The unique exhibition fight between legendary former world boxing champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. on Nov. 28 in California had everyone talking. Not just about the contest itself, which was declared a draw on the night, but about the future.
Tyson has expressed an interest in doing more exhibitions. Notorious rival of "Iron Mike," Evander Holyfield, has said he would battle him for a third time, for the right price. Tyson has even claimed he would step into the ring against current heavyweights such as Anthony Joshua, if they were non-competitive charity benefits.
And another name from the 54-year-old's past has now shown an interest.
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In 1990, a seemingly-unstoppable Tyson defended the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world against James "Buster" Douglas at Japan's colossal Tokyo Dome in what appeared set to be another routine victory before continuing to build his global brand, featuring a smash hit Nintendo game and a planned pro wrestling cameo alongside Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
Instead, Tyson was roughed up and ultimately stopped late in an upset that continues to be referenced in everyday parlance here in the year 2020.
Of course, someone was going to ask Douglas if he'd ever consider giving the world a rematch 30 years in the making while we remain on the crest of this nostalgia wave.
And that someone was USA TODAY Sports.
“Sure, I would welcome the opportunity,’’ Douglas answered. “Being a prizefighter all those years and still feeling pretty good today, you always feel you got one more fight in you.’’
Was an actual professional rematch ever on the cards? Not really, according to Douglas, despite it seemingly being the obvious move to get Tyson back on top. The new champion instead defended his crown later that year against Evander Holyfield, who dethroned Douglas in his first defense.
"I’ve been asked about it in casual conversation,’’ Douglas said. “They always ask, ‘Why didn’t you guys have a rematch?’ It was just never presented really, as far as a rematch. It was often mentioned. That’s about it.’’
Many were concerned that the Tyson vs. Jones bout would be sad, dangerous, farcical or all of the above.
Instead, the reception to the contest was in fact generally positive. And Douglas was one of those who enjoyed what he saw.
“It was pretty competitive,’’ Douglas added. “A couple of guys that were past their prime but put a good effort in there. Entertaining.’’
Douglas did not box for six years after the loss to Holyfield, and after a few more fights retired for good in 1999. Holyfield could indeed be next for Tyson, and the infamous outcome of the last meeting between "The Baddest Man On The Planet" and "The Real Deal" means that legends encounter could surpass the impressive numbers achieved by Tyson-Jones.
Earlier this week Glenn McCrory, a British boxer who fought at cruiserweight and heavyweight during Tyson and Holyfield's peak era, claimed he would be fighting the latter at London's O2 Arena in the spring with the promotional assistance of Bare Knuckle Boxing, though such an encounter would involve gloves and follow a similar exhibition format to Tyson and Jones.