Tyson/Jones Jr. draw after 8 rounds
By Robert Ecksel on November 28, 2020
Tyson said he smoked dope on the day of the “fight.” (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)
Saturday night at the empty Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, former champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. waltzed to a questionable draw after eight two-minute rounds.
It wasn’t a real fight. It was a gentlemanly sparring session for those hoping for an improbable blast from past. In lieu of actual judges, Chad Dawson, Christy Martin, and Vinny Pazienza watched the fight remotely and, like the two combatants, appeared to follow a script, setting up something resembling a rematch for those inclined to tune in another time.
The California State Athletic Commission did its part by keeping itself at a safe distance, whereas the WBC, who participated in the entertainment, awarded yet another belt to both fighters, thereby legitimizing something that had illegitimacy written all over it.
Momentary flashes of the old Tyson, who is 54, appeared on the screen. The same was true, to a lesser extent, for 51-year-old Jones. Tyson has been pumping iron and appeared in decent shape. He threw and landed more punches. Jones by contrast was flabby and mostly hung on for dear life.
After the fight Jones said, “I ain’t ever satisfied with a draw,” Jones said. “I wear draws, I don’t do draws. I like him, but the dude is so strong, man. And I understand why they say some things are bucket list. Because when he hits you—if it’s his head, his punches, his body shots, don’t matter—everything hurts.
“So, for me, I thought I did enough boxing on the outside to do the job, but I’m cool with a draw. It means we just might have to try to do it again.”
Tyson admitted to smoking dope on the day of the “fight.”
“Listen, I can’t stop smoking,” he said. “I smoked during fights. I just have to smoke, I’m sorry. I’m a smoker. I smoked every day. I never stopped smoking. It's just who I am, it has no effect on me from a negative standpoint. It's just what I do, what I am, and how I'm gonna die. There's no explanation, there's no beginning, there's no end.”
When asked if he intended to resume his pro career, Tyson answered in the negative.
“This is bigger than fighting for championships. We’re humanitarians, we’re helping people. I’m into that now.”