Mike Tyson is back. The former heavyweight champion of the world is returning to the ring on November 28th. Tyson, who retired from boxing in 2005, will faceoff against Roy Jones Jr. in a major pay-per-view event.
As far as high-profile boxing events go, it’s fairly cheap to purchase. The fight only costs $50 to watch. The eight-round exhibition match is live from the Staples Center. The California Athletic Commission is calling the fight a “sparring” match, meaning no knockouts. Now, that doesn’t mean a knockout won’t happen. One right hook from Tyson or from Jones could easily make one happen. Even the head of the UFC, Dana White, was flabbergasted by the “no knockout” rule. “It’s such a tough one to call [who will win,” White said. “When’s the last time we saw either one of them fight? They’re not allowed to knock each other out? How do you enforce that? I’d like to bet that doesn’t happen. Can you bet on that?” You can’t bet on it, which once again, surprised White.
Boxing fans, too, are just as surprised. The California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster found himself explaining why. “They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other,” Foster told Boxing Scene. “They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout. This isn’t a record-book type of fight. This is not world-championship boxing right now. It’s not what this is. People shouldn’t be getting knocked out.”
Tyson was the youngest heavyweight champion ever. He went 37-0. Tyson’s speed and ferocity in the ring was legendary, as was his very R-rated trash talking. He was an incredible athlete. For years, Tyson avoided the gym. It messed with his ego, he’d say. For the fight, however, Tyson got back in the gym and looked fantastic. As for Roy Jones Jr., he’s won championships as a middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight. It’s a legendary record. Tyson and Jones, obviously, makes for a great fight on paper. Right now, these are the odds: Mike Tyson -220 vs. Roy Jones Jr. +170, Draw: +1200, and Over/Under 7.5 Rounds: Over +150, Under -180.
It’s not the only fight $50 will give viewers, though. On the main card, there’s also Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson (cruiserweights, 6 rounds), Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan (light heavyweights 8 rounds), and Viddal Riley vs. Rashad Coulter (cruiserweights 6 rounds). As for the preliminary card, there’s Jamaine Ortiz vs. Nahir Albright (lightweights), Irvin Gonzalez Jr. vs. Edward Vasquez (featherweights), and Juiseppe Cusumano vs. Nick Jones (heavyweights).
Knockout or no knockout, it’ll be surreal to see Tyson back in the ring throwing punches. He looks healthier and stronger as well as happier than he has in years. “I want you to know this… the first time I went back and boxed in 15 years, I got the sh– kicked out of me,” Tyson said. “But, do you know what happened in that process? I said, ‘I belong here. This is where I belong.'” Initially, Tyson thought it was “stupid” to fight again. He realized it wasn’t stupid when he could donate a great deal of money to charity. “This completes me: being considerate and generous to people less fortunate than myself,” he added. “That that helps me.”
The Tyson-Jones Jr. fight and three-hour event starts at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 28th.