Saturday night I was sitting at home on a lazy evening and was scrolling through Twitter when I realized that Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. were set to fight that night. I debated for a while whether it was worth buying the fight to see two 50 something year old men go at it in the boxing ring.
Some people said it was a waste of time, others told me to do it, and eventually I gave in and bought the fight. There were two or three fights before the main event and those were pretty entertaining as well. YouTube sensation Jake Paul turned former two-time NBA slam-dunk contest champion Nate Robinson into a meme with his knockout.
Robinson was knocked down several times, with the last one ending the fight. The internet did what it does best and before Robinson was out of the ring his image was all over the internet in several hilarious memes. But everyone was waiting for Tyson and Jones to step into the ring.
Tyson, 54 and Jones, 51 stepped into the ring together for the first time in a battle of two of the best of their time. If this match had taken place 10 years ago or more it would have been billed as the match of the century, but instead they fought Saturday in an exhibition at the combined age of 105.
The rules for the fight were different. Eight two-minute rounds and the boxing commission didn’t want any knockouts. It was said that if one of the fighters got cut the fight would end. They even wanted the two fighters to wear headgear at one point, but when the bell rung on Friday night it resembled a real title fight.
Tyson had not been in a ring in 15 years, a disappointing end to his career where he quit before the seventh round of his fight with Kevin McBride. Jones had not been in the ring in over two years. The fight gained traction after videos surfaced online of Tyson in tremendous shape and looking like his younger self, training in the ring.
For me, the best part of the entire night was listening to Tyson talk pre and post fight. He had worked tremendously hard to get back to where he stood on Saturday night and appeared to genuinely appreciate all he had been through. Tyson has a long public history of incidents in and out of the ring and his struggles are well documented, so to see him talk about going out and working to do things that people said he couldn’t do was great to see. To return, and to put on a great performance, and to rewrite the ending to his story was something I thoroughly enjoyed watching.
As for the match, it was unofficially declared a draw, but anyone who watched the fight and has an inkling of knowledge of boxing saw that Tyson was the unanimous winner. He dominated Jones for the majority of the fight that lasted all eight rounds.
Granted both fighters were exhausted at the end of each round, but the two guys are in their fifties, that was expected. Some people made fun of them or had things to say, but I know that if I were to step into a boxing ring at 50, or even today at the age of 35, there is no way I could do what those two did on Saturday night.
Tyson seemed ready and willing to continue boxing and is looking forward to another fight. Out of the two, Tyson looked to be in much better physical shape and I would gladly buy his next fight. I missed Tyson’s prime, but I have watched countless YouTube video of his prime and he was as impressive as they get.
Regardless of his past and the things he has been through, Tyson has worked to redeem himself and that in and of itself is admirable. All in all the fight on Saturday was well worth the money because you saw two guys in their fifties giving it their all in an exhibition match.