Boxing

Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson Address the ‘Exhibition’ Part of Their Fight

Things are getting more interesting each day when it comes to the Mike Tyson comeback fight against Roy Jones Jr. Both fighters were at a press conference Thursday to speak about their upcoming bout scheduled to take place Nov. 28. The fight is listed as an eight-round exhibition match but both fighters seemed to toss that aside.

What’s an exhibition match?

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According to California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster, the fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. will be an exhibition match. Foster said that the boxers shouldn’t be looking to knock each other out. The bout will consist of eight three-minute rounds with the boxers wearing 12-ounce gloves. There will be no headgear and no judges.

“It’s an exhibition,” Foster told Boxing Scene back in July. “They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other. 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. The public can see what kind of shape Roy and Mike are still in.”

Foster said he wanted to make it clear to the public that it was an exhibition. “I wanted to have their assurances that they understand, ‘I don’t care if they spar. I don’t care if they work.’ They are world-class athletes, even still,” said Foster. “They have a right to earn, and all these types of things. They’re about the same age. We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.”

Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson aren’t buying the exhibition label

During Thursday’s press conference, both fighters were asked about next month’s fight. They were asked if they trained any different for an exhibition fight than a regular one. Both fighters shrugged off the exhibition part.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about it’s not a real fight,” Tyson said. “You got Mike Tyson and Roy Jones and I’m coming to fight and I hope he’s coming to fight. That’s all you need to know.”

Jones Jr. also dispelled the thought that it’s not a real fight. “The last guy that did an ‘exhibition’ with Mike got dropped in the first round. If you don’t know that, there’s something wrong with you. Who goes in the ring with the great, legendary Mike Tyson and thinks this is an exhibition?”

Jones Jr. has always been leery of what Tyson might do

In a recent interview with Joe Rogan, Roy Jones Jr. was already doubting the fact the fight was being labeled an exhibition. He said Tyson’s unpredictability makes training for this fight difficult. Jones Jr. said he has to prepare for the worst against Tyson.

“You don’t know what Mike Tyson might come in there and do,” Jones Jr. told Rogan. “You gotta protect your ears, your chin, your jaw. And you don’t know what he might do. So what you better do is get in shape and be prepared for whichever Mike shows up.”

Jones Jr. said an exhibition with Tyson is different than an exhibition with anyone else. “Yeah, it’s an exhibition with Mike Tyson, who knocked Corey Sanders down in the first round of an exhibition back in 2004,” Jones Jr. said. “What is your definition of an exhibition?”