Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Twitter Decides Winner After Superfight Ruled DrawNovember 29, 2020
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:
Comedian Karlous Miller hoped Tyson wouldn't get offended:
Boxing trainer Teddy Atlas also felt Tyson was the better man in the ring:
The final punch stats were overwhelmingly in Tyson's favor, per Compubox's Dan Canobbio:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.