What could have been a cringe-worthy boxing exhibition between 50-somethings turned into something far more polished and humanitarian.
Former world champions Mike Tyson, 54, and Roy Jones Jr., 51, boxed Saturday night and nobody wound up in a hospital. Although the atrocious pre-hype promotion tempered expectations for the pay-per-view exhibition, there was more boxing than hugging with a format of eight two-minute rounds that still left Jones struggling to showboat as much as usual.
“This (expletive) is like two of my uncles fighting at the barbeque,” fight commentator Snoop Dogg said.
The judges called it a draw, thanks to former boxer Vinny Pazienza’s crazy card, but Tyson was far more impressive despite not having boxed for 15 years. Jones retired two years ago.
“I wear draws, I don’t do draws,” Jones said.
Tyson, donating his guaranteed $1 million earnings to charities, showed some familiar power shots and surprising stamina.
“I’m happy I’m not knocked out,” Tyson said after the fight. “I took my youth for granted.”
The eye-opener came from the undercard, where YouTube star Jake Paul, 23, knocked down 36-year-old former NBA star Nate Robinson three times. The final KO left Robinson lying face down on the canvas until he was helped up.
“Oh, my God, Lord have mercy! Oh Jesus!” Snoop Dogg exclaimed.
Paul, clearly well-trained, only needed eight punches over the two rounds to finish Robinson early.
Paul tried to warn Robinson’s kids before the fight, saying, “Please don’t watch the fight. I don’t want to embarrass your dad in front of you.”
The bravado continued after the fight when he challenged two-time UFC champion Conor McGregor.
It’s hard to tell how serious Paul is. This is the same guy who questioned COVID-19, saying, “I think the disease is a hoax.”