The exhibition bout on November 28, 2020 was the only boxing attraction for all of 2020. Prior to Covid – 19, we were preparing to see the Wilder v. Fury trilogy or Fury v. Joshua. Instead, we ended up with a boxing bout that had everyone eager in anticipation – Mike Tyson v. Roy Jones Jr .
If you’ve been keeping up with Mike Tyson recently, you’d know that he is a sports dad to his tennis playing daughter, denounced fighting due to his ego, and has a lucrative career in the podcasting space and weed industry. Even though he has spent much of the past few years saying he would never fight again – it appears the adage “never say never” rings true. The fighter insisted that the evening would be more about entertainment and philanthropy than establishing a winner and a loser.
Many of us were nervous for both fighters. Mainly, nervous that Roy Jones Jr. would get struck with a disastrous blow by Tyson and that Tyson may have reactivated his ego and killer instinct. Those fears were calmed as viewers began to see a more composed Tyson in the ring. There may not have been a devastating defeat between the boxers, but Tyson defeated his own demons. After consciously avoiding exercise and fighting for years out of worry of his own nature, he mastered both. This was extremely evident in the post-fight interview.
There was, however, an established winner of the undercard fight between Jake Paul and Nate Robinson. While basketball players and basketball fans around the world were certain that Nate Robinson’s athleticism would lead him to victory, the more seasoned and technical fighter – Jake Paul in this instance – walked away with the “W.” The fight was short and scrappy, ending in a 2nd round knockout. (See https://youtu.be/Xd8vSZevUf8 ).
In sum, it was a fair event (see the following link to check out the Tyson v. Jones Jr. event https://youtu.be/ftIvJJ5OtN0 ). Despite the 15-year hiatus, Tyson looked like the more in shape fighter. I am curious to see what the PPV stats are and how this translates to Triller downloads. (There are rumors that there were more pay-per-view purchases than Mayweather v. McGregor).
At the end of the fight, Tyson seemed to make it clear that he wanted to continue to host exhibition bouts with legendary fighters. There may be mixed feelings around same. Due to the nature of it being exhibition rather than a fight, fighting fans may only tune in again if they can get to see true legends return to the ring. Additionally, if they can continue to guarantee interesting undercards (similar to the Jake Paul v. Nate Robinson fight) with former pro- athletes, celebrities, and social media stars they will attract new eyes to the sport of boxing.
All in all, yesterday’s event gave us all a sporting event to get excited about and made us realize that we want to watch more fights with Uncle Snoop.