Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce meet in a delicious heavyweight bout that deserves more notoriety.
“It’s all right, it’s a great night of boxing,” says Joyce. You wonder if Tyson would have been so diplomatic in his prime.
On December 12th, Anthony Joshua meets Kubrat Pulev. Had the return of Tyson Fury – named after Iron Mike – not been canned on December 5th, the former undisputed heavyweight champion and his two obvious heirs would all have fought each other in 14 days. Tyson earned this crown before Fury was born. What to do with his return in front of such a harrowing backdrop?
Should we embrace this nonprofit – Tyson has vowed to donate his battle bag – especially in such turbulent times as Sulaiman believes.
But the fight between the two boxing greats remains divided among fans and experts
Is it a fun excuse for nostalgia? David Haye, for example, is delighted that Jones – his “childhood hero” – takes on Iron Mike.
Or, as Frank Warren says, is it a “sad” spectacle? One that we should rather ignore than encourage.
“I find it strange when people say they shouldn’t be coming back,” said Haye, the former heavyweight king who became a BT expert. ‘Imagine Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras said “we want an exhibition game”.
“Would the tennis world go” this is disgusting, we don’t want to see these guys, they probably won’t be able to operate over 100 mph “? No, they’ll say,” let’s watch and enjoy like these old ones Greats do what they want “.
“That’s how I see it – two great fighters who have probably received hundreds of thousands of blows in the head. Who cares if they want to have a few more in their fifties? ‘
Tyson and Jones Jr arguably take the shine off Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois’ fight
Promoter Frank Warren described the match as a “sad” spectacle between two boxing sizes
Sulaiman adds, “We are all concerned about the age factor, but this is an exhibition.”
The California State Athletic Commission was cautious enough to insist that both fighters underwent “thorough” medical examinations and anti-doping tests. You will be wearing oversized gloves and have been instructed not to go to the knockout.
“We cannot mislead the public that this is some kind of real struggle,” said Commission Executive Director Andy Foster. “It will look like a boxing match – but I don’t want people to get hurt.”
Easier said than done. Especially when neither Jones nor Tyson are preparing for a tickle contest.
“I come to fight and I hope he comes to fight,” says Tyson, who claimed he must leave the family home before his alter ego takes over. Both men railed against fighting the women’s two-minute round. Jones added, “Who goes in the ring with the legendary Mike Tyson and thinks it’s an exhibition?”
Former heavyweight champion David Haye supported the fight between the two
Joyce has also voiced her intrigue over how the Tyson and Jones Jr. fight will end
Tyson hasn’t boxed professionally in 15 years when his consecutive yo-yo career ended in defeat.
After becoming the youngest ever heavyweight champion, he battled alcohol and drugs, bankruptcy and bipolar disorder, prison, and even cannibalism.
By 2009, the only slap many younger fans had seen when it landed was the comedy film The Hangover. He claims to be lighter than at any point since his youth, while viral training clips suggest he can still move with threat.
“He just looks wild,” laughs Joyce. “You wouldn’t want him on the other side of the ring.”
Says Haye, “If Tyson throws five shots of five to ten seconds each, I think it’s over. Either he blew Jones down or he kicked himself out. ‘
But should boxing ask if it is right for two men in their fifties to walk in the ring?
Regardless, people will tune in to see if any part of the worst man on the planet remains
Jones’ road was no less rocky. He fought until 2018 when he was 49 years old. He is now training Chris Eubank Jr. after fighting in Latvia and Russia – where he received citizenship from Vladimir Putin.
“We’re freaks,” says Jones. “That’s why it’s such a big deal.”
but how does it continue? Tyson insists his comeback will last until his Legends Only League (a company that brings athletic icons back) is out of legs.
“I will help a lot of people and my legend will be that I gave a lot more than I took,” he said.
That doesn’t sound like old Iron Mike who once said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ kids.
The cold truth? Anyone who tunes in on Sunday morning will hope that at least a piece of this badass man remains.
BT Sport’s night of heavyweight action on November 28 begins with Daniel Dubois versus Joe Joyce at BT Sport 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tyson v Jones Jnr will be shown live at the BT Sport Box Office from 1 a.m. and can be viewed online via the Internet or the BT Sport Box Office App on BT TV, Virgin TV, Sky.