The boxing legends showed mini flashes of what they were in their primes Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Mike Tyson came out of his corner in hot pursuit, stalking Roy Jones Jr. around the ring and landing punches with ferocity. Jones flashed some of his classic deception and slick boxing skills, catching "Iron Mike" with no-look jabs and precise, pointed shots at times.
Although the 54-year-old Tyson and 51-year-old Jones weren't anywhere close to what they once were as rulers of the ring during their respective primes, they offered boxing fans 16 minutes of competitive action over eight rounds in their exhibition bout Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles and live on pay-per-view. By the end of the bout, WBC judges Christy Martin, Vinny Pazienza and Chad Dawson called the bout a draw. DAZN News had it 79-73 for Tyson, who looked to be in better shape and was the more active fighter.
"Yeah," Tyson said when Jim Gray asked him if he thought he won the fight, "but I'm good with the draw."
Jones wasn't satisfied with the draw at all.
"I wear draws," Jones joked, "I don't do draws."
However, Jones did call the experience of facing Tyson a "bucket list" writeoff, while adding that "everything hurts" after experiencing the former undisputed heavyweight champ's power shots.
Tyson, as predicted, was the aggressor, giving chase to Jones and landing some of his signature hooks to the body and face with the ferocity that he was known for over the 1980s and 1990s. Jones resorted to clinching early, but was able to pick and choose some of his potshots, showing a sliver of wizardry and magic that made him an elusive four-division world champion. Although those moments were seldom, the bout offered a blast of nostalgia that should've pleased boxing fans and a captive casual audience as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues.
Tyson assured Gray that he'll fight again, while Jones said he'll talk things over with his family before making a decision.
Here's how the entire Tyson vs. Jones main card went.
Tyson vs. Jones card
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. fight to a draw; Heavyweight
Jake Paul def. Nate Robinson by second-round KO; Cruiserweight
Badou Jack def. Blake McKernan via unanimous decision (80-72, 80-72, 80-72); Light heavyweight
Jamaine Ortiz def. Nahir Albright by seventh-round TKO; Lightweight
The last round already! This fight has zoomed by. Tyson lands a right hook upstairs, but Jones caught "Iron Mike" as well. Jones is dancing on Tyson. "Iron Mike" doubles up with left hooks to the body. Thirty seconds left. They're in the clinch. Fifteen seconds left. Ten. A competitive exhibition that goes the distance. (10-9 Tyson, 79-73 Tyson)
Tyson briefly gets loose and throws a barrage of punches with Jones up against the ropes. Jones with his gloves down, looking to set up something magical as he used to do in his prime. He goes back to the clinch and walking Tyson around the ring. Tyson head hunting and missing, but the ferocity is still there. (10-9 Tyson, 69-64 Tyson)
Tyson lands what looks like a low blow. Then, adds a right hand that lands flush. Jones keeps clinching in an effort to tire out Tyson and pop out to the outside to use his jab. Jones with a hop-step lightning quick combo that lands at Tyson's chest. At 51, Jones still has some of his deceptive skills. (10-9 Jones, 59-55 Tyson)
Tyson lands a sharp shot early, before Jones responds with a flurry. Jones is utilizing the clinch often, as he grapples with Tyson and leans on him. Tyson blasts Jones with a left hook that lands flush. Jones responds with his classic no-look jab. (10-9 Tyson, 50-45 Tyson)
Tyson attacks Jones with a left hand. Jones with an uppercut, as he tries to dance on Tyson and frustrate "Iron Mike." Tyson briefly rips the body. Tyson blasts Jones with back-to-back big right hooks to the body. These rounds are so quick, as we're already halfway through this fight. (10-9 Tyson, 40-36 Tyson)
Jones lands a left and Tyson returns fire with a left of his own. Jones is really trying to body up to Tyson and put his weight on "Iron Mike." Tyson plants a short uppercut into Jones' body. Lower action round, with Tyson taking it by a slim margin. (10-9 Tyson, 30-27 Tyson)
Tyson explodes with a left to the body. Moments later, he lunges with another left that lands. Now, Jones with a precise left that lands, playing his angles well. Jones punching in the clinch. Tyson buries a punishing left hook to the body at the bell. (10-9 Tyson, 20-18 Tyson)
Paul drops Robinson again, this time with a vicious overhand right! Robinson somehow gets up off the mat, but tastes the canvas again on another right hand that drops the former NBA player face down. Jake Paul just slept Nate Robinson and this one is a wrap! Oh my!
Robinson complains that it was a rabbit punch that dropped him in the first round, but the ref didn't want to hear any of it. The replay shows that it was a solid right hand that dropped the former three-time NBA Slam Dunk contest champ. He gets up at nine and survives the opening round.
The Nate Robinson vs. Jake Paul co-feature is next
All three judges have it 80-72 in favor of Badou Jack. The former world super middleweight and light heavyweight champion was just teeing off on McKernan, blasting his body and face in one-way traffic. McKernan showed plenty of heart in going the distance, but was completely outclassed.
Jack and McKernan entering the eighth and final round
Jack is in control and continues to turn McKernan's body into mush with punishing shots here in the fifth now. However, McKernan continues to hang tough, as he lands enough shots to keep this bout very interesting.