This past weekend we saw two former greats go back at it in an exhibition fight, which was viewed by millions across the world. It ranged from spectacular boxing in the undercard battle between Gonzalez vs Vasquez to a crushing knockout between Jake Paul and Nate Robinson. Initially this was touted as strictly an exhibition and later stated knockouts were allowed and that if it went the distance, then the guest judges would score the bout. However, early on fans could tell this was clearly an exhibition for entertainment. Triller made sure to have plenty of performances and even had Snoop Dogg himself doing commentary, which I might add, was hilarious at some spots. I have heard various reviews of the event from good to bad, but first let us look at how the main event transpired from start to finish.
The fight began with Tyson pushing forward and Jones Jr. using his ability to move out of danger from most of his opponent’s shots. For both men being over 50 they moved relatively well early and both showed some spark of old in the ring. Albeit they would tire more quickly, rounds were only two minutes compared to the normal three. This caused rounds to seemingly fly by. Tyson was able to land a few lefts and some rights while clinching, which there was a lot of throughout this fight. Roy used footwork to move from right to left and dodged well. Mike continued to use body shots moving into the second round, these began to take their toll early and often. Grappling continued throughout the round and the round finished with a double left from Tyson. You could tell Jones Jr. was breathing heavy in his corner after this one. Tyson continued to use some nice feints to land a few punches as we rolled into the third round. Jones on the other hand tried to keep it close and slow Iron Mike down by leaning on him. This caused the eventual accidental headbutt, but no cut came of it. Jones Jr. although tired shows some more great movement and avoids some heavy shots. The fourth round had a lot of holding as Jones Jr. gets a warning for excessive holding. Mike gets through with a power right body shot and Roy winced showing its effects. As the first half of the fight concludes both men were still in the fight, but Tyson should show an edge on the scorecards.
Roy comes out strong with the no look jab and then continues the clinch. You can see one man wants the clear space for throwing shots, while the other wants to be close. Tyson stalking at the end of the fifth but Jones Jr. is too smart and clinches yet again. Even as fatigue continues to set in, both men are still working in the ring. Footwork vs power is on full display for this fight and has led to an entertaining first six rounds. Some will say there was too much clinching, but it seemed to be a game plan of sorts for Roy Jones Jr. as he tried to avoid the big shots and tire his opponent. Tyson on the other hand has shown he is in the better shape of the two and used his unique footwork and power to gain an edge through numerous rounds. A little showboating by Roy in the final round and why not. Both men have made it the distance. Iron Mike throws a few final punches as he has Roy on the ropes but cannot capitalize. These two former monsters were able to show they can still give it their all in the ring. Regardless of what anyone says, these two men put on a great entertaining performance.
As the two men waited for the judges scores, in my head, I had Tyson winning the fight by a decent margin. He pushed the fight from the beginning and although Jones Jr. was able to limit his damage, he never truly landed enough counters to win rounds. However, the judges called it a draw, perhaps as if expected from the beginning and the fight went the distance. All in all, regardless of outcome, this was a good fun fight for fans. They were able to see two legends go at it and I respected that. In the days after, Evander Holyfield has called out Tyson and said no more excuses, it’s time for the trilogy. On the same note, Tyson has vowed to continue fighting. With Holyfield stating he is ready and Mike wanting to continue in the ring, this fight almost seems inevitable to happen. As a boxing enthusiast we say we won’t watch, but deep down when fight night comes there’s only one answer. Will you be tuning in?
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