Iron Mike wasn’t kidding when he said he was coming back.
Back in May, boxing legend “Iron” Mike Tyson began to tease the possibility of his return to the ring. He posted training montages on his social media, began making more public appearances, and received a slew of challenges from athletes and combatants who wanted to get the first piece of him. It’s not every day you get to cross fists with a living legend of combat sports, after all. Finally, it seems like Tyson is returning to the ring for real, and his chosen opponent couldn’t be more excited.
This Saturday, Mike Tyson will face off against fellow retired boxer Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round pay-per-view exhibition match for the ages. For Jones, fighting Tyson is a personal dream, something he’s wanted since becoming heavyweight champ in 2003. Due to a mix of bad timing and Tyson’s own disjointed personal life, he never got the opportunity, but when Jones got the call in July, he jumped right on the bandwagon.
“You get a call from the great Mike Tyson — it’s very difficult [to say no],” Jones told CNN.
Since both combatants are in their fifties, some changes to the typical formula have been made in the interest of safety. The round timer has been cut from three minutes to two minutes, and both combatants will be sporting 12-ounce gloves with no headgear by Tyson’s request. Jones is reasonably certain Tyson will be going for a knockout and has already begun building his strategy around that expectation.
“You got a cheetah on one side, who can run 60 miles per hour, but only for 30 seconds. And on the other hand, you’ve got a wild dog, with strong jaws, that can run all day,” he explained.
“I’m taking a big risk going out there with no head gear and 12-ounce gloves. Every day, he’s a killer. The referee or the commission can say what they want, but you can’t tell Mike ‘don’t do this.’ You can tell him, but he won’t listen.”
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) November 25, 2020
The fight can be ordered on most major cable TV providers for $50. Both Tyson and Jones have agreed that whoever wins, the whole fight purse is going to charity, with Jones in particular highlighting several charities that combat human trafficking and breast cancer.