Former four-division boxing champ Roy Jones Jr. believes Mike Tyson is still extremely dangerous, even at 54 years old.
Jones, 51, will meet Tyson in an eight-round exhibition match on September 12.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, he explained why he accepted this challenge.
“Too hard to resist, too incredible to resist, too much of a blessing to resist” Jones told said. “When I won the heavyweight title, I told them the only other person I would fight as a heavyweight was Mike Tyson. If Mike Tyson didn’t want to fight, I was going back down to light heavyweight. From what I got … was that he was through with boxing, he didn’t want to box no more, so I left and went back to light heavyweight. I didn’t stick around, but to have him come out now and say, ‘OK, I want to come back. Guess what? You wanted it, you get your opportunity.’ I’m like, ‘Yes.’
Because this fight is an exhibition, the result will not go on either man’s record. Yet Jones doesn’t believe it will be all that different from a real fight—particularly with a juggernaut like Tyson standing across the ring.
“No different,” Jones said. “I mean, the first three rounds, he’s gonna be dangerous. He was like that in his prime. He’s like that now. He’s a guy that can knock you out from Round 1 to Round 12, so in the eighth round he’ll still be dangerous. But if you can get the fatigue factor to set in, then you got a better chance. So for me, I got to try and work off the second half of the fight more so than I work off the first half.
“Mike knows one way – kill. That’s all he knows. Destruction and destroy. That’s all he understands, so my mindset is I better be ready when I go in between those ropes. One thing my dad’s taught me, he said, ‘If you’re going to kill a fly, you kill a fly with an axe, not a fly swatter.’”
What’s your prediction for the upcoming exhibition fight between Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson?