While the California State Athletic Commission has made it clear the planned Nov. 28 exhibition bout between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. will be fought under the rules that the two men will not look for a knockout and instead “exhibit their skills,” the fighters are continuing to talk as though they plan to go all out in the ring.
In August, Tyson told the Dan Patrick Show, “We’re throwing punches at each other. This is going to be my definition of fun … broken eye sockets, broken jaw, broken rib. That’s fun to me.”
Now, Jones, who spent his career at lower weights aside from a single world-title winning fight at heavyweight, is sharing the same sentiment, suggesting it was a dangerous decision to face Tyson, one of history’s best heavyweights.
“He’s still Mike Tyson, he’s still one of the strongest, most explosive people who ever touched a boxing ring,” Jones told Sky Sports. “If anything, I made a mistake going in with him. He’s the bigger guy, he’s the explosive guy. He’s going to have all the first-round fireworks, not me. I do have first-round fireworks, but he’s known for more first-round fireworks than anybody to ever touch boxing, other than maybe George Foreman. With him having the first-round fireworks, he’ll be against a guy smaller than him, maybe 40-50 pounds smaller than him.”
CSAC executive director Andy Foster has shot down the notion that the fight will be a true boxing contest already, telling BoxingScene.com, “I wanted to have their assurances that they understand, ‘I don’t care if they spar. I don’t care if they work.’ They are world-class athletes, even still. They have a right to earn, and all these types of things. They’re about the same age. We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.
“It’s an exhibition. They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other. They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout. This isn’t a record-book type of fight. This is not world-championship boxing right now. It’s not what this is. People shouldn’t be getting knocked out. The public can see what kind of shape Roy and Mike are still in.”
The fight between Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, was originally planned for September before COVID-19 restrictions led to the bout being pushed back in the interest of attracting more fans, whether that means in-person or via pay-per-view on the Triller social media app is still to be determined.
But, Jones and Tyson continue to do their best to sell the idea that this is a fight worth the time of fans who tune in.
“When it comes time to fight, we’re going to fight,” Jones said. “If it comes down to bite, we’re going to bite. Whatever has to happen is going to happen. That’s just what it is.”