Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr: 10 things you need to know ahead of their 'Frontline Battle' in California
Mike Tyson makes his long-awaited return to the ring this weekend when he takes on fellow legend Roy Jones Jr. in a fight with a difference on Saturday night. Here's everything you need to know ahead of fight night in California.
When it was announced that Mike Tyson would be making his return to the ring, the sporting world pricked up its ears and took notice. When it was eventually decided that he would turn down the list of potential freakshow fight options and instead face fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr, that interest became legitimate intrigue.
Now, as we head toward fight night, more details are emerging about the fight that are taking the shine off a matchup that continues to capture the imagination.
The event is all set to be aired via pay-per-view, with fans in the U.S. being asked to stump up $49.99 to watch the event live via a host of PPV providers, but fans preparing to lay down their money for the matchup may end up being disappointed when they realize what they've paid for.
For starters, it's not a legitimate boxing match. It's an exhibition. And, as a result, there are a LOT of significant differences between this bout and the other fights people are used to enjoying on their televisions on a Saturday night.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of Saturday night's matchup:
IT'S AN EXHIBITION BOUT, AND THERE WON'T BE AN OFFICIAL WINNER.
Yes. You read that correctly. No winner will be declared.
Though the bout will be overseen by experienced referee Ray Corona, no ringside judges will be present. Instead, the fight will be "unofficially" scored by a panel of three former WBC boxing champions Chad Dawson, Vinny Pazienza and Christy Martin, who will offer their scores remotely for the WBC.
The fight will be sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, but they will do so as an exhibition bout, rather than a bonafide professional fight.
THERE WILL BE A 'CHAMPIONSHIP' BELT
Yes. You read that correctly, too. Despite the fact that no official winner will be declared, the WBC has deemed it suitable to commission a "WBC Frontline Championship" belt for the occasion, which will be presented to "the winner." Except there won't be. Or will there? Who knows?
NO KNOCKOUTS ALLOWED
While both Tyson and Jones have made their respective careers knocking people out, the pair are not technically allowed to go for the knockout. That doesn't mean they won't be going for the KO, of course. Once the fight begins, it seems incomprehensible that Tyson won't be throwing with heat. The same with Jones. How that will be officiated is anyone's guess.
UFC president Dana White was stunned when he heard of the stipulation, telling reporters during a UFC post-fight press conference, "There’s no knockouts? They’re not allowed to knock each other out? How do you enforce that?
"I’d like to bet that doesn’t happen. Can you bet on that?! Oh sh*t! You can’t even bet on this fight?
"I did not know that. I don’t even know what to say to that."Also on rt.com 'They’re not allowed to knock each other out?': UFC boss Dana White left stunned by rules of upcoming Tyson-Jones Jr fight (VIDEO)
IF A FIGHTER GETS CUT, THE FIGHT IS OVER
Cuts are a part of fighting, but there will be little latitude for fighters to continue if they sustain a cut on this occasion. The exhibition nature of the contest means that if either man sustains a significant cut, the fight will be waved off.
THE ROUNDS WILL BE SHORTER
While we're used to watching headline fights contested over 10 or 12 three-minute rounds, the advancing age of the two fighters, coupled with the exhibition format, has led to the bout being booked for a much shorter duration.
The bout will take place over eight two-minute rounds. Whether it gets that far is unsure, but, with no knockouts allowed, in theory, it should.
THE FIGHTERS WILL BE DRUG TESTED... WITH ONE NOTABLE EXCEPTION
The two fighters, as you'd expect, will be subjected to stringent medical checks ahead of the fight, and both men have signed up to Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug testing.
However, one drug that won't be tested for is marijuana, with Tyson owning a successful cannabis company at his Tyson Ranch.Also on rt.com Toke-n gesture: Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr ‘WON’T be tested for marijuana use’ before comeback showdown on November 28
THEY'RE BOTH COMING OFF HUGE LAYOFFS
Jones hasn't competed since his decision win over Scott Sigmon in February 2018, meaning he has been away from the ring for almost three years. Tyson, meanwhile, hasn't fought since his knockout loss to Kevin McBride back in 2005.
A YOUTUBER, PLUS FORMER UFC, NBA AND BOXING STARS, WILL BE ON THE UNDERCARD
Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight Rashad Coulter is scheduled to compete on the undercard against British boxer – and trainer of YouTube boxer KSI – Viddal Riley.
Coulter's UFC career was a less-than-successful one. He fought four times in the octagon, losing his first three fights to Chase Sherman, Tai Tuivasa and Chris De La Rocha at heavyweight before dropping to light heavyweight and outpointing Hu Yaozong, though he failed to make weight for the contest. He was subsequently released by the UFC.
Notorious YouTube star Jake Paul will return to the ring for his second boxing match, where he'll take on former NBA star Nate Robinson.
Also on the undercard is former WBC super middleweight and WBA light heavyweight champion Badou Jack, who will take on undefeated cruiserweight Blake McKernan.
A UFC CHAMPION WILL BE PART OF THE BROADCAST TEAM
Familiar boxing host and former star of "Saved By The Bell" Mario Lopez will front the TV presentation, with Jim Gray set to conduct the in-ring interviews after the fights.
The fights will be commentated by legendary play-by-play man Al Bernstein, with color commentary provided by boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard and UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
“It’s surreal that I’m actually given the opportunity to witness these two living legends compete ringside,” said Adesanya.
“I grew up watching these two boxing icons in the ring and am honored to be on the sidelines commenting on one of the greatest comeback fights of all time.”
And, of course, the man announcing the fighters before the action begins will be the legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer.
A HOST OF MUSIC STARS ARE SET TO PERFORM
With the event set to be more than just a night of boxing, a host of music stars are lined up to play a part in proceedings.
Ne-Yo will perform the national anthem, while Da Baby, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and YG will all perform songs.
TYSON VS. JONES: THE FULL FIGHT CARD
- Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.
- Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan
- Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson
- Viddal Riley vs. Rashad Coulter