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The highly anticipated boxing exhibition between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. may already be in jeopardy. Recently delayed from Sept. 12 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in California to Saturday, Nov. 28, the move has upset the former light unified light heavyweight and WBA heavyweight champion Jones. 

In an interview with The Daily Mail, Jones (66-9, 47 KOs) expressed his frustrations over the move that bumps the exhibition fight back over two months. With the promoters biding time to see whether fans could be allowed to attend the match amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Jones cited his desire to obtain better compensation to take part in the event. 

“Why would I change the date and mess up the rest of my year when I agreed to Sept. 12?” Jones said. “They said they wanted to get a crowd, if you want to get a crowd, that’s a different type of money. If you want a big event, that’s a different type of money. You think I’m going to say, ‘OK, let’s look at my money, but I’m not getting no better percent.’ How dumb is that to me? So let’s see what happens.”

Jones also elaborated on the fact that the move to face Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) over Thanksgiving weekend has disrupted his plans to accrue income elsewhere — another obvious reason for wanting to head back to the negotiating table. 

“I’ve had to cancel other stuff to be out here, it’s upset my calendar, I’ve got to change things,” Jones continued. “That’s why we have to table it and renegotiate now. That’s the biggest issue, I’m not a full time boxer anymore so I do other things to make an income. If I can’t do other things then I should be compensated for that, because it changes the schematics. It’s not acceptable.”

In an interview with MMA Fighting, Jimmy Burchfield Jr. — CEO of Classic Entertainment & Sports, who is promoting the event — explained the decision to move the event to Nov. 28, citing the potential for spectators as well as the marquee spotlight Thanksgiving weekend provides. 

“We sat around and looked at what was going on, the Mike Tyson, Roy Jones legends fight was resonating, plus putting together these other fights that were gaining traction and we realized that people were demanding tickets, wondering how to view this live,” Burchfield said. “We looked at it and said, ‘Hey, maybe there’s a possibility of pushing this back where we can have some spectators. So that was one factor to consider.

“Another factor to consider is the Saturday after Thanksgiving is a huge night and we thought the potential of that particular night would be huge from a marketing standpoint — giving us more time to market the event. There were real business issues involved in it which facilitated it being pushed back.”

Burchfield’s explanation makes sense, in theory, but now he and his promotional team must deal with the potential of Jones pulling out of the exhibition as part of the fallout from that decision. 

In addition to the two legends Tyson and Jones clashing, the event is also expected to feature YouTube personality Jake Paul taking on former NBA Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson as well as former super middleweight champion Badou Jack in action. It will be available for purchase on traditional pay-per-view as well as upstart social media platform Triller — which helped bring the event together — for the reported price of $49.99. 



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Mike Tyson nearly knocks out trainer while preparing for exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr.

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Mike Tyson is set to return to the ring on Nov. 28 when he takes on Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition fight. Iron Mike has been aggressively training for the fight and it looks like he’s in the best shape of his life. Just ask his trainer.

Tyson has been posting videos showcasing his training in the lead-up to the fight. On Wednesday, a clip showed Tyson sparring with trainer Rafael Cordeiro and, unfortunately for Cordeiro, Tyson accidentally caught him with a hook:

As you can see, Cordeiro stumbles back after Tyson connects on the huge right hand. Tyson, 54, certainly still appears to have the speed and power that made him one of the most dangerous boxers in the sport’s history.

While the upcoming bout against Jones Jr. is an exhibition fight, Tyson appears to be taking it very seriously and the boxing world is taking notice.

WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring commented on the video, writing “Somebody send Mike a reminder that this is an exhibition.” In addition, Danny Williams, who knocked out Tyson prior to his retirement in 2005, believes that Tyson could “seriously hurt” Jones Jr. when the two face off in the ring in November.

Jones Jr. even recently admitted that he may have “made a mistake” by accepting the fight with Tyson.

“He’s still Mike Tyson, he’s still one of the strongest, most explosive people who ever touched a boxing ring,” Jones Jr. old Sky Sports. “If anything, I made a mistake going in with him. He’s the bigger guy, he’s the explosive guy.”



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IPL 2020 – Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming says it’s like every game is like an away game

Adaptability, picking the right personnel and reading pitches correctly in the absence of home ground advantage will be key to success at IPL 2020, according to the Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming.

“This season is going to be very different tactically,” Fleming told the Super Kings website. “With no real home ground advantage here, we’ve got to be very good at adapting to the conditions in each ground. We’ve got three different grounds (Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi) to assess and each ground has its own character and nuances, and we’ve just got to be good enough to pick the right team and get the right game plan to match that. It’s like every game is an away game.”

Apart from not having been able to train in Abu Dhabi – the venue of their tournament opener against the Mumbai Indians on Saturday – a lot of the Super Kings’ first-choice players – including Shane Watson, MS Dhoni , Ambati Rayudu and Deepak Chahar- have been away from the game longer than some others. Add to it the challenges of playing in Abu Dhabi without having seen the wicket or assessed the conditions – something Mumbai have had the chance to do because they’re based there.

“It’s one of the challenges of having to travel to Abu Dhabi – we’ve got to have to be very good on the day to have to assess the wicket and pick the right combination,” Fleming said. “One of the big challenges for IPL teams is to get the combinations right.

“There are a lot of skillful players that make the side, but there are also a lot of skillful players that don’t. Picking the right side for the right conditions is one of the great challenges and we’ve got a good record at that. But I must admit, going to Abu Dhabi without seeing the wicket or assessing the conditions is going to be one of the big challenges to start with.”

That said, Fleming also believes the Super Kings will be able to cover up for the lack of match time by their combined wealth of experience. For the record, Mumbai have come up trumps in the last two meetings between the sides. “We’ve got experienced players, and experienced players identify key times and that’s why they’ve done so well in their careers – that they can turn games, absorb pressure or just sum out the situation. That’s what experience is about and that’s why we value it so highly.

“And that’s why we’ve been able to get over the line in so many close games because the key player has been one with a lot of experience. And you also mix that with skill. You are conscious of having a skillful side and adding youth when we can and with that get the balance pretty right.”

The lead-up to the Super Kings’ campaign has been chaotic. Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh opted out of the season for different reasons while two players – Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar – along with a number of support staff members tested positive. Among all teams, the Super Kings have trained the least in the UAE, having only been able to begin on September 6 after extended quarantine periods. But Fleming doesn’t think this will be a disadvantage.

“It has been different, and that’s been part of the challenge – understanding the unknown,” Fleming said of their build-up. “We didn’t get off to a great start, with some positive Covid-19 cases, but I think we dealt with it very well.

“We were calm around our approach, looked after the players and staff very well, and the rest of the players were calm in the hotel room. There was a bit of anxiety wanting to get out and train. It is what it is, and the players dealt with it very well. On hindsight, the amount of pre-season training that we’ve done up to now, and the extra few days in the room, was probably a blessing.”

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai captain, doesn’t believe the past will have any bearing on how his team will perform in this year’s IPL though they had lost each of their five games in the UAE in 2014, the last time the tournament was played in the country.

“We didn’t have a great experience last time yes, but it’s a different team now,” Rohit said at the pre-tournament press conference on Thursday. “The thought process is different. Six years is a lot of time. Like I said, it’s about understanding pitches and conditions, that is crucial so we are putting a lot of emphasis on that.

“Eventually the pitches will play a big part, so understanding and adapting quickly is important. But yes, the past won’t play any part – it was just myself, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah from that team. I think Bumrah played just one game. So the team is different, the staff is different [and] thought process is different. Looking forward to a great IPL.”

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Bryce Harper hits two home runs, but Phillies come up short vs. Mets, 10-6

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