Erstwhile quartet- division world champion Roy Jones Jr., who spent about a decade as a peerless pound-for-pound potentate for most of the nineties and early two-thousands, but he eventually burnt out and slowed down after the Antonio Tarver’s second bout defeat and he was regressed into oblivion the last several years of his career facing lackluster opposition on small cards, and he ceased being the commanding force once before.
Ultimately, after 29 years as a pro, and having former prestige of capturing world championship belts at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, he lastly fought in front of an admiring hometown fans in Pensacola, Florida on February 2018 against Scott Sigmon in a cruiser-weight fight.
Jones coasted to a lopsided 10-round decision and retired officially as designed before the so-long bout, but he has remained involved in boxing as an announcer: calling fights and as a trainer: training a lot of boxers including Jean Pascal whom he inspired.
“You have two of the biggest names in the history of boxing. It don’t get no better than that,” Jones said. “I didn’t want to fight but if there’s one person I would fight it’s Mike Tyson. I wouldn’t come out of retirement and waste my time with nobody else because I don’t got to show nobody anything. I had my day. I had my time. I’m cool with that. But when Mike Tyson calls you and says, ‘Hey, I want to fight,’ wait a minute. Anybody else, I’d say, ‘Hell, no, I don’t want to fight.’ But not Mike Tyson.
The 51-year-old Jones (66-9, 47 KOs) was the unified light heavyweight world champion when he went up two weight classes to heavyweight and effortlessly outpointed John Ruiz to take his heavyweight world title in Las Vegas in March 2003 in a massive HBO Pay Per View bout. Triumphant as usual, Jones became the initial past middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in more than 100 years — since International Boxing Hall of Famer Bob Fitzsimmons mastered this achievement back in 1897.
Jones never defended the title, however. Instead, later in 2003 Jones returned to the light heavyweight division and edged Antonio Tarver in their first fight to retain his 175-pound belts in a big struggle that marked the beginning of the end of Jones’ dominance.
“One has to wonder if him going up and then going back down in weight affected him for that preliminary Tarver bout?” -HKHS
Prior to welcoming the bout with Tarver there were chirps of Jones potentially going up against the likes of Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield or Tyson. It was Tyson whom Jones said he was geeked up to sharing a square circle with at this juncture.
“I wanted Tyson. If Tyson don’t want to fight I’m going back to light heavyweight,” Jones said of his thoughts after facing Ruiz.
While Jones last fought in 2018, Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) has not fought since June 2005 in Washington, D.C., where he retired on his stool after the sixth round against a man who fights to lose boxer in Kevin McBride and then soon after announced his retirement having lost three of his final four fights (75%) by K.O. Power Stoppage.
Tyson did comeback to boxing in 2006 to face a man who fights to lose boxer in Corey Sanders – one of Tyson’s sparring partners – for a four-round exhibition bout that was on pay-per-view from the Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. It was meant to be the first show of what organizers were calling “Mike Tyson’s World Tour,” but the bout, in which Sanders wore headgear and Tyson did not but both wore shirts, was such a failure, and the pay-per-view was such a washout, it was one and done.
Jones said he is not too concerned about the naysayers and believes there will be strong public support for the pay-per-view event, adding that the financial terms he and Tyson agreed to call for each receive a percentage of the profits of the event.
“I don’t know what I’m getting for the fight yet but I know I’m not turning down a fight with Mike Tyson,” Jones said, declining to specify the split he and Tyson have agreed to. “I don’t care what I get. It’s me and Mike Tyson. That’s good enough for me. (How much I make) all depends on how many people buy it.”
Jones said he is in good shape. He said he weighs 208 pounds and has continued to train daily during his retirement.
He was busy doing him when he said Tyson brought up the idea to him about a month ago. Jones was intrigued and about three weeks ago, he said one of Tyson’s representatives reached out to him directly.
“His guy called me, and said, ‘Hey, Mike wants to do a deal with you.’ I said OK. I mean, I’ll be glad to,” Jones said. “He said (Tyson) wanted to do an eight-round exhibition. I don’t want to fight, but Mike? I said alright. (But) it’s a one-off (fight). He’s the only one I want to get in there with.”
Jones and Tyson will not wear headgear and will wear 12-ounce gloves rather than the standard 10-ounce gloves that heavyweights would wear in an official bout. According to the official announcement of the bout, the California State Athletic Commission has agreed to oversee the fight.
Andy Foster, the executive director of the California commission, told Yahoo! Sports that he did not anticipate an all-out fight.
“This isn’t a situation where they’re going out there to try to take each other’s heads off,” Foster said to Yahoo! Sports. “They’re just going to be in there moving around the ring and letting fans see these legends.”
That is not at all how Jones sees it, or Tyson for that matter, based on the promotional spot Tyson posted to his social media accounts as part of the announcement of the fight.
He said he did not think the fight would go the distance either.
“I don’t think so but we’ll see,” Jones said. “If he doesn’t get me out in the first two, three rounds it’s all on my side. Now he got to survive. I got to survive three. He got to survive five. I think it’s definitely going to come off. Who don’t want to see Mike Tyson against Roy Jones?”
“In any event, this fight will under-perform because you have TWO OLD GEEZERS at 54 and 51 going at it! This is case of two legendary greats that don’t know when enough is enough! This fight won’t live up to the hype and it will look worse then an amateur fight because THESE two legends are well past their primes. Boxing is sport that when the time has left you, it has left you! It’s as simple as that and no two ways around it!” The cold-hearted, unadulterated and cutthroat truth telling fashion is necessary to denote what the lamest fight fan i.e. casual will be seeing when they fix their eyes on this day late, dollar short type of bout!” -HKHS