Tyson vs. Jones Jr. Purse: Prize-Money Payouts After Main Event Fight

Jake RillFeatured Columnist INovember 29, 2020

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2019, file photo, Mike Tyson attends a celebrity golf tournament in Dana Point, Calif. Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. are older, wiser, calmer men than the superstars who dominated their sport. Their fight at Staples Center on Saturday night, Nov. 28, is an eight-round exhibition bout with no official judging and limited violence, although the limit depends on whether you're asking the fighters or the California State Athletic Commission. For Tyson and Jones, this unique pay-per-view boxing match is less of a sporting event and more of a chance for two transcendent athletes to prove age is a number and aging is a choice. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. contested an eight-round draw in their highly anticipated exhibition match at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night. As it turns out, the purse for the bout was even as well.

According to ESPN's Marc Raimondi, Tyson and Jones each earned a guaranteed $1 million from the fight. Previously, Tyson had said that he would be donating his payout to charity, with the 54-year-old's representatives telling TMZ Sports in July that he would be helping "those affected economically, medically and socially" by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was clear during the fight that the boxing legends weren't there for a paycheck. Tyson and Jones, who is 51, were smiling by the end of the bout, the main event of a five-fight card.

"This is better than fighting for championships," Tyson said, per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. "We're humanitarians now. We can do something good for the world. We've got to do this again."

Tyson showed that if he wanted to do it again, he likely could. After a 15-year break, Iron Mike landed 67 punches against Jones, according to Dan Canobbio of CompuBox, which included 57 power strikes and 10 jabs. He connected on 35 percent of his 193 punch attempts.

It was a much more efficient showing from Tyson than Jones, who landed 37 of his 236 punch attempts (16 percent). Jones connected with 28 power strikes and nine jabs.

Still, the World Boxing Council celebrity judges ended up ruling it a draw. That was the way it was scored by former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, who had it at 76-76, according to boxing journalist Dan Rafael. Former light middleweight champion Christy Martin scored it 79-73 in favor of Tyson, while former lightweight and light middleweight champion Vinny Paz scored it 80-76 in favor of Jones.

Even though it was an exhibition, it was exciting for boxing fans to see Tyson and Jones in the same ring trading blows, especially when it seemed unlikely either would step into a ring again. Tyson went 50-6 during his professional career, which ended in 2005. Jones retired in 2018 after improving to 66-9 with a win over Scott Sigmon.

Before the Tyson-Jones fight, the bout on the card that had the second-most hype was between former NBA player Nate Robinson and YouTuber Jake Paul. That fight ended with Paul knocking out Robinson in the second round. However, Paul and Robinson aren't making nearly as much as the main eventers, as their guaranteed purse for the fight was $600 each, per Raimondi.

Like Tyson and Jones, Paul and Robinson should end up making more than that guaranteed amount. But that will be determined from pay-per-view shares and endorsements.