The time has come. Mike Tyson is stepping back into the boxing ring Saturday night more than 15 years after his last professional fight against Kevin McBride. The 51-year-old Tyson is making his long-awaited comeback against 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr. and the new-look Tyson is ready to get going after “life beat me up.”
After a long wait, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. go at it Saturday
It all started with mystery. Mike Tyson spent the summer training hard. He was posting videos of himself working out with an “I’m back” message. At the time, nobody immediately knew the significance of the message. When it was announced Tyson was ready to make a comeback, speculation grew about his opponent.
Would it be a rematch against Evander Holyfield? Different names came up, and eventually, it was announced that Roy Jones Jr., another former champion, would step into the ring with Tyson. The two will bring a combined 105 years into Saturday’s fight.
The fight is labeled as an exhibition. There will be eight two-minute rounds. Tyson and Jones Jr. will wear 12-ounce gloves as opposed to the regular 10-ouncers. Neither fighter should be going into the ring with the intention of knocking out the other. There will be no judges, and if either fighter is cut, the match will be stopped.
At one point, it seemed Jones Jr. was considering backing out
The fight was originally scheduled for Sept. 12, but promoters reportedly wanted it pushed back to Thanksgiving weekend. They believed there would be a larger audience during the holiday. Roy Jones Jr. was upset when the fight was pushed back. He said the extra time was beneficial to Mike Tyson.
“Having it September 12 was to my advantage,” Jones Jr. said in an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He’s a bigger guy. It’s going to take him longer to get in shape and it’s going to take him longer to get his mind right. He hasn’t been active since, like 2009 or something. I fought in 2018.”
Jones, at one point, seemed to be questioning himself as to why he was agreeing to step into the ring with Tyson. “He’s still Mike Tyson, he’s still one of the strongest, most explosive people who ever touched a boxing ring,” Jones said to Sky Sports. “If anything, I made a mistake going in with him. He’s the bigger guy, he’s the explosive guy. He’s going to have all the first-round fireworks, not me. I do have first-round fireworks, but he’s known for more first-round fireworks than anybody to ever touch boxing, other than maybe George Foreman.”
New-look Mike Tyson admits ‘life beat me up’
In an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Mike Tyson admits he’s a changed man. He said he wasn’t a big fan of the guy who used to date many women, drive fancy cars, and spend money foolishly. He said he’s changed and he’s very happy with the transformation.
“The pretty girls, the Rolls Royces, and the new houses didn’t make me happy anymore,” he told Helwani in his last interview before the fight. Helwani asked Tyson is he liked the new version of Mike Tyson. “Big time,” Tyson said. “Before, it was all about me and my feelings and it had to be me. Sometimes the party’s cool without you. I truly work on liberating myself from myself.”
Helwani then asked Tyson who that guy was back then. “I don’t know,” Tyson responded. “He needed to find himself. He was lost. As I tell everybody, life just beat me up and I was beaten into submission by life. I didn’t find God and become humble. I just lost the fight, big time.”