Let’s make two things about the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr exhibition fight that just ended very clear:
- It was absolutely an exhibition, they were not going 100 percent, nobody went for a knockout, it was exactly what the commission told you it would be.
- It was perfectly enjoyable to watch two icons of the sport spar for good causes.
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr went to a draw tonight in a fight that wasn’t sanctioned, wasn’t official, and didn’t have real judges, though the WBC did assign former fighters Chad Dawson, Christy Martin, and Vinny Pazienza to score the bout remotely. Dawson had it even, Martin had it for Tyson, and Pazienza was very lazy about doing his part where he scored it for Jones. The draw result was clear rounds before the fight ended, as they kept flashing the scores on the screen during the bout, and everything was headed an obvious way.
For what it’s worth, I scored the fight even at 76-76, but I also didn’t pay that much attention so I just faked it to get there in the last few rounds.
The 51-year-old Jones had more conditioning issues than the 54-year-old Tyson did, and there were points where Jones looked like he had to hold and grapple just to make sure he could make it through eight rounds, two minutes apiece. That’s fine, because it is what it is. If you somehow really got tricked into thinking this was a full-on, real fight — because Tyson, Jones, and the Triller people kept doing their best to convince you this was the case — then you might be mad. If you had the proper expectations, you’re probably OK.
Jones both said he wasn’t happy with the draw and that he was “cool with the draw.” He suggested doing it again. Tyson said he was fine with the result. Jones complimented Tyson’s power, Tyson complimented Jones’ ability to take shots.
“I was very happy to be here,” Tyson said, and said he was happy to go the distance, in some roundabout way of working around going for a knockout. Tyson also suggested doing this again.
“Everybody loves Mike, I love Mike, too, but it’s something else taking punches,” Jones said. “I’ll talk to my family, but if everybody enjoyed what they saw, we’ll do it again.”
Tyson said he has no interest in doing it as a licensed and sanctioned fight, which Jim Gray asked him about.
“Nah, I just want to do this — this is bigger than fighting for championships,” Tyson said. “We’re humanitarians, we’re helping people. I’m into that now.”