Boxing legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr have slugged out a controversial draw that has stunned the boxing world.
Tyson dominated almost every round with veteran TV commentator Bob Sheridan declaring he scored every single round to the former Baddest Man on the Planet.
Tyson, making his professional return to boxing after 15 years of retirement, looked by far the sharper of the two brawlers, while Jones showed every day of his more than 1000 days outside the ring.
Tyson, however, still showed glimpses of his former self. One of the most dangerous punchers in the history of combat sport, Tyson only needed a few trademark uppercuts and powerful body shots to get the sporting world salivating for more.
Tyson and Jones Jr fatigued quickly as the fight continued into the later rounds, but when the dust settled on the eight-round fight it was clear that Tyson had dominated.
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A beaten up Jones Jr admitted after the fight that he was in terrible pain as a result of Tyson’s barrage of body shots.
However, when the judges’ decision was announced, the fight was ruled a draw.
The fight was sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission as an exhibition fight that would not involve any official decision or any official winner.
However, promoters announced before the fight a celebrity judging panel made up of former champions Christy Martin, Vinny Pazienza, and Chad Dawson would be scoring the fight in an unofficial capacity. They were clearly watching a different fight.
Despite both fighters saying after the battle they accepted the controversial decision, the boxing world erupted in outrage at the dodgy call.
Music producing artist Murda Beatz summed it up best in a post on Twitter: “Tyson Got Robbed”.
ESPN boxing guru Dan Rafael called the judges’ decision “pure insanity”.
“Absurdly the unofficial WBC scorecards had #TysonJones a draw when Tyson clearly dominated,” he posted on Twitter.
“(Judge) Vinny Paz had the pure insanity card of 80-76 Jones.”
Legendary boxing TV commentator Bob Sheridan told the Main Event broadcast in Australia he couldn’t believe Jones Jr got away with a draw.
“I gotta tell you, I gave Mike Tyson every single round, because Roy just couldn’t seem to do anything at all,” he said.
“I scored it 80-72.”
While boxing commentators couldn’t belief the verdict, there wasn’t an angry bone in Tyson’s body when the announcement was made.
“I’m good with that,” Tyson said before admitting he believed he won the fight.
“I’m good with a draw because I entertained the crowd and the crowd was good with it.”
Tyson said he will fight again. He said he wants Jones Jr on the card of his next fighting event. Jones Jr even talked up a re-match.
Jones Jr even said he believed he should have been awarded the victory on the judges’ cards.
It came despite the official CompuBox statistics showing Tyson landed 67 punched to Jones’ 37, including 57 power punches to Jones’ 28.
“Hell no, I never settle a fight with a draw,” Jones said.
“I don’t do draws. The dude is so strong man, I understand why they say some things are bucket list. Because if he hits you, whether it’s his head, or his punches, his body shots, it don’t matter, everything hurts. For me, I thought I did enough on the outside to edge it out but I’m cool with a draw, it just means we’ll have to do it again.”
Here’s how the drama unfolded.
The WBC celebrity judging panel scored the fight:
Chad Dawson 76-76, draw
Christy Martin: 79-73, Tyson
Vinny Pazienza: 80-76, Jones
Round 1 – Tyson comes out swinging. The 54-year-old was clearly the aggressor in the first round and dominated the early exchanges. ESPN boxing guru Dan Rafael wrote on Twitter: “Tyson by the the aggressor”.
Round 2 – Tyson wins the round. Jones struggling to find timing. Tyson’s cornerman says at the end of the round: “You’re throwing missiles”.
Round 3 – Roy Jones Jr is sloppy in the ring. Struggling to land any shots. Tyson has won all three rounds. An accidental headbutt delays the round.
Round 4: Tyson still yet to lose a round. Tyson lands a heavy body shot that forces Jones to hug Tyson and slow the round.
Round 5 – Tyson clips Jones in the final exchange before the bell. Tyson is landing shots on the inside. Jones appears to be fatiguing. Veteran Boxing commentator Bob Sheridan says he has it scored Tyson 50-45.
Round 6 – Slowest round of the fight. Tyson shows a few trademark uppercuts but fails to land them.
Round 7 – Mike Tyson controlling the fight. Lands a couple of painful body shots. Jones Jr needs a knockout to win this fight.
Round 8 – Jones Jr lands a couple combinations, but also appears to struggle with a leg injury. Both fighters look for relief by repeatedly coming forward for a hug in the clinch.
Tyson will be awarded the fight on the unofficial judges’ cards. Jones Jr was lucky to win one round.
YouTube star Jake Paul has absolutely destroyed former NBA player Nate Robinson in a second round knockout.
Paul dropped Robinson twice in the first round, but the three-time NBA slam dunk contest champion was allowed to continue because the fight was sanctioned as an exhibition fight with a no knock-out clause.
However, the third time Paul dropped Robinson the fight was officially called when Robinson face-plated coming forward following another painful jab.
It was all over after Paul landed a third heavy right hand. The contest was officially over 1.35mins into the second round.
Robinson failed to get back to his feet for several minutes and was lying on the deck motionless for several minutes.
He was unable to get back to his feet for the official decision.
On the morning of the fight in Los Angeles there was some late drama with rapper Lil Wayne pulling out at the last minute – only for rap icon Snoop Dogg to announce he will be joining the star-studded performance line-up at the Staples Centre event.
The late switch was confirmed by promoters in a statement.
“We are excited to announce that world-renowned rapper, Snoop Dogg will be joining tonight’s musical lineup in celebration of Tyson and Jones Jr.’s historic return to the ring,” the statement claimed.
Lil Wayne also confirmed his no-show on Twitter, writing: “Due to unforeseeable circumstances I won’t be performing tonight at the Tyson/Jones fight. Hope the event is still a success and much love to (promotion company) Triller”.
It came after TMZ first reported Lil Wayne skipped his scheduled flight to Los Angeles to perform before Tyson and Roy Jones Jr make their walks to the ring.
SAINt JHN, Wiz Khalifa, YG and French Montana are also expected to perform.
Snoop was hyped for the event, posting on Twitter Sunday: “Who wanna see me LIve ?? It’s going down”.
Mike Tyson has made his way to the Staples Centre and is strapping his hands up ahead of his fight with Roy Jones Jr.
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. — Heavyweight exhibition
Jake Paul defeated Nate Robinson via KO, Round 2
Badou Jack defeats Blake McKernan via judges’ decision (80-72 x3).
Jamaine Ortiz defeated Nahir Albright via TKO, round 7 via liver punch, body shot.
Mike Tyson says he never imagined as a heavyweight boxing champion that he would climb into the ring with Roy Jones Jr. at age 54 as he does on Saturday.
Fifteen years after retiring with a 2005 loss to journeyman Kevin McBride, Tyson makes a comeback after dropping 100 pounds and returning to training.
“I didn’t think I’d live that long. It was so intense,” Tyson said Friday in a news conference ahead of the eight-round fight in Los Angeles.
“Me just existing is a success.” Tyson said his hunger has returned 15 years after finishing his career.
“I don’t know who I was then. I’m just very comfortable with who I am now,” Tyson said.
“My last fight, I didn’t have no interest in it. I’m interested now.” Tyson, 50-6 with 44 knockouts, plans to take the fight to 51-year-old Jones, 66-9 with 47 knockouts, from the start.
“I’m just going to go right at him at the bell and see what happens,” Tyson said. “It’s going to be entertaining. He’s a fighter. I’m a fighter. We’re in there throwing punches. Anything can happen.”
Jones, whose last fight was a 2018 cruiserweight victory, plans to take some time to sort out how much of “Iron Mike” remains in Tyson.
“I want to come out early, figure out my ways to attack him. He’s very dangerous when he’s at his distance,” Jones said.
“He knows my combinations, but not the speed or velocity. He won’t be knowing how I’m throwing them.
“We both want to beat each other up.” Asked how hard he can punch, Tyson replied, “We’re going to see” and said he’s ready to adapt if Jones attacks quickly – “I’m going to Plan B – punch him back.”
Tyson ruled the heavyweight division in the late 1980s and struggled through the 1990s after a stunning upset loss to Buster Douglas, a rape conviction and two losses to Evander Holyfield that included biting a chunk out of his rival’s ear.
“I’m struggling like everyone else,” Tyson said. “I’m learning from life’s mistakes.” Tyson lost his last world title fight to Lennox Lewis in 2002 and faded from the scene before a desire to get back into shape evolved into more.
“If I didn’t have the same dedication I wouldn’t have lost the weight,” Tyson said. “You don’t bring age to the table. You bring your energy.
“It’s incredible I can still do this.”
His “100-pound process” began with 15 minutes a day on a treadmill that grew into two hours and led to hitting gloves and sparring sessions.
“The first day was disastrous.” Tyson said, but found while he was “getting shellacked” he realized, “I belong here.”
“To some degree, it tells me I’m a fool,” Tyson said. “The other side tells me I can do it.
“I’ll never call another fighter a bum again. The process to get in shape to fight somebody is psychologically overwhelming if you’re not a boxer.
“This is fun. Right now. Everything else I’ve gone through is hell.”
– ‘Time humbles you’ –
Tyson finds himself a family man who has a place in life for boxing, not a fighter whose life revolves around battles as it once did.
“This is a part of my life I threw away. It doesn’t have the appeal it once had,” Tyson said.
“Time humbles you. You want to see your children grow. I want to involve myself in my friends and family.” That’s why he hopes staging over-age athlete events has a feature with his Legends Only League.
“God willing, the sky is the limit,” he said.
Jones has more modest goals, including a fight with 45-year-old Brazilian mixed martial arts star Anderson Silva.
“If this goes well, I’m almost positive that will be next,” Jones said. “A success would be to look good, not to get caught with nothing stupid. A success would be me being me.” Jones surprised himself at how ready he is to fight.
“I can’t believe I’m able to maintain my speed at 51. It shocks me. It’s the craziest thing,” Jones said.
“The aches and pains are there. You have to have the mental strength to overcome the adversity.”