By: Hans Themistode
Mike Tyson took a page out of his 1980s playbook as he sauntered his way to the ring tonight. The former undisputed heavyweight champion strutted out wearing his typical all-black attire with the sleeves cut out of his shirt.
It was the moment that fight fans all around the world was waiting on as both Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. stood across from each other in a contest that was 20 years in the making. After watching former NBA player Nate Robinson get decapitated by YouTube star Jake Paul along with former two-division world champion Badou Jack and his one sided beating against Blake McKernan, Tyson and Jones Jr. ended the night with mostly nonstop action for eight rounds.
With the usual three minute rounds kicked to the curb in favor of an abbreviated two minute rounds instead, Tyson came out as explosive as ever. He bobbed and weaved from side to side and launched himself at Jones Jr. For the 51-year-old future hall of famer however, he proved that his reflexes are still working just fine as he evaded many of Tyson’s big shots.
Trading blow for blow was never on the agenda for Jones Jr., so instead, he went into retreat mode and clinched with him whenever he could. His early game plan may have allowed him to stay upright, but Tyson appeared to be in clear control.
Each round started off the same. Jones Jr. would attempt to outbox his man, while Tyson on the other hand, did his best to leave him stiff on the canvas. At various points during their contest, it appeared as though he was on his way to doing just that as he landed several hard right hands. The much talked about fading chin of Jones Jr. though, held up just fine.
During the midway point of their contest, Jones Jr. felt his man losing a bit of pop in his punches. From there, it was showtime for the former pound for pound star. Jones Jr. hit Tyson with Jabs during the early portion of round five and made him pay whenever he would lunge at him with a left hook of his own.
As their scheduled eight round contest reached round seven, both fighters appeared winded on the stool. Yet, it was Tyson who kept his foot on the gas and refused to let up. Being on the receiving end of a big shot wasn’t on the mind of Jones Jr. as he continued to grab Tyson on the inside and push him back.
The final round saw Jones Jr. do his best work. He immediately came forward and threw a six punch combination at Tyson. The former undisputed heavyweight titlist ducked down but was still on the receiving end of several. Just when he thought it was safe to push forward, Jones Jr. connected with a combination again. Tyson took the shots well and attempted to get on the inside.
With a few seconds remaining in their contest, both fighters appeared more than content with standing in the middle of the ring clinched up.
Following the final bell, both men had their hands raised as if to say they had done more than enough to win the contest. To the surprise of both though, their showdown was ruled a draw. Judge Vinny Pazienza ruled it 80-76 in favor of Jones Jr., while judge Christy Martin gave the edge to Tyson with a score of 79-73. The third and final judge however in Chad Dawson, simply couldn’t give it to either man as he had it, 76-76.
Ruling their contest a draw may have left social media pissed off, but for Tyson, he was perfectly fine with it.
“I’m okay with it,” said Tyson immediately following the contest. “We entertained the crowd and that’s all that matters.”
Jones Jr. though, wasn’t pleased with the ruling at all.
“Hell no I’m not happy,” said Jones Jr. “I wear draws but I don’t agree that this fight was a draw.”
Part two between both aging legends not only could take place but according to Tyson, it absolutely should.
“We gotta do this again.”
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