Pick Your Legend: Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
On Saturday November 28th, boxing legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. will square off in an eight round exhibition bout. The venue is the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The clash is a blast from the past for boxing die-hards and brings back memories of the sport’s golden era.
When the fight was first announced earlier this year it received a mixed reception. While some were naturally excited, others questioned whether it will be a worthwhile event as both men are above the age of 50 and well past their prime. But as fight night approaches, the interest and excitement is growing.
Although Tyson has not boxed professionally since 2005, he has proven in training videos that he still has his beastly raw power. “Iron Mike” built his reputation as one of the best knockout artists in history. Aged just 20-years-old, he was the youngest heavyweight boxing champion in history. He earned this title when he defeated Trevor Berbick in November 1986.
In this early part of his career Tyson was at the peak of his powers. His undefeated record stretched over 37 matches and 5 years. Then Buster Douglas became the first man to beat him at the Tokyo Dome in February 1990 in one of the great sporting upsets of all time.
The Tokyo Dome was the scene of one of the greatest upsets in the history of sport when Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson
His first 19 bouts were knockout victories with 12 happening within the first round. As a result of his killer upper-cut, Tyson was one of the most feared boxers in history. Though his skills were never up for debate, Tyson was no stranger to controversy.
After serving a three-year prison sentence in the early 1990s, he made a comeback. He had two legendary fights against Evander Holyfield, although he lost both. Tyson retired in 2002 with a record of 58 fights, 50 wins, six losses and two no-contests.
Tyson will face a formidable opponent in Jones. “Junior” is the only man to have started his professional career at light middleweight before going on to win a heavyweight title. His win over John Ruiz in March 2003 at Las Vegas won him the WBA Heavyweight title. It also made him the first boxer to win titles at middleweight and heavyweight in 106 years.
During his prime, Jones was renowned for his speed and ability to throw punches from all angles.
Though his skills were world-class, Jones never gained the same cult-level of stardom that Tyson did. One of the reasons for this was because he was often vastly superior to his opponent which meant many one-sided fights.
The lowest point of his career was a run of three consecutive defeats between 2009-2011. Some fans felt that he should have retired at this time. However, he persevered and went on to win 12 out of his last 13 bouts, albeit largely against journeymen.
Roy Jones Jr. is often referenced when the topic of greatest pound-for-pound boxer is discussed
One factor that could work in favor of Jones is the fact that he has boxed professionally more recently than Tyson. His last match was a win by unanimous decision against Scott Sigmon in February 2018.
Though it has been suggested that his retirement should have come earlier, many experts consider Jones the best pound-for-pound boxer of all time.
In a 75 fight professional career which spanned 29-years, Jones won 66 times, suffering 9 losses.
There will be no shortage of betting action in the lead-up to this bout. A quick scan of the sportsbooks shows Mike Tyson as the favorite in pre-fight action on BetMGM and PointsBet. Of course these odds may change as the fight draws closer.
What won’t change is the desire of these great champions to win. Their legendary status in boxing history is safe but this is a fight many boxing fans have been hoping to see for a long time.