Boxing

Mike Tyson Explains His Approach Heading Into Roy Jones Jr. Fight

Mike Tyson has been training hard for his comeback fight against Roy Jones Jr. The fight, originally set for September, was pushed back to Thanksgiving weekend against Jones Jr.’s wishes. Tyson has a little bit of extra time to prepare and he’s using it wisely.

Roy Jones Jr. was unhappy with the schedule change

RELATED: Mike Tyson Learned About ‘Exploding Livers’ From Legendary Trainer Cus D’Amato

Mike Tyson’s last professional fight was in 2005 against Kevin McBride. Roy Jones Jr. last fought in 2018. They were both scheduled to get back in the ring on Sept. 12 to fight each other, but promoters pushed back the fight to Nov. 28. Apparently, the thinking was they would attract a bigger audience over Thanksgiving weekend.

The scheduling change didn’t sit well with Jones Jr. “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.

“In six weeks, I was right back in gear. He wasn’t going to have time to get back in gear. Now, you’re allowing him to go get in real shape. Now he’s going to be a problem for more than one or two rounds. With this much time, you allow him to be a real threat.”

George Foreman has shown concern for the two fighters

Mike Tyson is 54 years old. Roy Jones Jr. is 51. Both fighters appear to be in great shape, but that isn’t stopping two-time world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman from voicing his concern. Foreman is afraid the fighters will be going at it as if they were in their 20s.

“In my younger days, you get hit in the head, you shake it off and you come back,” Foreman said in an interview with TMZ Sports. “Whereas, when you get older and you get hit, it stays there for a month. You shake it off and the next time, it stays there for a year.”

Foreman believes the two fighters don’t know what they are getting themselves into. “They just don’t know,” he said. “They just don’t know. I used to have a baby lion and a baby tiger. And my friend would get in a cage with about a dozen tigers and one lion. I went in the cage and was playing with them. When I came out one friend said, ‘Boy, George you sure are brave’ and another said, ‘George just don’t know.’ Boy, you don’t know until they hit you. Strange things happen to you after years go by.”

Mike Tyson prepping as if it’s a regular fight

The fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. is considered an exhibition. It’s scheduled for eight three-minute rounds. The fighters aren’t supposed to go in the ring with knockout intentions. Neither fighter believes the other will lighten up, so Tyson is preparing for a battle.

“I look at films of Roy when he’s at his best because that’s the guy I anticipate fighting,” Tyson said during Thursday’s press conference. “I anticipate fighting him at his best. I’m in the best of shape.”

Tyson said he’s been training hard and sparring against younger guys to prep himself for Jones Jr. “I’m boxing younger guys and hungry guys. And they’re assuring me, from the looks of things, that I’m doing very well. I’m looking really forward to this. We’re also doing this from a charity perspective and so many people are going to benefit from this fight besides the fighters.”