Although there is just a three-year age gap between Roy Jones Jr., 51, and Mike Tyson, 54, there is much more ring rust that needs to be calculated ahead of their eight-round exhibition match set to take place Sept. 12 in Carson, Calif. on Triller pay per view.
Jones Jr. was last in the ring in Feb. 2018 as a 48-year-old when he unanimously decisioned Scott Sigmon. He hasn’t officially made an announcement regarding retirement ever since, but no one has been pounding the table either asking him to fight again.
Mike Tyson has not fought in 15 years after being a shell of his former self, getting stopped by the likes of Danny Williams and Kevin McBride in consecutive bouts to close out his career.
Judging by the Tyson training tape that has been surfacing on social media in recent months, Jones Jr. is expecting Tyson to turn back the clock once they meet in the middle of the ring.
“Not only does he look like a killer [in the training videos], Mike is a killer. I’ve seen the videos. I know what’s going on,” Jones Jr. told TMZ. “I’m in pretty good shape right now. Here’s the thing about Mike that you can’t take for granted. He’s like George Foreman, who sat out for like a decade and got his body back together …. I’m very excited, and I’m definitely looking forward to it. I haven’t been out for too long. I know what it feels like to go eight rounds, he done forgot — y’all must’ve forgot — you heard me.
A nod to his hit rap song aside, Jones Jr. believes he has the fight with Tyson under wraps as well.
“I’m not going to go out there and try to collide with him in the first round — take him out like I’m a fool. He’s good early, he is still a strong lion, but he’s got a cheetah mentality, a cheetah mentality means I gotta get it quick, if he doesn’t get it quick, it belongs to me then,” said Jones Jr.
“What people have to realize though is he’s not the cheetah. He’s a killer who kills quickly. If he doesn’t kill quickly, he’s got a problem on his hands. He’s in trouble. He’s fighting one of the smartest, saviest guys to ever do the thing.
Jones Jr. and Tyson were on a collision course to square off in 2003 when the Florida-based fighter climbed up to a fourth division and beat John Ruiz for a version of the heavyweight title. Tyson was months removed from a KO loss to Lennox Lewis, but a fight never materialized.
Jones Jr. wanted to clarify how it all shook down seventeen years ago.
“There was a rumor out there that I turned down $40 million to fight Mike Tyson when I was the heavyweight champ. No way,” he said. “I said the only person I would have fought when I won the heavyweight title as a heavyweight again would have been Mike Tyson, or I was moving down to light heavyweight. Mike said he didn’t want to fight at the time, so I went back down to light heavyweight. There was no way in hell I was turning down $40 million.
Neither of the quinquagenarians should be getting anything near that figure in 2020, as each are slated to receive a percentage of the profits of the event, according to Jones Jr.