I WOULD be untruthful if I told you I didn’t want to see Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. Even if it’s happening on Sept. 12, 2020.
But I am sitting on the fence on this one. I can’t decide if it’s a case of better late than never or better never than late.
LEGENDS. Apparently, Tyson has started what he called a “League of Legends” as his vehicle to set up the fight which will be held in Los Angeles.
Tyson retired at the age of 39 years old back in 2005. Roy Jones last fought in 2018.
When they meet in September, Tyson will be 54 and Jones, 51. Legends no doubt, but should they be fighting?
TYSON. We all know what Iron “Bite” brings to the table. But the last time he fought he was trying to break Kevin McBride’s arm during a clinch en route to a stoppage loss.
Prior to that he also got knocked out by Danny Williams.
What concerns me most is that when he retired, he was a poor shell of his dominant, ferocious self. His stamina was gone, and so were his cat-quick reflexes.
JONES. All-time great Jones won his last three fights, but he faced third-tier fighters.
His career hit rock bottom in his fourth to the last fight when he fought someone named Vyron Philipps who was chosen through Facebook poll and was making his first pro fight.
ADVANTAGE. Kind of strange to be talking about advantages when men in their 50s fight, but since there will indeed be a fight, might as well.
In terms of ring familiarity, it will be Jones who has the advantage. For Tyson it will have been 15 long years since he has stepped inside a ring to fight.
But that of itself, will not be enough. This fight will clearly be determined by who is in better shape. The fact that Jones had a shorter hiatus doesn’t necessarily mean he’s fitter.
If you let yourself go in just one year, there’s no appreciable difference between somebody who was not active for more than a decade but has spent the past year slowly getting back into shape. The human body is like that. It’s a wonder of creation. It is resilient and adaptable.
But to me the telling factor is power. There is an adage in boxing that power is the last to go. That means Tyson could be sitting in a wheelchair in his 70s but if you let him punch you hard he can still knock you out.
Tyson will be dangerous in the first few rounds as is always the case. The reason for Jones’ rapid decline in his last fighting years was how his punch resistance diminished.
If Tyson lands a few hard punches right on the money, Jones will be knocked out. His only chance is to box and move, and if his stamina holds, he can very well win a decision by moving away and making it a boring fight.
Sure it’s a novelty fight, a spectacle. But there’s a guilty pleasure to this fight that only fight fans can understand.
LAST ROUNDS. Are on two dear friends, Atty. Kenneth Yap and Liezel Gedorio of MTCC-OCC Mandaue who recently celebrated their birthdays. Cheers!