Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr Still on Par for a Surprising Return
Taking the world by surprise was what boxing legend 54-year-old Mike Tyson did when he announced his comeback. He chose a worthy opponent in Roy Jones Jr (also in retirement), to an exhibition at the Dignity Health Sports Arena in Los Angeles on November 28.
After 15 years of remarkable absence from the boxing world, Tyson is ready to make a huge comeback!
Mike Tyson’s Career
“Iron” Mike Tyson ( at the time nicknamed “Kid Dynamite”) splashed upon the scene in 1985 with famous trainers Cus D’Amato and Kevin Rooney. Immediately everyone was amazed at the immense power the Catskill, NY, fighter displayed in dispatching opponents with ease.
It was evident he was fated to become a world champion! He did just that while setting a record in the process. In 1986 he became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history at the age of 20.
Tyson would also go on to become an undisputed heavyweight champion. He reigned for over the next four years until one of the most shocking upset in boxing history.
In 1990, he would take a highly unpredictable loss to supposed tune-up James “Buster” Douglas.
Losing His Youth
Tyson’s out of the ring issues took away a good chunk of his youth. After serving a three year jail term due to charges of rape, he returned to boxing in 1995. Although not the ferocious fighter of the 80s, he managed to win the WBC and WBA titles by 1996.
After losing the highly anticipated match-up to another former undisputed champion in Evander Holyfield, he followed up in the 1997 rematch with the infamous ear-biting incident. The stunt would remove him from the sport for two more years!
It would really all go down hill from there!
After a string of wins and “no contests” agains decent to sub-par competition, his last run at a title happened in 2002 against another former undisputed champion in Lennox Lewis. He was brutally knockout in the eighth round.
Afterwards, he fought three more times, losing twice to two underachieving opponents. He admitted at one point that he was only fighting for the money which led many to believe he was “throwing” fights. In 2005, he stepped away from the sport as a fighter which was expected to be his farewell.
Success Outside of Boxing
Since his retirement, Tyson went on to star in numerous movies.
Besides becoming a best-selling author and running a successful cannabis business, he ran a Broadway show on his life outside boxing. After his comeback announcement, there were rumors surrounding who his potential opponent will be.
Many people thought it would be a third fight against Holyfield, but that is not the case for now.
Roy Jones Jr’s Career
Roy Jones Jr has also enjoyed an illustrious career. In the early stages, the ultra-talented Floridian impressed everyone with his blazing speed and reflexes.
After grabbing the vacant IBF middleweight title in a dominant win over Hall of Fame inductee Bernard Hopkins, Jones would make his mark in 1994 by moving up in weight and defeating then IBF super middleweight champion and boogeyman James “Lights Out” Toney.
This win officially deemed the flashy pugilist as “unbeatable”!
Only a Technicality Could Stop Him
Jones would have a hiccup in his career with a disqualification lost to Montell Griffin in 1997 in a fight he was winning. Unfortunately after putting his opponent down for the second time, Jones would land another shot while Griffin was down and render him unable to continue. The mistake would cost the champion his “O”.
Nevertheless, he avenged that loss with a spectacular first-round knockout four months later. Two years afterwards, he became the undisputed light heavyweight champion, defeating the tough Reggie Johnson by decision.
The Unlikely Move
Bored from defending his undisputed status seven times, the champ wanted to challenge himself more. He decided to take make the bold move to skip the cruiserweight division and jump to heavyweight to battle WBA champion John Ruiz.
in the 2003 career-defining bout, Jones would become the first former middleweight champion to capture a heavyweight title since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897 (106 years prior)!
Stopping the Unstoppable
The invincible aura that surrounded Jones would disappear shortly after the Ruiz win. After a possible match-up with Tyson at that time fell through, he made the unpopular decision to drop fifteen pounds back down to light heavyweight.
The move would prove to be detrimental as he looked very sluggish in a majority decision win against Antonio Tarver eight months later. He then made the career-changing decision to give Tarver an immediate rematch. The result shocked fans across the world as millions watched Jones get brutally knocked out in the second round!
This was the start of the end for the former undisputed champion. He fought 24 more times after that but gave fans four more brutal knockout loses that had fans praying he would retire after each one.
He last fought to a unanimous decision victory against Scott Sigmon in 2018 in a fight many didn’t know took place. As with Tyson, his unstoppable image seemed to deteriorate relegating him to just being a common fighter.
That could change for both come November 28!
Accepting the Challenge
In an interview with sports.ru, Jones said it will be foolish not to accept an offer to fight a legendary boxer like Mike Tyson. He further added he had no intention of going back to the ring again, but he had to make an exception because of his opponent’s name.
He saw this as an opportunity that cannot be turned down.
Most experts believe there is no worthy opponent for the retired heavyweight other than Jones. There is no guarantee if the former four-divisional champion will come back to boxing permanently, as he had gone into retirement with no plans of returning to the ring.
The Fight is On
During Tyson’s first interview with ESPN, he mentioned he believes in himself and knows that others can do it too.
Just because boxers are attaining middle-age doesn’t mean they should start new careers. The former undisputed heavyweight champion claimed he has taken good care of himself both physically and mentally. Further adding even better than other boxers who retired and came back.
The fight will be sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission and it will be aired on pay-per-view and social media platform. The social media platform is also creating a ten-part documentary series that will feature pre-fight and behind the scenes footage.
The series will be released two episodes per week till the date of the match according to a press release.
People all over the world are eagerly anticipating the match. According to a report from Yahoo Sports, both men have agreed not to knock each other out by wearing large gloves.
This match connects with the former heavyweight champion’s recently announced new venture called “The Mike Tyson’s Legends Only League”. Tyson and Eros innovations introduced the venture as a next-generation sports initiative that will cater to top athletes who want to return to the ring, court, or field.
The initiative will run live sporting activities that feature soccer, basketball, boxing, and many more. It is a league that will take care of the necessary requirements for legends from all sporting spheres.
The event may not be a financial success due to the participation of several new companies, the decision not to attempt a knockout, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, we sincerely hope this new venture pays off well.
Longtime MMA trainer Rafael Cordeiro is expected to corner Tyson during the match because he has been the one helping the boxer get into shape these past few months.
Boxing fans can’t wait to watch the match involving the greatest comebacks of the year. The former undisputed heavyweight champion is letting us know that he is physically and mentally fit to come back to boxing at 54.
Only the results at the end of the match will determine if there is hope for boxing legends that are in their 50’s to make a powerful comeback.