The itch to compete never left Roy Jones Jr., even after retiring in 2018. Jones, now 51, didn’t take long to take his gloves out again, as he will be facing off against Mike Tyson in an exhibition bout on September 12. Finally facing off against Tyson, Jones is ready for whatever happens.
Speaking with The Athletic, Jones (66-9) felt honored to be a part of Tyson’s (50-6, 2 NC) first professional fight since 2005. While he has a lot of training to do, Jones knows he will be ready for a fight everyone will be watching.
“I know it’s happening, and I know it’s against the great Mike Tyson, so how can you not be excited?” Jones stated. “The deal was finalized last week. I have to treat it as a real fight because you never know. I’ll be in there with Mike Tyson. Mike’s too big to be playing with. There were a lot of names he could have chosen, but he chose me, so how could I say no? I don’t know a lot of the details yet, but that doesn’t bother me. I just want to fight.”
Making his professional debut in 1989, Jones won the IBF Middleweight Title in 1993 against Bernard Hopkins. He then moved up in weight to light-heavyweight, where he won the WBA, IBO, WBC, and IBF Light-Heavyweight Titles. “Captain Hook” became the first middleweight champion to win heavyweight gold in 2003, beating John Ruiz via unanimous decision. He ended his career on a four-fight win streak in the cruiserweight division in 2018.
According to Metro, Jones was supposed to fight Tyson at one point. A $40 million guaranteed deal, Jones rejected the offer. Jones ended up telling The Athletic that he will receive a 50-50 split of PPV proceeds with Tyson, who has stated the money will be going to various charities.
“If the pay-per-view does well, it does well. If it don’t, it don’t. I don’t care,” Jones went on to say. “I’m not interested in the money. I want to see what it feels like to be in front of the great Mike Tyson.”
The fight will air on PPV and the video streaming platform Triller. It will be associated with the Legends Only League, focusing on providing a platform for elder stars looking to make a comeback. Both men have knockout power, Jones with 47 wins via knockout and Tyson with 44. Jones’ game plan is to use his power, even if the gloves they will be using will be 12 ounces.
“I’m going to try and win and know he’ll try to knock me out. If I can knock him out, he’s gotta go, but if I can outbox him, I gotta do whatever shit I can to win,” Jones stated. “I’d rather do it that way, to show I can still do that,” Jones said. “The point of boxing is to outbox him.” He added that he’s “highly” excited for the bout, insisting his “juices are still flowing, and always have been.”
The fight between Tyson and Jones will take place inside the Dignity Health Sports Arena in California.