Major League Baseball officially ushered in the return of the "Big Four" sports in the United States. But while Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing the first pitch at the Washington Nationals-New York Yankees game was supposed to be the biggest news of Opening Day, it paled in comparison to the news of the most anticipated boxing event since Conor McGregor went toe-to-toe with Floyd Mayweather.
Clear your calendar. Mike Tyson is returning to the boxing ring for the first time in 15 years to fight Roy Jones Jr.
Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.
I. AM. BACK. #legendsonlyleague. September 12th vs @RealRoyJonesJr on #Triller and PPV #frontlinebattle @TysonLeague pic.twitter.com/eksSfdjDzK
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 23, 2020
According to Yahoo! Sports reporter Kevin Iole, Tyson and Jones have marked September 12, 2020, for an eight-round exhibition fight to be held at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The reported fight date was confirmed by Andy Foster, the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, who met with the former world champions via Zoom to sign contracts and confirm the fight .
Neither fighter will wear headgear, and they'll wear 12-ounce boxing gloves. (Heavyweight fighters typically wear 10-ounce gloves for sanctioned bouts.) While WBC, WBO, WBA and IBF titles won't be on the line, rest assured that once the juices are flowing, this will be an awesome fight to watch.
How Old Is Roy Jones Jr.?
In one corner, you have a former four-division world champion. During his professional career, Roy Jones Jr. held titles in middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, racking up a 66-9 record with 47 knockouts. Some of his most notable bouts were against Bernard Hopkins, John Ruiz and Antonio Tarver. Among his many accomplishments, Jones won a silver medal competing for Team USA at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
He last fought on February 8, 2018, defeating Scott Sigmon in a 10-round unanimous decision in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida. He officially retired following the victory.
Roy Jones Jr. turned 51 years old on January 16, 2020.
The boxing legend and commentator has stayed in great shape and appears ready to face "Iron Mike" in the ring. In the exhibition match's promo video, Jones compared the matchup to David and Goliath:
"He's a giant monster, we know. And I'm little old David who only has God on my side, which is all I need."
Mike Tyson's Comeback
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Including capturing his first world heavyweight title at 20 years old, Tyson didn't lose his first 37 professional fights. His loss to Buster Douglas shocked the world and his disqualification for biting Evander Holyfield's ear started the downward trend of his fight career.
After losing his final professional bout — Tyson withdrew prior to the seventh round against Kevin McBride on June 11, 2005 — Tyson struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, including being arrested several times. But the former undisputed heavyweight champion battled back and repaired his image through numerous endeavors, including publishing two tell-all books and starring in the film The Hangover.
In the months leading up to this fight's announcement, Tyson posted a series of training videos, in one of which he simply says, "I'm back."
Trim, fast and powerful, Tyson looks like an absolute monster who could lace up and return to the ring for a serious bout. (Looking at you, Tyson Fury.) At 54 years old, it's going to be incredible watching Tyson fight again.
And yes, he's taking it seriously:
"My ego's f***ing with me. I'm saying, 'You think you fly, huh? You ain't sh*t. Look, I'm getting in here to kick your ass. You better get on top of your game. You want to get embarrassed in front of these f***ing people?'"
"And then the other ego is saying, "F*** you! Watch what I'm gonna do!"
How to Watch Tyson-Jones Jr. Fight
The fight billed under "Mike Tyson's Legends Only League" will be broadcast exclusively on Triller, a rising social media platform. The fight will be sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission and tentatively takes place on September 12, 2020.
The pay-per-view is expected to include an undercard and musical performances determined at a later date. It was rumored that a boxing match between world champion James Toney and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz would take place that day, but Andy Foster told Yahoo! Sports that won't be the case.
One undercard bout will be former NBA guard Nate Robinson against YouTube star Jake Paul.
Former NBA guard Nate Robinson and YouTube star Jake Paul make it official: They tell me they will be fighting Sept. 12 as an undercard to Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. in California. pic.twitter.com/ClEP64JZFp
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 23, 2020
TMZ Sports reported that Triller is also preparing a 10-part docuseries following Tyson and Jones Jr.'s preparation. Two episodes will reportedly be released every week leading up to the exhibition bout on Triller's platform.
Sports returned during the coronavirus pandemic, but honestly, I'm more excited to see 54-year-old "Iron Mike" and 51-year-old "Captain Hook" back in the ring once more.
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