Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Twitter Decides Winner After Superfight Ruled Draw

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2020

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2019, file photo, Mike Tyson attends a celebrity golf tournament in Dana Point, Calif. Tyson is coming back to boxing at age 54. The former heavyweight champion will meet four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match on Sept. 12. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.'s fight on Saturday night at the Staples Center may have just been an exhibition match, but that didn't stop people on Twitter from declaring Iron Mike the better man when it was all said and done.

Tyson, 54, looked like the tighter, more efficient boxer throughout the exhibition. He hasn't stepped in the ring for nearly 15 years, but he showed off the skills that made him a great heavyweight.

Jones, 51, was missing the hand speed that made him one of the pound-for-pound greats, so his usual tricks and unorthodox attacks didn't have quite the same effectiveness. The WBC unofficially declared the fight a draw, per the pay-per-view broadcast, but most seemed to think Iron Mike deserved to be called the winner.

Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd and Joy Taylor provided their takes:

Joy Taylor @JoyTaylorTalks

A draw is not accurate tho. Tyson won that.

Colin Cowherd @ColinCowherd

Roy jones couldn’t even hurt Tyson’s feelings tonight.

Comedian Karlous Miller hoped Tyson wouldn't get offended:

Karlous @KarlousM

Y’all gone make Mike Tyson snap again.

Boxing trainer Teddy Atlas also felt Tyson was the better man in the ring:

Teddy Atlas @TeddyAtlasReal

Tyson won, not sure about anyone else. But I’m sure the promoters did, and this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this stuff. #TysonJonesJr #tysonvsjones

The final punch stats were overwhelmingly in Tyson's favor, per Compubox's Dan Canobbio:

Dan Canobbio @DanCanobbio

Final Punch Stats for #TysonJones: • Tyson out landed Jones, 67-37 in total connects. 35-4 edge in body shots • Tyson out landed Jones in 7 of the 8 rounds (one even) • Jones threw 43 more punches than Tyson https://t.co/tJJMpduHpe

Both Tyson and Jones earned at least $1 million for their efforts Saturday night, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi, with Tyson donating his prize money to charity. Tyson said he would be happy to fight again, but made it clear his return to the ring is more than a vanity project, per MMA Fighting:

MMAFighting.com @MMAFighting

Tyson: This is bigger than fighting and winning a championship. We're humanitarians, we're helping people. That's bigger, I'm into that now #TysonJones

Tyson was the clear aggressor from the start, inching forward and pushing Jones around the ring. Jones was forced to do some necessary clinching from the start, hoping to keep Tyson from getting off a dangerous shot. Snoop Dogg was in the commentary booth and provided a great line after a nice exchange in the first round, per Lou DiBella:

Lou DiBella @loudibella

“Like two of my uncles fighting at a barbecue” ... how can you not love #SnoopDogg! #snoopforever #TysonJones

While there weren't any official scores for the bout, which featured eight rounds at two minutes apiece, boxing journalist Dan Rafael provided some unofficial scores of his own:

Dan Rafael @DanRafael1

Rd 2 Tyson 10-9. Some decent action, Tyson landed a nice left hook. Roy holding and clinching. 2-0 Tyson. #boxing #TysonJones

Jones nailed Tyson with a great jab in the second round, right on the button. It was reminiscent of the sneaky, out-of-nowhere punches from distance that made him a top draw in the 1990s. That was one of the better moments from him early on, as he had to keep circling and tying up Tyson to keep the former heavyweight champion from catching him with a clean power punch.

A couple of thumping hooks to the body from Iron Mike got people's attention in the fourth frame. Former heavyweight champion George Foreman, who knows a thing or two about fighting at an advanced age, was impressed with what he saw:

George Foreman @GeorgeForeman

At 50, these guys are fighting real fight Tyson is doing nothing power shots.

With Jones visibly fading by the middle of the exhibition, it was Tyson who provided most of the flashpoint moments in the late rounds. ESPN's Max Kellerman offered up an explanation for what people were seeing:

Max Kellerman @maxkellerman

Roy Jones’ style was built on his overwhelming speed advantage. Mike Tyson’s style was built to overcome his size disadvantage as a short heavyweight. Roy is considered the “boxer” here, and in his prime was better pound for pound, but Mike is actually the more technical fighter.

Jones did show off his hand speed in the seventh, bursting out of the gate and landing a couple of punches before Tyson was able to drive him into a corner. Unfortunately, neither fighter was able to mount any late barrages, and the fight ended after eight rounds, as scheduled.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Roy Jones Jr. had enough 🤣 https://t.co/rNh9bZyORQ

Even after his first significant ring action in a decade-plus, Tyson seemed fairly fresh in his post-fight interview. Considering how much heart and spirit he showed, it wouldn't be at all surprising if he's able to line up a couple of other exhibitions. Jones didn't seem quite as enthusiastic about fighting again, but he took some crushing shots to the body and deserves credit for surviving Tyson's attacks.

For fans of a younger generation eager to see the legends and those with fond memories of watching them in their prime, the exhibition was about as good as one could have hoped for.