UPDATE (1:11 pm ET): This has been made official, as Tyson and Jones will meet in an exhibition fight on pay-per-view on Sept. 12, which also happens to be the target date for Canelo Alvarez’s return, though with Canelo not having a fight set or announced, whatever. It will be a three-hour PPV show with multiple fights and “iconic musical performances,” which might mean Roy Jones will iconically rap, as he often iconically does at shows in recent years. I still take a wait-and-see approach here, but it’s as official as it gets for now. Word is that the two fiftysomethings do not intend to try for knockouts, so this will truly be an exhibition, it seems. — Scott
Just as Mike Tyson has announced his new venture, the “Legends Only League,” Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Tyson and Roy Jones Jr will meet in an eight-round exhibition bout in California at some point, with no date or further specifics at the moment.
The 54-year-old Tyson (50-6, 44 KO) hasn’t had a fight since a depressing 2005 loss to Kevin McBride, while the 51-year-old Jones (66-9, 47 KO) finally hung up the gloves after a 2018 win over club fighter Scott Sigmon in Jones’ hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
Obviously neither of these guys are who they were in their primes, but nostalgia has a big grip on people, perhaps in particular sports fans, perhaps even more in particular boxing fans, and even as an exhibition, this could attract a good amount of interest and eyeballs and make these guys some money. As long as things are done safely and with real oversight, why not, really? They’re not risking it against some in-prime fighter who would probably destroy them at this point, they’re out there competing a bit against each other.
Tyson, of course, is one of the most famous and infamous heavyweight stars of all time, a man whose career and personal life have been in the headlines since the mid-1980s. Jones was at one point considered the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, and won world titles at 160, 168, 175, and at heavyweight, when he went up to face John Ruiz and took the WBA title in 2003, which has often been cited as his last great moment, as the move back down to light heavyweight afterward started his career descent, though he would hang on and fight for another 14 years.
Let’s say this is a PPV with no competition from another boxing event. Do you buy it at a reasonable price?