Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr: preview and predictions
Boxers, trainers and martial artists share their predictions on who is going to emerge victorious from the long-awaited fight between the two boxing greats.
Two of the biggest names in boxing, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., return to the ring this Saturday for an eight-round pay-per-view (PPV) exhibition fight that will take place in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Tyson 50-6 (44 KO), who at 20 became the youngest heavyweight champion in history, retired in 2005 after not returning for the seventh bell in his bout against Kevin McBride.
He is taking on another legend, Jones Jr. 66-9 (47 KO), who won world championships in four weight classes. He became the heavyweight champion in 2003 after beating John Ruiz and he is one of only six boxers to start their career as a light middleweight and go on to become heavyweight champion.
Even if the the fight won’t be scored and nobody is expected to get hurt, it’s impossible not to fancy some predictions in an event with these two talents involved. Personalities from the fighting world have given their take on it.
It’s hard to imagine Tyson’s career without thinking of Evander Holyfield, who twice beat the fighter once called baddest man on the planet. The only four-time heavyweight champion of the world is open for a third fight against Tyson, after announcing he was coming out of retirement a few months ago.
The Atlanta native, with wins over George Foreman, Larry Holmes and Riddick Bowe, is backing his old rival to beat Jones if he lands one of his trademark shots.
The Real Deal thinks that “if Tyson catches him, he’s going to hurt him. But if he can’t catch him, it’s going to be a lousy fight.”
James 'Buster' Douglas
Buster Douglas had the honor to become the first man to defeat Mike Tyson. That was in a fight that was held in Tokyo back in 1990. Three weeks before the fight, Douglas’ father died and he used that as a motivation in what is considered one of the greatests upsets in boxing history.
Douglas, a huge underdog in the fight, was categorical when asked about his prediction for the fight: "I think he [Jones] has a slimmer chance than Buster Douglas.”
Tyson and Jones were an inspiration for the former champion, as Khan admitted in some interviews. Still, the British boxer, who suffered a surprise knockout in 2016 against Mexican superstar Saúl Canelo Álvarez, is backing Jones.
"I don’t know what has made Mike and Roy fight each other. I mean, they might be friends, I don’t know. But who’s going to win this fight? Roy Jones, in my opinion”, he said.
The trainer knows Tyson well, as he cornered him towards the end of his career. Roach, also trainer of the Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, believes Tyson will be too much for Jones, who will ultimately lose by knockout.
“I think Mike knocks Roy Jones out”, he said to Press Box. Roach also stated that “I warned Mike that he has to be careful of Roy’s left to the body”.
Oscar De La Hoya
De La Hoya, who competed from 1992 to 2008, winning 11 world titles in six weight classes, also thinks Tyson will be victorious this weekend.
The Golden Boy, one of the biggest boxing sensations in the early 90s, is a boxer and MMA promoter. A gold medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, he runs Golden Boy Promotions together with Jones’ great rival, the former boxer Bernard Hopkins.
De La Hoya, who recently announced he wants to compete again, believes that Tyson will get the job done. “I’m going to have to go with Tyson”, he posted on Instagram. However, he added: "But it wouldn't surprise me if Jones Jr pulls something off, like he always has in his career”.
Jacobs, who will also be fighting on Saturday against Gabriel Rosado, also wanted to give his prediction on the long-awaited match. “I have to go with Tyson, he is probably the most inspirational fighter in boxing for me, given that we come from the same roots”, he said to Fight Hub TV.
The Miracle Man, a two-time middleweight world champion, saw how his career was almost cut short in 2011 due to osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Jacobs, who went on to make a full recovery after spending 19 months out of the sport, admitted that “I want to see a good fight but I hope none of the guys get hurt”.
Floyd Mayweather's uncle Jeff also gives the edge to Tyson. Mayweather said that “overall, if I would have to bet my money, I would pick Tyson because I know he has the power.”
A trainer himself, Mayweather, who used to make predictions videos about boxing fights on his Youtube channel, added: “As big as Tyson is, he has some tremendous hand speed”.
One of the biggest young stars in boxing, the unbeaten Teófimo López, 23, who surprised many analysts and experts by upsetting Ukranian superstar Vasyl Lomachenko to become the unified lightweight world champion, states that “ I want both Mike and Jones to win, but that can’t happen”.
The 2015 Golden Gloves winner, currently one of the best fighters pound for pound, admitted that “Tyson is scary, but Jones is smart too” to conclude that it’s a fight fans should enjoy beyond who wins or who loses.
Prediction: The fans
The former UFC welterweight champion, like many of his colleagues, won’t miss the showdown. Woodley (19-6-1), who is on a three-fight losing streak, feels Iron Mike will prove too strong for his opponent.
The Chosen One, also a broadcast analyst, said: “I’ve studied them so much. I’ve watched so many films, so many fights with both of them. I think if Mike Tyson touches anybody, they’re going down no matter how old he is. I just don’t see him not touching Roy at some point in the fight”.
Linares, with multiple world championships in three weight classes, will also be watching the fight between the two boxing legends. The Venezuelan fighter (47-5) thinks that the event “is great, it’s a very nice show”, where people will really enjoy watching both men showing their skills.
However, and after thinking his answer over for some seconds, Linares finally gave the edge to the Brooklyn native: “I think Mike Tyson wins but Roy Jones has the movement, it’s going to be a very interesting fight”.
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