Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr result: Boxing legends draw exhibition fight in Los Angeles

George Flood
·3-min read
 (Getty Images for Triller)
(Getty Images for Triller)

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr drew their entertaining exhibition fight in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

The American boxing legends - both now in their 50s - certainly did not disgrace themselves during a watchable eight-round encounter at Staples Center.

Former undisputed heavyweight world champion Tyson - fighting for the first time since his shock defeat to Kevin McBride 15 years ago - impressed with his conditioning and formidable body punching in a ring that was smaller than usual size.

Meanwhile, former four-weight world champion Jones Jr was able to showcase some of the nifty movement that was a trademark of his 29-year, 75-fight professional career that only ended in 2018, but was fortunate to escape with a draw against a more aggressive and positive opponent.

“I’m good with that,” Tyson said afterwards when questioned if he accepted the draw, which was scored by three WBC-appointed former champions in Christy Martin, Vinny Pazienza and Chad Dawson.

Watch: Tyson return ends in stalemate

Asked if he thought he won the fight, he added: “Yeah, but I’m good with a draw.”

Jones Jr was less content, saying: “Hell no, I ain’t never satisfied with a draw. I wear draws, I don’t do draws!

"But he was so strong man and I understand why they say that some things are bucket list, because when he hits you, if it’s his head, his punches, his body shots, don’t matter.

"Everything hurts, so for me I thought I did enough boxing on the outside to edge it, but I’m cool with the draw.

“Means we just might try to do it again. But I don’t know.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Roy Jones Jr. (L) and Mike Tyson celebrate their split draw during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Roy Jones Jr. (L) and Mike Tyson celebrate their split draw during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)

Much of the talk in the build-up to the money-spinning exhibition bout regarded the specific rules, with plenty of confusion over whether knockouts would be permitted on the night.

However, a shorter fight length of only eight two-minute rounds and the wearing of larger 12oz gloves was designed to lessen the damage incurred by both men during an encounter that would have been stopped at the sign of any cuts.

As it was, a stoppage never looked likely as Tyson - who shed six stone before his comeback to the ring, weighing in lighter than when he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history 34 years ago - fought on the front foot throughout and did most of his good work to the body, but had to negotiate a stream of clinches initiated by the evasive Jones Jr, who tried his best to avoid being caught with many heavy shots while trying to land from the outside.

Tyson also had success with a few left hooks to the head, with Jones Jr’s energy sapped by those repeated firm body punches. The heavy breathing of both fighters was more audible due to the absence of a crowd at Staples Center enforced by the Covid pandemic.

A draw favoured Jones Jr as each legend took home a specially-created WBC ‘Frontline’ belt, while both hinted at a rematch after the final bell.

On the undercard, YouTube star Jake Paul notched his second successive professional victory with a two-round annihilation of former NBA player Nate Robinson.

The helplessly overmatched and inexperienced Robinson was brutally sent sprawling to the canvas three times on debut amid criticism from pundits that the fight should have been halted earlier and more questions over the legitimacy and potential dangers of such contests.

Meanwhile, former two-weight world champion Badou Jack cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Blake McKernan, while Jamaine Ortiz became the WBC’s lightweight silver title holder with an impressive display against Sulaiman Segawa.

Kicking off the main card, Edward Vazquez picked up a split decision win and the WBC’s United States featherweight title against Irvin Gonzalez Jr.

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