Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. fought to an unofficial draw in a somewhat highly anticipated matchup of former champions. Most thought that Tyson clearly won the fight, but I think the fans were the big winners for the evening, with the entertaining headline bout that was preceded by some interesting preliminary fights and comical commentary.
The 54-year-old Tyson and the 51-year-old Jones delivered more action than what most expected. Tyson delivered some hard body shots that seemed to take their toll on Jones and in return, Jones moved around the ring surprisingly well to deliver his unconventional punches at a time when he looked exhausted.
“I’m used to doing it for three minutes,” Tyson said of the rounds. “Sometimes that two minutes felt like three minutes. I’m happy I got this under my belt to keep doing this and go further.”
Jones did not commit to any further bouts, saying simply that it was “hard to say.”
There was a total of four fights on the card. Jamaine Ortiz def. Sulaiman Segawa via seventh round TKO. In the next fight, Badou Jack def. Blake McKernan by unanimous decision. The final prelim fight, that was the most entertaining, featured Internet star Jake Paul and former NBA player Nate Robinson.
Paul scored two knockdowns before knocking Robinson out cold in the second round. The fight was all action from the opening bell. Robinson charged forward all fight, even after being knocked down. Maybe Robinson should have focused more on his defense in preparation for the fight, taking nothing away from Paul, who showed impressive punching power.
The fact that Paul and Robinson were not seasoned veterans in the ring added a component to the fight that we rarely get to see. There are plenty of entertainers out there with so called “beef” and if I were the promoters, I would try to tap into that market to add some of those fights to upcoming cards. Millions of people would tune in to see their favorite rapper, entertainer or actor face off against their nemesis. To be honest, I would too.
The program also included musical interludes by Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, Snoop Dogg and more. What really made the broadcast even more entertaining was the fight commentary from Snoop Dogg himself. His clever one-liners and off-the-cuff comments were quite hilarious and really added to the broadcast.
While the fight between Jones and Tyson didn’t involve any knockdowns or scary hits, I think it lived up to most of the hype. I think with this being the first program under the Legends Only League, it leaves a lot of promise out there for future events.
There are so many legendary boxers who have left the ring in the last 20 years that Tyson can tap to make some compelling matchups. He can also continue to add the celebrity component as well, because many of those individuals have a large fan following. The possibilities are endless.
The next fight for Tyson should be another bout with Evander Holyfield. Holyfield, the former heavyweight champ, had a lot to say following the boxing telecast, challenging Tyson to fight the 58-year-old Holyfield.
“No more excuses,” said Holyfield in a statement, per Reuters. “This is the fight that must happen for both our legacies. Saturday night you said you were ready to fight me, so sign the contract and get in the ring Tyson. The world is waiting and it’s on you now. I’m ready.”
A third bout between the two would be a great watch. The first fight ended with an 11th round TKO for Holyfield and was seen as an upset. The second fight was infamously known for Tyson being disqualified after biting off a piece of Holyfield’s ear.
Apparently, Holyfield lobbied to be Tyson’s opponent for the first fight, but promoters chose Jones instead.
“My side tried to make the fight happen and we got nothing but excuses,” Holyfield’s statement continued. “Now I can see why he wanted a tune-up fight before thinking about fighting me. Roy Jones was a good local opponent for Mike, but a fight with me would be a global event and the only fight that anyone wants to see is a fight between us.
“There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t make it happen.”
Those were big words from Holyfield. I think he is partly right by saying that more people would be interested in this fight as opposed to the first, but I don’t think the fans are as interested as they would have been 10 or 15 years ago.
The old saying “styles make fights” fits the proposed Tyson vs. Holyfield fight. Both are slug-it-out fighters who enjoy throwing power punches from close range. With Roy Jones being an unorthodox fighter who likes to move, the matchup with Tyson was one of opposing styles. I think with the history that Holyfield and Tyson share, coupled with their fighting styles, it would be a better fight.
There are several recently retired fighters to tap for these future fights. These fights could serve boxing fans in a similar fashion to how the BIG 3 League allows former NBA stars to still have a platform to play. I look forward to what future matchups promoters can organize. I just hope they don’t allow politics to decide who can and cannot fight like how they do the current boxing stars.