By: Sean Crose
The truth, as any serious boxing fan could attest, is that the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones exhibition match that went down at LA’s Staple Center and on pay per view Saturday night could have been a lot worse than it was. When men as old as Tyson and Jones fight, people run the risk of getting hurt. This is especially true when those men fight for a full sixteen minutes. Now that the match is over, everyone can breath a sigh of relief that neither man suffered serious damage as a result of eight, two-minute rounds of combat.
Many on social media, however, have expressed shock – not because there wasn’t a knockdown or knockout, but because Vinny Pazienza, Chad Dawson and Christy Martin, former WBC champions all, somehow ruled the throwdown a draw. Here’s the thing, though – Pazienza, Dawson and Martin aren’t real judges. The fight wasn’t even a real professional fight. It was an exhibition, and exhibition matches don’t have losers or winners. The ruling was just a throwaway for fans. Unfortunately, it’s obvious at this point that not all viewers were aware of that fact.
With that in mind, it was pretty clear after the final bell had rung that Tyson had gotten the better of his man. Jones held a lot in the hopes of tiring Tyson out. It didn’t work, at least not enough for Jones to take control. Although Jones certainly didn’t look bad for a man over fifty, Tyson threw the stronger punches and was obviously the more effective of the two fighters on Saturday. Yet the exhibition wasn’t a one sided blowout, either. People who know the sport were able to see where Jones did effective work.
The truth is that this was a match for the casual fans, and casual fans don’t know the nuances of professional boxing. What’s more, they don’t have to. It’s understandable, then, that a considerable amount of viewers were unhappy with the draw that wasn’t. Fortunately, most of those souls probably won’t be watching boxing regularly, like the rest of us. If they did, they’d then have real terrible decisions to complain about on pretty much a steady basis.
In a sense, then, Saturday’s judging was pretty similar to the judging of many big fights – save for the fact that no one’s professional record was impacted by it. And people said nothing good would come out of all this.