Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. exceeded the expectations of many critics battling to a draw in their main event showdown at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday night.
Both Tyson and Jones Jr., 54, and 51 years of age respectively, provided some glimpses of their former selves, going the 8-round exhibition distance. The court of public perception seems to favour that Tyson won the bout, showing surprisingly good cardio.
Tyson scored with some hooks and uppercuts that reminded nostalgic fans of the ‘Iron Mike’ that ruled the heavyweight division in the late 1980s.
Jones Jr., on the other hand, came out decked in gloves that paid homage to the late Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant. He seemed to gas after the third round, but found a second wind late in the fight to make the fight respectable. And we did see some less occasional movement and footwork that powered him to his former glory.
According to Compubox, Tyson outlanded Jones 67-37, including a 57-28 advantage in power punches.
The judges were Christy Martin, Vinny Pazienza, and Chad Dawson, all former boxing champions.
In the post-fight interview, Tyson stated he would like to fight again.
But there were some other entertaining fights on the card.
Youtuber Jake Paul scored an impressive TKO victory over an aggressively inexperienced former NBA player Nate Robinson. Robinson was thought to have an advantage because of his athleticism, but it became clear early that Paul’s training was superior.
The event also featured performances by artists Snoop Dog, French Montana, YG and Wiz Khalifa. Ne-Yo performed the national anthem and Dogg joined the broadcast booth to commentate on the Paul vs. Robinson bout and the main event.