A few decades earlier, Tyson-Jones would have been a mega event. In 2003, Jones, the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, switched from light heavyweights to beat John Ruiz, winning part of the heavyweight title. Tyson, a year away from being eliminated by Lennox Lewis, had dusted off with a first round knockout of Clifford Etienne a month earlier.
“It would’ve been right up there with Tyson-Holyfeld,” says veteran promoter Lou DiBella, a former HBO executive. “Over a million purchases, $ 20 million site fees, all that. ”
There will be no site fees, of course, not with COVID-19 raging across the United States, preventing any fans who could have shelled out more than a few hundred dollars to watch this show. And PPV purchases won’t sniff the kind of numbers Tyson reaped during his prime. Several industry insiders are predicting that the final number would be in the 350,000 range, although that may be optimistic and, said one network official, carries “a substantial risk of claims. [from unsatisfied customers] ensuite. »
Tyson and Jones are doing it for the money, though neither will say it. Tyson is not in the kind of dire financial straits he was in in 2005 when, he admits, “I was fighting for financial gain.” He founded Tyson Ranch, a licensing and branding company. He has a successful podcast. He’s creditworthy enough to claim that the money he earns fighting Jones will be donated to charity. Yet $ 10 million is a lot of money.
“I was happy to leave the ring [in 2005]Tyson said. “I was scared to be in the ring at the time. I was on drugs at the time. I was a completely different person back then. I have the desire to do it now. A will to do it now. This guy [against McBride] was just a ghost of me. I am ready to do this. I want the world to see how gorgeous I am. ”
Jones’ memories are fresher, thanks to Jones walking his professional career long past his expiration date. The fighter who once declared his intention to quit boxing in his early 30s fought until his late forties. Montell Griffin and Vinny Pazienza knockout YouTube videos now include depressing clips of Starched Jones by Denis Lebedev and Enzo Maccarinelli. Jones once regularly sold arenas in Las Vegas and New York. His career officially ended in 2018 at the Civic Center in Pensacola, Florida.
“When you get a call from Mike Tyson’s team saying Mike wants to fight you, that’s the to-do list,” Jones said. “Everywhere I go in life, the first thing a young child asks me is, ‘Hey, have you ever fought Mike Tyson?’ I don’t know why, but they always ask me this. Now i don’t have to say no [any]more. I’m so happy to have this opportunity because now I can say, ‘Yes I did.’ ”
Indeed, Tyson and Jones will fight… we think. Tyson and Jones have been talking tough the past few weeks. “Watch me beat Roy Jones’ ass,” Tyson said in a promotional video. Said Jones, “12 oz gloves, no headgear, you think that’s an exhibition?” Come on, be for real. Tyson’s workout videos went viral, with a slender Tyson viciously attacking mittens and heavy bags in short bursts. “You have Mike Tyson and Roy Jones,” Tyson said. “I’m coming to fight. I hope he comes to fight. That’s all you need to know.
Still, Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, has made it clear that this won’t be a traditional fight. There will be eight rounds, but they will only last two minutes each. The scoring will be done by the WBC, as California does not want it. Any cut, the fight is stopped. If either of the fighters starts to move away, the fight will be stopped. Referee Ray Corona has specific instructions not to let this turn into a fight, something Foster has stressed to both camps.
Should you buy it? It depends on what you want to see. If you’re looking for a vintage Tyson, drop by. Tyson did this once in 2006, when he stepped in with his former training partner Corey Sanders in what was to be the first of several shows. This farce ended with Tyson literally holding Sanders while chants of “bullsh” echoed through the crowd. Tyson’s “World Tour” ended there in Youngstown, Ohio.
If you just want to take a look at two legends, go for it. Tyson-Jones is supposed to be the start of Tyson’s Legends Only League – yes, the acronym is LOL – which will supposedly feature more events like this. But Tyson and Jones’ best days only exist on the internet, and all any viewer can hope for is that a wild hook from Tyson will put Jones on the bridge.
And, hey – maybe that’s worth the $ 50 they’re asking for.