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Roy Jones Jr: It’s very risky facing Mike Tyson

Image: Roy Jones Jr: It's very risky facing Mike Tyson

By Matt Lieberman: Roy Jones Jr is well aware who he’s facing in Mike Tyson on September 12, and he understands what can happen to him if he hits with full force. There’s not only a risk of Jones Jr (66-9, 47 KOs) getting knocked out by former IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs), but he could get hurt permanently.

The former four-division world champion Jones will be attempting to outbox and defeat Tyson on September 12 in their clash on pay-per-view at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, California.

Tyson vs. Jones Jr would have been a tremendous bout had it taken place around 2000 to 2002. There would have been so much money for both fighters to make against each the back then. Although Tyson wasn’t the same fighter he once was by early 2000, he still had his power and hand speed.

Things are different now with Tyson 54-years-old and Roy Jones Jr 51, and there’s likely not as much interest now compared to if they had fought years ago.

The Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr has these things working against it:

  • The U.S economy
  • It being an exhibition match
  • Fans want to see Tyson fight guys in their prime, and not old

Jones: Mike Tyson is the Monster, and I’m David

“Boxing is a brutal sport,” said Roy Jones Jr. “He [Mike Tyson] dominated. His legs are huge; his thighs are huge, his arms are huge, his neck is huge. So it’s very risky, yes, but God is in control of all.

Image: Roy Jones Jr: It's very risky facing Mike Tyson

“I was beating them in every weight class I’ve been in, but what are you going to do? It’s like David and Goliath. He’s the giant monster that we know, and I’m the little David, who only has God on my side, and that’s all I need,” said Jones.

Roy has got to stay on the outside and not let Tyson get too close to him, not even for an instant. Jones couldn’t handle the power of Enzo Macarrinelli, Danny Green, Glen Johnson, and Denis Lebedev. None of those fighters have anywhere near the same kind of punching power as Tyson has.

What we don’t know is if Roy Jone’s chin has gotten stronger since his last knockout loss to Maccarinelli in 2016. Roy hasn’t been knocked out since that fight, but then again, he hasn’t fought anyone with huge power or talent either.

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The workout clip that Tyson posted on social media on Saturday was scary to watch because he was hitting with so much power. Jones has excellent boxing skills, but he’s going to last long if Tyson starts connecting with his best punches.

Tyson and Roy Jones taking a big risk

“It’s a fight where both guys have had a big career and are well known,” said Jeff Mayweather on the Mayweather Boxing Channel. “People will still pay their money to see them, especially with Mike Tyson because Mike Tyson’s exposure in boxing has never lessened.

“It’s great for both guys because I’m pretty sure they’re going to make some pretty good money. It is a risk. There’s a definite risk involved. Both guys towards the end of their careers were losing to guys they shouldn’t have, you know?

“Maybe they both stayed a little too long, but I think it’s great for their fans that you can see two great fighters that are going to fight against each other that didn’t have a chance to fight against each other when they could have.

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“But when guys are in their 50s, it’s different. Me myself at my age, I don’t think I’d ever step in the ring with anybody. But Tyson looks spectacular, hitting the mitts.

“I watched Roy’s workouts, and he’s still pretty fast as long as they get in shape. And I just hope that if someone gets hurt, the referee stops the fight before anything can happen to either one.

“I would hate to see someone get hurt to the point of it changing their life because they’re taking a risk. We don’t know if they’re going to go at 100% or 80. If they go 100%, the chances are someone could get hurt,” said Mayweather.

Tyson isn’t taking as big a risk as Jones is with their eight-round exhibition match, but you can’t rule out a win for Roy. He’s been keeping himself in shape training Chris Eubank Jr. He’s got a leg up on Tyson in that respect.

Tyson vs. Jones = as big as Pacquiao fight

“This is a situation where, in Tyson’s case, he still has fans,” said Jeff Mayweather. “He still has a huge following. I think a lot of the younger fans don’t know about Roy and don’t know how great Roy was in his prime because they probably saw him towards the end of his career.

“Even though Tyson at the end of his career, it wasn’t that great, but Tyson was so documented in all the great things that he did in the sport. Everyone knows it. It’s kind of like one of those fights where it’s a great fight, spectacular fight.

“Roy has still got his hand speed, and I’m sure he can still move a little bit around the ring on his feet, and Mike is going to bring it to him. It’s going to be entertaining.

“Even with this being an exhibition, it’s going to be just as big as the Manny Pacquiao fight, especially with the guys that are supposedly the top echelon of boxing right now like Errol Spence, Terence Crawford or Lomachenko.

“These guys can’t fill up an arena like Tyson and Jones. I’m hoping to see a good fight, and I’m hoping both guys walk away from the fight unscathed. I want it to be entertaining, but I don’t want to see no one gets hurt, said Jeff.

It’s quite possible that Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr will eclipse the pay-per-view numbers of the other fights that take place in the fall.

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Even though this is an exhibition match with oversized 12-ounce gloves and headgear, fans will still want to see Mikey Tyson back in action after 15 years.

Roy Jones Jr was different from everyone else

“And I met Roy when I was in the nationals way back in 1987,” said Mayweather. “I met Roy, and I told my coach, ‘This guy right here, he’s different. Everybody here is a champion, but this guy is different because Roy was so flashy, his hands were so fast, and he punched so hard.

“It was almost like it was unreal. Then he turned pro, and he did the exact same thing, even as a pro. It was just like what I said then.

“This guy is different than everyone else here, and, of course, he went on to become a great fighter, multiple weight world champion all the way up to heavyweight from middleweight.

“So that speaks volumes in its own right,” said Jeff Mayweather.

Roy Jones Jr was an amazing fighter in the 80s and 90s, and it’s too bad that he overstayed his welcome. If Jones had retired around 2002, his career would have been better for it.

Image: Roy Jones Jr: It's very risky facing Mike Tyson

You can second guess Jones’ decision to move out of the middleweight division in going up to 168, 175, 200, and then finally heavyweight. Roy was a better fighter when he fought at 160, and he might have extended his career had he stayed in that weight class.

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