November 2020 - With Frontline Battle exhibition fight rapidly approaching, Mike and Roy took a break from their rigorous training to reflect on their boxing role models, motivations for returning to the ring, and offer some words of advice during a trying time for everyone across the globe.
This is Candid Conversation, Part 2, Featuring Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
Who are your boxing role models? Why?
Mike: Robert Duran because he’s vicious and mean and I identify with him the most. I mean he really puts on a show. He’s exceptional and exciting to watch. Of course Muhammad Ali was my favorite because he had the greatest confidence and belief of anyone around. He’s like the Yoda of boxing. He was just so competitive and would rather die than lose.
Roy: There are several and if I leave you off this list please don’t feel offended, I just can’t name everybody.
- Muhammad Ali because of his class, charisma and what he stood for outside of the boxing ring.
- Salvador Sanchez because of his relentless conditioning.
- Sugar Ray Leonard because of his explosiveness and uncanny ability to take over a fight at any time.
- Thomas Hearns because of the brutal right hand he possessed.
- Marvin Hagler because of how consistent he was.
What inspired you to return to the ring and train for your upcoming fight?
Mike: I just started exercising and was feeling so good, I had an urge to hit the bag, something I haven’t done in over 15 years. I was enjoying it and I never thought I would get enjoyment out of boxing again. I thought the sport had robbed the best of me but it wasn’t true. I just feel better than I ever have physically and mentally and it’s just something I needed to do for myself.
Roy: The fact that Mike Tyson wanted to share the ring with me...it doesn’t get any more inspiring than that.
What advice can you offer amid a global pandemic and volatility throughout the world?
Mike: Be kind. If we can start our day off with kind intentions and work from our heart and less from our head then the world would be better off. We all need to do our part too to contribute in our own way. Just doing simple things like setting our intentions to not work from a hateful space is a start. We are all one but can’t see it because we are working out of fear instead of love.
Roy: Treat every person as your brother...and as you want someone to treat you. Forget about race, color, religion and all that, when you respect everybody as somebody the world would be a lot better place to live in.