Who is Roy Jones? Why is he such a worthy opponent to Mike Tyson?
Even if you’re not a boxing fan, chances are you’ve heard about this weekend’s epic fight. The famous Mike Tyson & Roy Jones Jr. faced off in an epic match, which ended in a draw. We all know the legendary Tyson, but who is Jones? How did he come so close to beating his notorious opponent? Let’s take a look.
Background on Roy Jones
Roy Jones was born on January 16th, 1969. He’s known for being a boxer, boxing commentator, boxing trainer, rapper, and actor. From 1989 to 2018, he competed in boxing tournaments and snagged multiple world championships in middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight classes. He’s the only boxer to ever start his career at light middleweight and go on to win a title in heavyweight.
When he was a boxing amateur, he represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympics and won a silver medal. Many consider Jones to be one of the greatest boxers of all time, and he’s known for his lightning-fast hand speed, hardcore athleticism, and catlike reflexes. He holds the record for the most wins in light heavyweight titles, and also won the World Boxing Association heavyweight title in 2003.
Jones vs. Tyson
As you can imagine, things got pretty intense when Jones squared off against another boxing legend, Mike Tyson. Tyson, nicknamed “Iron Mike”, is the former heavyweight world champion, and is rightfully considered one of the most feared boxers of all time. In his first year as a pro boxer, he finished with a 15-0 record. He was only 20 when he became the youngest heavyweight champion in the sport’s history.
The recent event was titled “Frontline Battle”, was supported by the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission.
The rounds themselves were 60 seconds shorter than the standard: two minutes instead of three. Three champions judged & scored each round. The President of the WBC, Mauricio Sulaimán, commented on the match in a news release:
“Despite the isolation and tribulations COVID-19 has caused,” he said, “Tyson and Jones Jr. have shown us that when a person embraces a positive mental outlook, turns on his or her positive mental switch, all challenges can be overcome which is why we have created a one of a kind commemorative belt created specifically for the occasion.”
And for anyone who wasn’t satisfied with the tie, no need to worry. Both fighters say they’d be willing to compete against one another again. “I could’ve done everything better,” said Tyson. “Everything I was doing I could’ve done it better, so God willing, I’ll be better the next exhibition.” Jones also admitted that the fight was a tough one, and that body shots “took a toll” on him.
“I like him (Tyson),” Jones explained after the fight, “but the dude is so strong, man. I understand why they say some things are ‘bucket list’ because when he hits you, if it’s his head, his punches, his body shots, it don’t matter. Everything hurts. So, for me, I thought I did enough boxing on the outside to edge it out, but I’m cool with the draw. It means we just might have to do it again, but I don’t know.”
Jones also declared this fight was particularly meaningful to him because of the recent death of great athlete Kobe Bryant. “I had to give a tribute to Kobe because he was my latest greatest,” he said. “Michael Jordan will always be my No. 1 favorite, but Kobe and [Allen] Iverson are right there next at second and third.”
Will Jones and Tyson fight again? Who’s to say. But one thing’s for sure: if they do, then it promises to be a nail-biter. Would you watch a rematch between Tyson & Jones? Let us know in the comments!