Jesse Katz, President Of Roots Of Fight, Breaks Down His Collaboration With Triller And Reminisces About Mike Tyson And Roy Jones Jr.
By: Kirk Jackson
Roots of Fight Sowed Connections with Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
Roots of Fight President Jesse Katz recently spoke with Boxing Insider, providing insight to the highly anticipated bout between legendary Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. Katz also expanded on the collaboration with Triller, origins of Root of Fight, expectations for the anticipated match-up, along with his fondest memories of Tyson and Jones Jr.
The Roots of Fight connection between Roy Jones Jr., Mike Tyson and President of the company Jesse Katz, stems deeper than an exhibition fight taking place this past weekend. A star-studded event, featuring luminaries from several spectrums of the entertainment sphere, is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year.
“We’re pretty well respected and loved within the fight community and have very good relationships. We have a fairly decent audience, even though we’re not a Nike or Adidas, we’re pretty ubiquitous in this space and obviously have the attachment with all the icons we represent,” Katz said to Boxing Insider when speaking about how this event came together.
“We already had the relationships with the fighters where you know their approval needs to be had for everything to do with this event. So I got a call from Nakisa (Bidarian) and we’re very excited about the opportunity and to be a part of it.”
“We thought it was a very symbiotic relationship where we could have. We can add a lot of value to them with our relationships, our seeding abilities, the product capabilities and then, of course, we would get the benefit of all the connection with this incredible event and you know, just looking at these two guys look the way they do right now, I’m so excited about this fight on Saturday.”
The Vancouver-raised Katz was always a fight fan. As a youth growing up and even as he entered adulthood, Katz watched the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and many others. He coincidentally also admired the two icons featured in this past weekend’s blockbuster event between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
“We’re a company born from Muhammad Ali,” said Katz. “We wouldn’t exist without Muhammad and Lonnie and everything they did for us. With everything they did for us, they embraced, encouraged and supported.”
“As we initially built the company, it was largely just from my personal experience; relationships I had and the people who were my heroes growing up as an athlete and a fanatical sports lover. All of the greats that we represented in the early years, were people who were the best in the world at what they did. Whether that was fighting as world champions or baseball players or football players or basketball players, they were iconic.”
What started as an idea, a clothing brand representing and paying homage to various icons of the sports world, blossomed and transcended into one of the more influential brands we see today. With the addition of apparel featuring more fighters, apparel featuring other impactful figures from the world of sports and other avenues, Root of Fight continues to add its imprint into the fabric of popular culture.
“But as we started maturing, as the political landscape changed – in particular in America, the ideals of the people we represented became ever more important,” said Katz.
“We decided to shift the company and the brand and started focusing on people who were exceptional on the field of play, but were also exceptional off the field of play and helped shape popular culture on a global scale and moved the needle to making the world a better place. So that’s really what our focus is now; shining a spotlight on them and paying respect and tribute to people who were groundbreakers, difference makers, game-changers in all aspects in what that means.”
Tyson and Jones respectively are game-changers, with their influence not only transcending sports, but other mediums of entertainment. They have inspired the lives of many across multiple generations.
“Obviously for people who know our brand, we have the history with Mike and with Roy, we’ve worked in both of them. Both of them have their own clothing ventures now. When Triller was looking to find partnerships, there’s some complexity there, and we already have worked with and have very positive working relationships and histories with each of the fighters,” said Katz.
“The executive producer of the event, Nakisa (Bidarian) is someone that I worked with years ago when he was the CFO of the UFC. And then when he moved over [to Triller] and is producing this event. He thought of who would be a good brand partner that has a very positive reputation in that space and is synonymous with boxing and the combat sports world.”
The expectations were enormous for this fight between Tyson and Jones on Saturday; albeit it was reasonable to temper projected forecasts with all things considered. However, it’s Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.; their reputations far proceed them and the memories many fans share tend to override conventional thought.
It’s fair to suggest most, if not all of the sports world was intrigued by this event. The sentiment is echoed by everyone involved.
“Coming back, the older fighters don’t usually look crisp, powerful, clean, fast. Both these guys look fantastic and I think I’m like everybody else — I just can’t wait to see what happens and what the fireworks should be.”
Katz on Memories of Tyson:
“I mean I grew up watching Mike Tyson, so I’m 49-years-old. I grew up watching Mike Tyson as a teenager and I can remember watching those fights with my father. And you know those memories are permanently etched in my brain,” said Katz.
“But then I was in University in Montreal, like probably my mid-20s for the Evander Holyfield fight, the first one, and I remember going through a kind of upscale pool hall, where they were showing it in a big open room and it was so packed. But I mean it was just absolutely chaos and that emotion everyone was so attached to Mike. And although that fight didn’t go his way, every fight was a spectacle that was built up with so much energy and so much entertainment, everything was emotionally charged. That excitement was palpable.”
Katz on Memories of Jones:
“And then with Roy Jones Jr., I have two. One, I think would begin with Vinny Pazienza. If I’m correct, he hit like a 21-punch combination and it looked like a video game, where I watched it over and over again in super slow-mo. It was like he was hitting him like he’s playing ping-pong with him. It was just so extraordinary watching that, like it was like nothing I’ve ever seen again. It’s like a video game, like The Matrix,” Katz said of Jones Jr.
“When he fought James Toney. Toney was just such a scary dude and I remember watching Roy then and just again thinking that this guy is inhuman, that what he’s doing is not real. I still think that Roy would have retired after Ruiz, then he would have been regarded as the greatest part of pound for pound ever to live. Yeah, he was just such a special. Such a special fighter man. It was just such a pleasure to watch him work, he was poetry in motion.”
As the official apparel partner for the match, Roots of Fight has created an exclusive collection of graphic apparel across five styles including sweatshirts and tees all inspired by the official promotional poster in bright colors like yellow, pink and blue. The collection draws from the designs of retro concert tees that can be worn to showcase support and excitement around the match or simply as your go-to graphic tee.
The Triller Presents Tyson vs. Jones Collection retails from $48 – $80 and is available on RootsofFight.com.
Mike Tyson: “Boxing Owes YouTube Boxers Respect, They Should Give Them Some Belts Because These Guys Make Boxing Alive”
By: Hans Themistode
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson remembers the good ole days. The times of yesteryear where boxing was amongst the most talked about sports in the world. Nearly 30-40 years ago, living a normal life as a professional boxer was nearly impossible with the amount of fanfare. Fast forward to today however, and Tyson believes that boxing was heading by the wayside.
It isn’t just other sports such as the NFL, NBA and MLB that have passed boxing along, but Tyson also believes that so did the UFC. Regardless of how boxing was perceived over the past few years, Tyson is under the impression that the sport he once ruled over is making a comeback, and not because he’s decided to make his de-facto return to it.
“Boxing was pretty much a dying sport. UFC has been kicking our butt. Now we got these YouTube boxers and boxing is going back. Thanks to the YouTube boxers.”
Tyson’s love and admiration for YouTube boxers stems from having YouTube star Jake Paul and his six-round bout against former NBA dunk champion Nate Robinson as the co-main event of his eight-round exhibition contest against Roy Jones Jr. this past weekend.
Although Tyson’s debatable draw against Jones Jr. created much of the buzz, it was Paul’s second knockout of Robinson that stole the night. Watching the former NBA player lie motionless on the canvas sent social media and television talk shows into a frenzy.
YouTubers such as Paul, his brother Logan and KSI have set a new trend over the years but one that hasn’t been greeted with open arms by the boxing community. Yet, with over 2 million viewers tuning in to see KSI and Logan Paul go at it in August of 2018, the numbers for these special events have only continued to skyrocket.
Handing YouTube boxers their credit is difficult for Tyson’s ego to handle. With that being said, as the proliferation continues to pile up in terms of fans, Tyson thinks it’s time to embrace this new age of boxing.
“Listen, my ego says so many things,” said Tyson following his exhibition bout. “But my reality is they help boxing so much. Boxing owes these YouTube boxers some kind of respect. They should give them some belts because these guys make boxing alive.”
Roy Jones Jr. And Mike Tyson Battle To A Draw But Tyson Eye’s Rematch: “We Gotta Do This Again”
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.”
Ryan Kavanaugh, Co-owner Of The Triller App, Sits Down With Boxing Insider To Discuss Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
By: Kirk Jackson
Triller co-owner Ryan Kavanaugh recently spoke with Boxing Insider, providing insight to the highly anticipated bout between the illustrious Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. Kavanaugh also expanded on his predictions for the event, uniqueness of the Triller app and creative expression.
In what is expected to go down as one of the more extraordinary events of the year, legendary icons Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., will battle across eight rounds in what is dubbed as an exhibition match from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Although this encounter is listed as an exhibition bout, Tyson and Jones have the public believing that this will be far from that. The two icons stated multiple times in the buildup, that this is going to be a legitimate fight.
Ryan Kavanaugh, co-owner of the Triller app, is one of the main figures responsible for this star-studded, blockbuster event. The fights and musical performances can be streamed via TysonOnTriller.com and is listed at the price of $49.99.
“I don’t think anyone has ever seen it before. Starting with Tyson as the centerpiece, since this launches for Triller our live events business, we wanted to do something that was so epic and large, literally there is something for everyone,” said Kavanaugh to Boxing Insider.
“For a pretty good price, for 50 bucks, half the price for a UFC fight, that we’re getting so much. Especially in times of COVID-19, we want to make things affordable for people.”
“It started with that, Tyson as the main piece and how can we add to it? And thinking since Tyson does transcend generations, who’s the younger audience? Everybody loves seeing Jake Paul fight and there’s obviously a big rivalry with him and Nate (Robinson) that’s one. Let’s see who’s really serious with fighting, boxing or mma, young fighters, top fighters and make sure we got them and now we got this broad audience. Now that we have this big event, let’s give viewers something similar to the Superbowl, let’s give them the best halftime show they’ve ever seen, with the biggest music acts they’ve ever seen. Now that we’ve done that, lets put together the celebrity lineup and celebrity hosts from Mario Lopez to Sugar Ray.”
For the application itself, Triller is an AI-powered music video app, enabling users to create professional-looking videos in a matter of seconds. Triller has more than 250 million downloads, with celebrities like Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Marshmello, Roddy Ricch, Wiz Khalifa and several other notable names, using the app to create their own music videos.
Kavanaugh made his name with Relativity Media, the entertainment company he founded in 2004. In 2011, Variety named him Showman of the Year, and in 2013, he landed on the Forbes billionaires list. Ever since acquiring the app in 2019, Kavanaugh has worked diligently to enhance the value, functionality and overall user experience. Kavanaugh wants Triller to be an easy to use platform for artistic expression; to be somewhat of a haven for creativity.
Creativity akin to what was displayed from Jones Jr. throughout his illustrious career. The majestic, ever-flowing punishment he dished out to various opponents throughout the years. Punching poetically and entertaining viewers over his tenure.
Representation of entertainment, not knowing limitations; unbridled expression. Similar to the proclamation of enraged pugilism unleashed from Tyson during his prolific career.
“It takes courage, a lot of what people talk about. one of us thinks that social media should be the arbitrary truth and opinion. It’s not our place to take down something, even if we don’t agree with it,” said Kavanaugh, regarding censorship of users utilizing any social media app.
“The way we look at it is, if it’s not illegal, if it’s not harmful to someone, if it’s not unethical, if it’s not overly offensive, opinion is not necessarily offensive, we’re not going to censor it. Whether we agree with it or not, it’s not our decision for someone’s opinion to be taken down or not.”
With Tyson in particular, it’s what makes him if not endearing, polarizing at the very least. His struggles and stories have been uncensored and some of the situations he has endured relate to us in one way or another. The sheer openness that is his life can be welcoming in many ways.
Pertaining to the fights Saturday night, Kavanaugh is of the belief that many of the bouts will end in a knockout.
“Uh I think, personally I think Tyson knocks out Jones in the third. I think Jake Paul knocks out Nate and wins in the first four rounds.”
“We want this to go down as one of the most epic events in history. We want this to go down, where people are remembering how we brought together the culmination of boxing, live music concerts, celebrities, influencers, social media and content all into one event, where the first time in a very long time, a son and a daughter, a mother and a father, a grandmother and a grandfather can all be watching the same thing a say I love this. There’s something for all of them, like a generational bridge so to speak. Those don’t exist anymore.”
- Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. — WBC Frontline Championship (8 rounds)
- Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson — cruiserweights (6 rounds)
- Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan — light heavyweights (8 rounds)
- Viddal Riley vs. Rashad Coulter — cruiserweights (6 rounds)
- Jamaine Ortiz vs. Nahir Albright — lightweights
- Irvin Gonzalez Jr. vs. Edward Vasquez — featherweights
- Juiseppe Cusumano vs. Nick Jones — heavyweights
This event will also feature performances from Lil Wayne, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa and YG, with Ne-Yo performing the national anthem. The commentary team will consist of fellow boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard and current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Michael Buffer will serve as ringside announcer and Jim Gray will conduct post-fight interviews.
To watch, check out TysonOnTriller.com listed at the price of $49.99.
Mike Tyson: 220.4 Pounds, Roy Jones Jr: 210 Pounds – Ready For Showdown Tomorrow Night
By: Hans Themistode
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and former four-division titlist Roy Jones Jr. proved that they’re taking their eight-round exhibition matchup tomorrow extremely seriously.
With a few additional months to build up the anticipation for their showdown, both Tyson and Jones Jr. stepped onto the scale in the best shape that their plus 50-year-old bodies could muster.
Unlike Tyson’s last appearance on the boxing scale where he weighed 233 pounds a decade and a half ago for his contest against Kevin McBride, Tyson trimmed down his physique and came in at 220.4 pounds.
Jones Jr. on the other hand, a former heavyweight champion with his majority decision win over John Ruiz in 2003, packed on the extra muscle as he tipped the scale at 210 pounds. Even in Jones Jr.’s lone trip to the heavyweight division, the future first ballot hall of famer kept his weight down as he checked in at 193 pounds.
With both men appearing in fairly good shape, the stage has been set for a contest to take place that was 20 years in the making.
In 2003, following his win over Ruiz, a matchup between Jones Jr. and Tyson was on the verge of becoming a reality. However, due to financial reasons, amongst many, their contest never took shape. Had they solved their differences and met inside of the ring, Jones Jr. was expected to have his hand raised as he was tabbed as the slight favorite.
Fast forward nearly 20 years later though, and it is Jones Jr. who is viewed as the prohibited underdog. Much of the betting public’s insistence in backing Tyson stems from Jones Jr.’s numerous knockout losses over the years, coupled with the impressive workout video’s Tyson has dropped on his social media accounts over the past several months.
Although both Tyson and Jones Jr. have sold their showdown as an official contest, their Pay-Per-View matchup will have several different factors from the norm.
For one, instead of the traditional 10-ounce gloves worn by heavyweights, the two all-time greats will be sporting 12-ounce gloves instead. Also, knockouts are prohibited, although Triller co-owner Ryan Kavanaugh has said that knockouts will be allowed.
In order to protect both fighters from serious injury, the first sign of a cut will end their bout entirely. Also, there have been conflicting reports that an official winner will not be announced. The last of their rule change is that unlike normal men’s boxing matches that feature three minute rounds, their showdown will feature two minute rounds instead. As long as one shot does not end the night prematurely, their bout is scheduled to last eight rounds.
To witness their highly-anticipated showdown, viewers will be able to tune in on the Triller app or their website as well as on other various platforms this Saturday at 9 p.m Eastern time.
Ryan Kavanaugh, Co-owner Of The Triller App, Sets The Record Straight On Tyson vs Jones Jr: “There Could Be A Knockout And There Will Be One Winner”
By: Hans Themistode
With confusion mounting surrounding former all-time great’s Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. and their highly-anticipated showdown which will air on the Triller app this Saturday night, Ryan Kavanaugh, co-owner of the Triller app, has made things crystal clear.
“Know there have been some false rumors swirling, so to be clear,” said Kavanaugh in a recent statement. “The WBC is scoring the fight. There could be a knockout and there will be one winner. Anyone who says there is no judging or no winner either does not understand the rules or has their own agenda. Unquestionably, 100 percent. DraftKings is the betting partner and is taking bets on the fight in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Illinois. The only difference is the fight is the gloves are 12 ounces, there are eight rounds and the rounds are two minutes rather than three. That is it.”
Kavanaugh’s need to clarify the rules between Tyson and Jones Jr. stems from Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, and his insistence on promoting Tyson vs Jones Jr. as a safe sparring match.
“Let’s call it an exhibition,” explained Foster during an interview several months ago. “That’s what it is. I want the public to know what this is because I don’t want people to be disappointed. As long as they know this is an exhibition, I’m fine for everybody to earn. … There’s no official judges. The WBC is going to have some guest celebrity judges remotely, not official, not 10-9 [scores], nothing like that. No cumulative score. No winner announced. That’s a very entertainment centered thing. It’s about entertainment. It’s not about competition. … It is what it is and it’s not more than it is but it’s going to be fun.”
Recently, amongst the long set of rules to ensure both fighter’s safety, Foster has also stated that if either fighter suffers a cut, that their bout will immediately come to an end.
While Kavanaugh is fully behind the safety of each fighter, who are well into their 50’s, he continued to push the narrative that Tyson vs Jones Jr. will in fact be a full-fledged fight and not an eccentric matchup.
“We have nothing but the utmost respect for Andy (Foster) and everyone at (the California State Athletic Commission). For total clarity we are not implying that CSAC is picking a winner or scoring this, WBC is doing both. WBC is scoring under a 10-9, and a knockout will be a win under WBC’s scoring. The results will not be reflected on their fight record. We apologize for any confusion and look forward to a great night of fights Saturday night.”
Mike Tyson Looks To Erase The Final Image Of Himself In The Ring: “That Guy That Was In Washington D.C. Was Just A Ghost Of Me”
By: Hans Themistode
The Mike Tyson who carried around with him an aura of invincibility throughout the 1990s, was a far cry from the man who laid slumped on the ropes at the MCI Center in Washington D.C. at the hands of journeymen Kevin McBride in 2005.
On the night, the man who appeared inside of the ring may have resembled the former heavyweight titlist, but the real Mike Tyson was nowhere to be found.
“That guy that was in Washington D.C. was just a ghost of me,” said Tyson during a recent presser. “I was happy to leave the ring man.”
Shortly after losing via sixth round stoppage, Tyson would announce his retirement to the world. His words may have come as a shock to his fans, but with his heart no longer fully invested in the sport and his legal troubles piling up, Tyson was no longer fighting because he wanted to but more so because he needed to.
“I was fighting for just financial purposes and I was on drugs back then,” explained Tyson. “I dreaded even being in the ring at that time.”
Tyson, 54, may have ended his career on a whimper, but with the former heavyweight titlist dropping workout video, after workout video which depicts him looking far younger than what his birth certificate entails,
he simply can’t wait to enter the ring again.
On November 28th, he’ll do just that when he ends his 15 year retirement to take on future hall of famer Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition matchup at the Staples Center in Carson, California. The two boxing icons were once in discussion to face off against one another nearly two decades ago when they campaigned in the same weight class. Dreams of a mega fight between them would never materialize as both sides could never agree to terms.
Still, for Tyson, he could care less about answering questions about how their contest would have played out. Also, the lasting image of a man who was once considered “The Baddest Man On The Planet,” isn’t exactly what’s on his mind either. Instead, he’ll be looking to etch a new memory as opposed to the one that saw him dejected and ousted from both the ring and his illustrious career.
“I was a whole different person back then. I have the desire and will to do this now. I’m just ready to do this stuff and I’m feeling really great so I want the world to see how I look.”
Roy Jones Jr. Stops By Boxing Insider Radio To Discuss His Ring Dominance And “Kill Or Be Killed,” Mentality Against Mike Tyson
While Roy Jones Jr. may show flashes of his former self during short workout clips, the fact of the matter is, at 51 years of age, training every day just isn’t possible. So on a day where he allowed his old bones to rest, he decided to swing by Boxing Insider Radio to discuss several topics including how he has to be prepared to either “kill or be killed,” against Mike Tyson on November 28th.
To listen in on the conversation, head over to Spotify, iTunes or BoxingInsider.com to subscribe.
When you’re a four weight world champion, future first ballot hall of famer and considered by most as the best boxer to ever lace up a pair of gloves, it’s difficult to play second fiddle to anyone. Yet, in the case of Roy Jones Jr., that is exactly what is happening.
During much of the lead up of his contest against former heavyweight titlist Mike Tyson which will take place on November 28th, the Pensacola, Florida native has been summarily dismissed as having no chance against the surly knockout artist.
The reason is simple. For as great as Jones Jr. has been throughout his career, Mike Tyson has left many of his opponents either unconscious or in a vegetative state.
The accolades of Tyson scream dominance. In 1986, at 20 years of age, the Brooklyn native became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history when he destroyed Trevor Berbick in just under two rounds. He would go on to become undisputed world champion just one year later, outpointing Tony Tucker to do so.
Simply put, Tyson dominated the heavyweight division like no other. But while many are in awe of how he ran through his competition with deleterious shot after deleterious shot, Jones Jr. shrugs his shoulders. Dominating a weight class is difficult to do in itself, but making several divisions look like your personal playpen is something else entirely.
“A lot of people don’t really pay attention to the level of dominance that I had. I dominated from middleweight to heavyweight,” said Jones Jr. to BoxingInsider Radio. “Not just did it but I dominated. I didn’t just dominate one weight class, I dominated an area. I dominated a whole area. Anything from 160 to a heavyweight was not safe when I was around.”
Deciding who is the best fighter in the world has always been conjecture. Today’s list mostly varies at the top between fighters such as Canelo Alvarez, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and numerous others. But throughout the 90s and early 2000s, Jones Jr. was the only name that echoed throughout every list. With that being said, his heyday has long since past him.
During the back half of his career, his once impregnable defense was cracked on several occasions by lesser fighters. The hand speed he once possessed which forced viewers to hit the slow down button on their remote’s has dissipated as well.
In short, many believe that Jones Jr. held on far too long, retiring officially in 2018.
For much of his retirement, the four division world champion showed no interest of getting blood stained on his knuckles again. But the moment he became settled into the rocking chair of his retirement life, an opportunity of a life time came calling.
“I always wanted to fight Mike and he always wanted to fight me. But originally, I thought it was just an exhibition. I was called for an exhibition but I was invited to a fight,” said Jones Jr. before laughing.
Jaws hit the deck once Tyson vs Jones Jr. was announced. Fans began celebrating and planning their schedule’s around their November 28th date. They also began planning the funeral of Jones Jr. as soon as Tyson began dropping snippets of his workout videos.
With knockout losses at the hands of Enzo Maccarinelli, Denis Lebedev and Danny Green in the latter portion of his career, getting into an all out war with Tyson isn’t something that Jones Jr. had in mind. With that being said, neither does the California State Athletic Commissioner in Andy Foster.
For several months now, Foster started putting together the safety protocols that would prevent Tyson from living his bloodthirsty moments.
“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,” said Foster several months ago. “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,” continued Foster. “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.”
Safety and Mike Tyson are oxymorons. Never have the two made sense in the same sentence.
Foster can speak until he’s blue in the face of the safety measures he is taking. Jones Jr. though, is preparing himself to take things to the extreme on fight night.
“When you listen to all that foolishness that they talking about, the real deal is you’re going into the ring with a killer. You either gotta kill him or he’s going to kill you. Don’t pay attention to what Andy Foster is saying. You either gotta kill him or he’s going to kill you.”
Roy Jones Jr On Mike Tyson Showdown: “I Made A Mistake Going In With Him, He’s Known For More First-Round Fireworks Than Anybody”
By: Hans Themistode
From the moment the ink dried on their fight agreement, boxing fans around the world began taking a trip down memory lane.
Thoughts of Mike Tyson destroying his opposition before they were able to finish their bag of popcorn were still pertinent. Sure he looked like a shell of his former scary self in 2005, his last ring appearance, but with the Brooklyn native releasing a new workout video seemingly every week, the question of whether or not he would leave Roy Jones Jr. in a vegetative state come November 28th, became a real one.
Fans of Tyson hoping to catch a glimpse of his “baddest man on the planet” days, might be excited to see him dish out some real damage. But the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) on the other hand, isn’t expecting Tyson to go out there and throw haymakers.
“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.”
In a sense, the CSAC views this as a safe yet entertaining matchup. But the words safe and Mike Tyson have always been an oxymoron.
“He’s still Mike Tyson,” said Jones Jr. to Sky Sports. “He’s still one of the strongest, most explosive people who ever touched a boxing ring.”
With 22 first round knockouts over the course of his career, Tyson simply wasn’t interested in having a long night. But for the most part, those explosive performances came from a young Mike Tyson. The one who would repeatedly curse during media sessions and donned black shorts with black boxing boots with no socks as he made his way to the ring shirtless.
This version of Tyson has mellowed. He’s been an advocate for mental health, stops for photographs and seldom curses at reporters anymore. But his new found facade isn’t fooling Jones Jr.
The former four division world champion and one time heavyweight titlist was never one to back down from a challenge. But with everything now set in stone, and the former pound for pound champ realizing that there’s no turning back, he’s acknowledging his mea culpa.
“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.”
Mike Tyson Explains In Depth Why He Decided To Return To The Ring
By: Hans Themistode
Re-wrapping those hands and placing those black boxing shoes on with no socks was supposed to stay in the past.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was always a part of the headlines. Whether he was placing one of his opponents in a coma or walking his pet tiger, Tyson was a magnet for the camera’s. However, once he retired from the sport of boxing, he mostly faded away into the shadows.
He would still make a few television appearances and make his way to big fights, but his presence wasn’t nearly the same.
Whenever the Brooklyn native was caught in the public eye, he seemed to be enjoying his retirement. The once 215 pound surly champion became rotund over the years. Most called it enjoying the fruits of his labor, Tyson on the other hand, didn’t like what he saw in the mirror.
“I was complaining about my weight,” said Tyson on the Joe Rogan podcast. “I tried on some clothes one day and it was disastrous. So I was discussing it with my wife one day, something about me being old and my weight. So she said why don’t you just get on the treadmill for 15 minutes a day. It went from 15 minutes a day to two hours a day.”
Tyson, 54, had no intentions on boxing ever again. He simply wanted to shed a few pounds and slim down his physique. His new slimmer look however, gave many the wrong impression. He never wanted to officially fight inside of the squared circle. With that being said, he was given an offer that he just couldn’t refuse.
“I started losing weight. Then one day my brother in law came up to me and said, would you fight this guy for 30 or 40 million bucks? My immediate reaction was man get the fuc….. whoa, who would they like me to fight? My brother in law said one minute, made a call and told me it would be Bob Sapp.”
Sapp, of course, was a former multi-sport athlete. The 46 year old was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft in 1997 by the Chicago Bears before ultimately seeing his career go down the drain due to alleged steroid abuse. From there, he took his talents to the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). His career was a subpar one, scoring 12 wins against 19 losses.
Sapp’s lane has never been in the boxing world, so as Tyson became interested, he first made sure that he wasn’t signing up to get kicked in the face or taken down to the mat.
“I said to myself well, I know Bob, he’s big and strong so I said, well how would they like me to fight him? Can I fight him under the Marcus of Queensbury Rules? My brother in law went back and asked the guy and once they said yes, I said I’ll fight him.”
Although Tyson had verbally agreed to take on Sapp, things slowly began to change. His focus was forced to shift as his opponents became a revolving door.
“It went from him to another guy to another guy in MMA, then another fighter, then Evander and it was just a bunch of guys. Then the next thing you know, it came down to Roy and I was like I didn’t know what the hell was going on. Next thing you know he signed the contract and I signed the contract. Next thing you know I’m in the gym again and it’s disastrous. Now I’m saying to myself, did I really do this shit?”
Judging the end product though, getting in shape for Tyson seemed easy. He now routinely walks around shirtless and bears an eerie resemblance to his former 20 year old self. The short clips which show the Brooklyn native pounding the pads and looking as explosive as ever backs those claims. But while most were impressed with his workout videos, Tyson went through hell shooting the content.
“I did that video and I was in bed for a week. It was 30 seconds and I was in bed for a week. It made me realize that this is big boy shit. Getting in shape and getting in condition are two different animals. They don’t even belong in the same vision of working out. Getting in shape is being able to fit your clothes. Getting in condition is being able to come outside of your soul and you can’t do that automatically. The emotional state to prepare for that is mind boggling.”
The physical pain may be excruciating for Tyson, but he has officially committed to his return to the ring long term. The former champion, along with several business partners, have heavily invested into “The Legends Only League.” Essentially, all former great athletes, regardless of the sport they once played, will receive an open invitation to place their skills on display for the world to see once again.
Tyson, a normally stoic personally, couldn’t help but smile when describing his new venture.
“It’s going to be awesome,” explained Tyson. “We’re going to start up the legends only league and it’s going to be really breathtaking.”
Mike Tyson On Fight Postponement: “This Temporary Inconvenience Will Last Longer Than Roy Jones Jr”
By: Hans Themistode
With roughly one month until their original September 12th fight date, there simply wasn’t enough time to promote a historical contest between former heavyweight titlist Mike Tyson and former four division world champion Roy Jones Jr.
With both Tyson and Jones well past their primes, the buzz surrounding their showdown was still immense. Social media immediately divided into team Jones and team Tyson with each side giving their take on why their man will come out on top. With the anticipation reaching a ridiculous level, everyone involved, including Triller who will showcase the event on pay-per-view, believe that waiting will bring even more eyeballs to the television screen.
“Given the enormous interest, the holiday weekend will make this historic battle an even bigger viewing event,” said Triller in a recent statement. “Marking the first live Pay-Per-View event brought to the world by Triller as the first of the ‘Triller Battles’ series.”
Tyson, for what it’s worth, placed his full backing behind Triller and their decision to postpone his comeback matchup.
“Changing the date to November 28th will give more people the opportunity to see the biggest comeback in boxing history,” Tyson said in a statement.
For Tyson, his early career consisted of matchups that were shorter than bathroom breaks. His eye blinking knockouts gave him the moniker “the baddest man on the planet.” Although during the second half of his career he wasn’t nearly as intimidating, Tyson seems to be ready to turn back the clock to his glory days of the 80s.
“This temporary inconvenience will last longer than Roy Jones Jr. He better be ready, I’m coming full force.”
While Jones vs Tyson is more than enough to grab the sports world attention, the undercard associated with the event will be a spectacle all in itself.
Calling YouTube star Jake Paul a boxer would seem both farfetched and disrespectful to the sport, but technically with a knockout win in his ring debut against fellow YouTube star Ali Eson Gib earlier this year, Paul is listed as not only a boxer but ranked the 748th best in the Cruiserweight division according to Boxrec. The YouTuber turned professional fighter is set to return to the ring in another peculiar matchup. This time against former NBA player Nate Robinson.
With a lack of actual boxers on the card, former two division world champion Badou Jack has officially jumped onboard to give fans a true boxing show to lead into the main event. The Swedish native is set to take on the unheralded Jake McKernan.
Those who are looking to checkout the event, will have to fork over $50 dollars on November 28th in order to do so.
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Postponed Reportedly Due to Time and Money
By: Hans Themistode
With 15 years since his last ring appearance, fans of Mike Tyson should have no problem waiting a bit longer for his return.
As first reported by The Athletic, the former heavyweight champion will have his highly anticipated matchup against Roy Jones Jr. pushed back from its original September 12th date, to November 28th.
Reasoning behind the postponement is reportedly due to time and money. When the news first broke of the iconic boxers agreeing to terms for a heavyweight matchup, social media exploded. Despite the $50 dollar price tag associated with their September bout, most were seemingly onboard to watch two legends settle a near 20 year question of who is the better fighter.
In the early 2000s, Tyson’s aura of invincibility was all but gone. Losses to James Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis proved that the Brooklyn native was no longer “The Baddest Man On The Planet.” Jones Jr. on the other hand, was fresh off his fourth world title win against then WBA champion John Ruiz. Talks of a contest between the two never materialized however. Until recently.
The entire vision behind the Tyson vs Jones Jr. contest needed more time to complete as a ten part docu series will lead viewers into the bout. That, along with the assumption that the slightly longer anticipation will generate more dollars have led to the delay.
While fans will have to patiently wait a bit longer, the unexpected setback will give both fighters, who are well into their 50s, more time to prepare.
For both men, the end of their careers was not kind. Tyson hung up the gloves in 2005 after back to back knockout losses to Kevin McBride and Danny Williams. Following his matchup with McBride, Tyson revealed that he was no longer the same man who wanted to annihilate his opponents.
“I just don’t have the desire nomore,” said Tyson in 2005 following his loss to McBride. “I don’t have the stomach to do it no more.”
Nevertheless, 15 years later, Tyson has seemingly found that desire once again.
As for Jones Jr. his career stretched out far beyond his golden years. The Florida native may have called it a career in 2018, but with no world title wins under his belt since 2003, Jones Jr. fought as a shadow of his former self for nearly two decades.
With that being said, he did win his last four contests albeit against subpar competition.
In both of their primes, the question of who was the better fighter always drove boxing circles crazy. Now, well into their 50s, they won’t be able to answer that question completely, but they can certainly give a glimpse into what could have happened.
Still, fans will have to wait a few more months to see how things play out.
What’s More Frightening Than Mike Tyson? The Sharks Viewers Will Watch Him Face.
By: Sean Crose
“I was scared all the way through,” Mike Tyson is quoted by the New York Post as saying, “and was just trying to get through it alive.” Tyson is referring to “Tyson vs. Jaws: Rumble on the Reef,” which will be aired live on Sunday as part of the Discovery Channel’s popular “Shark Week” programming. “I’m a scary guy,” Tyson added, “but not when it comes to adventurous stuff.” The event will show Tyson underwater with a band of less than friendly looking sharks. With him will be Paul de Gelder, a shark expert who – not coincidentally – has lost an arm and a leg thanks to a shark.
“He threw up before or after nearly every dive,” de Gelder told InsideEdition. No surprise, perhaps, since Tyson has long admitted the presence – and even helpfulness – of fear in the ring. “One shark kept bumping me,” the Post quotes the former heavyweight great as saying, “and I’m like, ‘What the hell do you want?’” Tyson even went so far as to admit he’s not crazy about the water to begin with. “I’m scared of anything in the water,” he reportedly proclaims on the telecast. “I won’t even put my foot in the water.”
Thanks to the help of de Gelder, however, Tyson found a way to push his fear aside. Not that the Australian expert put him at ease immediately. “I said, ‘Listen, this is not a good time to make me feel confident in there,’ seeing this guy who’s got an arm and a leg missing.” Tyson learned to trust his future cornerman of sorts and eventually worked his way to the point where he was ready to face some of the most feared creatures on the entire planet. An odd matchup, to be sure, but one Discovery hopes will draw in eyeballs.
Sunday’s broadcast is part of a new stage in Tyson’s life, one where the fifty plus year old fighter will be getting back into the ring. For, in September, the former undisputed heavyweight titlist will be facing former pound for pound great Roy Jones in a highly hyped exhibition match. That event, however, will cost viewers money, while Sunday’s spectacular will only cost the price of basic cable or streaming. It might be one of Tyson’s oddest challenges, but it’s one where safety is guaranteed.
“No sharks were harmed,” de Gleder said of the previously recorded broadcast.
Antonio Tarver on Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr: “They Running From Their Adversaries”
By: Hans Themistode
The boxing world couldn’t help but yell in excitement once former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and pound for pound great, Roy Jones Jr. announced their contest. On September 12th, both men will end their retirement and dust the gloves off one more time.
Choosing a winner between the two has been the topic of conversations for the past few days. But while most of the world is wondering how things will play out, former two division world champion Antonio Tarver is trying to figure out what’s the point.
“I hope they do their thing,” said Tarver on his social media account. “It’ll be great. But come on, beating a Roy Jones, knocking out Roy Jones, I mean we done seen that shit before. But if Roy Jones beats Mike Tyson then what does that mean? If he looks good against Mike Tyson then what does that really mean?”
What it would mean is unclear, but Tarver is hoping that a win for Jones Jr. could lead to a fourth fight against arguably his biggest rival. The two shared the ring together in the mid 2000s. Jones Jr. would famously move up to the heavyweight division to grab a heavyweight title from then WBA champion John Ruiz. Following that win, rumors between Tyson and Jones Jr. began to circulate, but their contest never materialized.
Instead, the newly crowned heavyweight champion dropped down in weight to the light heavyweight division and took home a close decision win against Tarver. Believing that victory was nothing more than a fluke, Tarver got his hands on Jones Jr. in an immediate rematch, knocking him out in the second round.
The two would meet for a third and final time one year later. Tarver would prove that he was in fact the better fighter as he scored a unanimous decision victory.
With back to back wins over Jones Jr. Tarver believes he’s the last person that he wants to see inside of the ring, even at the age of 51.
“I believe both of them are running from their adversaries. You know Holyfield got Tyson number, I obviously have Roy Jones number, obviously. But they choose to fight each other, they running from their adversaries.”
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr Officially Set For Exhibition Contest on September 12th
By: Hans Themistode
When Mike Tyson announced his comeback to the ring several months ago, many were incredulous to the news of the now 54 year old former champion. However, after the Brooklyn native began dropping workout videos, the boxing world began to take him seriously.
With 15 years since his last ring appearance, Tyson looked like a brand new man in recent footage. The beer belly had been replaced with a new found six pack and his deleterious punching power seemed to be still present.
Even with his beard completely grey, not many fighters were jumping at the opportunity to step into the ring against him. Nevertheless, former four division world champion Roy Jones Jr. has not only raised his hand, but he has also been selected.
The two hall of famers are slated to shake off the retirement dust face one another on September 12th, in an eight round exhibition in California on pay-per-view.
For both Tyson and Jones Jr. this contest has been in the making for nearly two decades.
In March of 2003, Jones moved up from the light heavyweight division to challenge then WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz. Jones would go on to grab the title and talks immediately began between the two for a huge showdown.
Of course, like many super fights in the sport of boxing, issues over money began to linger and their dream matchup fell apart entirely.
Jones would go on to drop down to the light heavyweight division, but was a shell of his former pound for pound self. Tyson would also continue his career, but the moniker “Baddest Man On The Planet,” no longer applied to him.
With both fighters now agreeing to step into the ring against one another, their entire fight card is shaping up to be a memorable one. According to reports this will not be a traditional event. Both professional boxers and MMA fighters will face off against one another on the undercard.
There is no word yet as to who will participate, nor has there been any reports of what the rules will be. But at the moment, Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr will officially take place on September 12th.