The Life & Legacies Of Mike Tyson & Roy Jones Jr: A Tale Of The Tape

On November 28th, 2020 former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world “Iron” Mike Tyson will take on former four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. The bout will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles CA, and is sanctioned by the California State Athlete Commission (CSAC).

This is supposed to be an exhibition bout but the way Tyson has been training and from the words he’s spewed in interviews, if I were “RJJr” I think I’d come ready to fight or even bow out as he has contemplated doing a few times he says.

Too late now, however, as Jones’ fighting instinct has brought him to this point.

With both fighters over 50 years old, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has placed a set of rules on the bout including that it will be held over eight, two-minute rounds.

Neither fighter would agree to wearing headgear so CSAC stated that a total fight-time of 16 minutes must be adhered to considering their age.

The fighters will also be wearing larger 12-ounce gloves in the hope of minimizing the damage done. Triller (the app promoting the fight) has now put out a statement insisting that KOs are allowed.

A special ‘Frontline Battle Belt’ with the inscription ‘Black Lives Matter’ will be given to both fighters.

Iron Mike Tyson

The 54-year-old Tyson’s career spanned from 1985-2005. In 2005 he lost to Kevin McBride, which would be the final fight of the Brownsville Bombers’s illustrious, captivating and troubled career.

At the age of 20, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion ever with his devastating knockout of Trevor Burbick in 1986 to win the WBC title.

He then crushed James “Bonecrusher” Smith and Tony Tucker to win the IBF and WBA titles. Tyson won his first 19 bouts via knockout, and was given the monikers “The Baddest Man On The Planet” and “Kid Dynamite”. He’s the only heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles simultaneously, as well as the only heavyweight to unify them in succession.

In 1988 he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds to become the first lineal heavyweight champion. He successfully defended his titles nine times, running through former champions like Larry Holmes and new meat like Frank Bruno. That all changed on a fateful night in Japan as he was upset by 42/1 underdog James “Buster” Douglas.

Douglas, emotional after recently losing his mom, was ready and pulled the biggest upset in the sport to date still some 30 years later. Tyson looked like a guy who hadn’t trained or taken this fight seriously at all, and just downright disinterested and lost.

After the stunning defeat, he then defeated a very game Donovan “Razor” Ruddock twice in 4 months. Following those two wins in March and June of 1991, he was scheduled to take on Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield who’d beaten Douglas for the undisputed championship, but a rib injury sustained during training forced Tyson to pull out of the fight.

In July 1991 he was arrested for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington (Ms. Rhode Island) in an Indianapolis hotel room. In January 1992, he was sent to trial, found guilty and sentenced to 6 years in an Indiana prison. 

He did three years and his comeback occurred in 1996. He destroyed both Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr. Also devastated Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon and Frank Bruno again. These were tune-ups for Tyson/Holyfield, which was supposed to happen 5 years prior.

The first bout was dubbed as “Finally” and neither fighter disappointed with Holyfield stopping Tyson in the 11th round for a TKO win. Making Evander the second boxer to win a heavyweight title three different times. Following the loss the Tyson camp complained about headbutts and other tactics they claim their opponents used. This set the stage for rematch and this one would be called the “Sound And The Fury” Holyfield-Tyson II.

“Holy” received $35M and “Iron” $30M making it the highest professional boxing purses ever for a fight until (Mayweather/De La Hoya) in 2007. Frustrated by what he said were deliberate headbutts, Tyson while clinched with Holyfield bit his ear off and spit it across the ring, disqualifying himself in the midst. It was an inconceivable moment that’s become a permanent part of American sports lore. So unbelievable, vicious and farfetched, that you had to actually see it to believe it. 

Following suspensions and license revocations and then reinstatement, Tyson called out Lennox Lewis, who was the reigning king of the division, only to be knocked out in the 8th round in 2002 in Memphis.

Tyson has faced a ton of legal trouble and bankruptcies after making over $350M in the square circle. He finished his career with 50 wins, 6 Losses and 2 DQs. His afterlife now consists of many different platforms and open, honest reflection, that have afforded him the opportunity to still have relevancy today.

From his cannibus ranch

Roy “Captain Hook” Jones Jr.

Roy Jones Jr boxing career spanned from 1989-2018. During that time he held multiple titles in four different weight classes, including middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. Jones is the only boxer to ever start this career at light middleweight and go on to win a heavyweight title.

As an amateur in 1988 he represented the United Stated at the 1988 Summer Olympics, where he won a silver medal in one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history. Many consider Jones to be one of the best and most skilled boxers of all-time (pound for pound).

In 2003, he left his mark on the sport by beating John “Quiet Man” Ruiz to capture the WBA heavyweight title, in doing so he became the middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. In 1999 he unified the light heavyweight division by winning the (WBA, IBF and WBC) titles. In his prime he was known for having elite athleticism, exceptional hand speed, movement and reflexes.

He has wins over greats such as Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins in 1993, he claimed to have broken his hand in training but still one by unanimous decision to capture the IBF middleweight title. Even made a rap song called “Y’all Must’ve Forgot” to let folks know he still had it a few years later in his career.

Defeated James Toney in 1994 by unanimous decision in 1994 as his unique skillset was on complete display against the Uber tough Toney. For years, Jones was the only boxer who could say he floored James Toney. He took Toney’s IBF super middleweight title in the process of the beatdown. “Gamecock Knockdown” by goading him in.

He also beat up on Vinny Pazienza and others before he fought Mike McCollum whom he also destroyed. Had a very memorable two fights with Montell Griffin. In their first bout he was disqualified for hitting Griffin twice while he was down on a knee from another punch landed by Jones. His first loss of his career, but he dominated the aforementioned Griffin in the rematch some five months later.

His trilogy with Antonio Tarver is one for the ages as he won the first fight by unanimous decision, only to be knocked out in the rematch. The third fight wasn’t really all that entertaining as Jones looked to avoid being knocked out again after tasting the canvas in their previous bout and lost a unanimous decision himself this time around. He was also knocked out by Glen Johnson a few months later as well.

After three straight losses, his commitment to the sport was questioned and he was let go by HBO Boxing as a commentator for failing to attend production meetings. So  Jones began a comeback, defeating a couple of tomato cans and then beating the great Félix “Tito” Trinidad.

Jones then got off to a fast start against the legendary Joe Calzaghe only to lose the fight by unanimous decision. His win over Jeff Lacy was pretty much the last significant fight of his career unless we count the rematch with “BHop” in which he’d lose this time around.

Following his boxing career Jones continued to dabble in music, film and even training. He finished his career with a (66-9) record with (47 KOs).

A late add to the fight card is live musical performances by artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Da Baby, French Montana, and YG. Ne-Yo will sing the National Anthem.

“The connection between boxing and music is undeniable. As a global language music unites cultures”.

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