Mike Tyson, the dynamic and mercurial former heavyweight champ, returns to the ring on Saturday in an exhibition that scratches an ongoing itch.
Tyson faces fellow former champ Roy Jones Jr. in Los Angeles, representing the marquee event in a four-hour live production, which includes former NBA star Nate Robinson fighting YouTube star Jake Paul.
The event begins at 8 p.m. ET, with the main card at 9 on pay-per-view through cable and satellite providers and PPV streaming on TysonOnTriller.com.
- Heavyweight (8 rounds) – Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
- Cruiserweight (6 rounds) – Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson
- Light heavyweight (8 rounds) – Badou Jack vs Blake McKernan
- Cruiserweight (6 rounds) – Viddal Riley vs Rashad Coulter
Tyson retired in 2005 with a 50-6 record and, by all accounts appears to be in great shape.
Why fight? The answers likely include money and visibility for the 54-year-old who last fought in a forgettable 2005 loss to Kevin McBride.
“My last fight, I didn’t want nothing to do with that stuff,’’ Tyson told USA Today in a phone interview. “I have so much more desire than my last fight.”
Tyson is a –175 favorite over the 51-year-old Jones, according to Thursday’s VegasInsider report, and fight producer Ryan Kavanaugh told Variety the fight will be very similar to traditional title fights.
“A knockout is allowed,” he said. “We heard someone say there’s no knockouts. A knockout is absolutely allowed. … If someone’s bleeding, the fight’s not going to stop.
“(The California State Athletic Commission) approved the fight. … (It has) all normal fight professional rules, with a few exceptions.”
Among the exceptions, the bout will include eight two-minute rounds with the fighters wearing 12 oz gloves as opposed to the standard 10 oz gloves.