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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Fight ends in a draw after eight rounds

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Roy Jones Jr., left, throws a punch at Mike Tyson during their exhibition fight at Staples Center.
Roy Jones Jr., left, throws a punch at Mike Tyson during their exhibition fight at Staples Center on Saturday. The fight ended in a draw.
(Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

Mike Tyson makes his return to the ring at age 54 to fight Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition match at Staples Center on Saturday.

Round-by-round updates and analysis from exhibition fight between boxing legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. at Staples Center on Saturday. The fight ended in a draw after eight rounds.

Mike Tyson on fight with Roy Jones Jr.: ‘Absolutely would do this again’

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. went eight rounds in their exhibition fight at Staples Center on Saturday. The two boxing legends battled to a draw.

Tyson, 54, seems to be eager to get back into the ring if another opportunity came along.

“I’m happy with a draw,” Tyson said. “I thought I won but I’m happy because we entertained the fans.

“Absolutely would do this again. I’m just happy I could go eight rounds. Knockouts mean nothing, you have to be able to go the distance.”

Here are their reactions to the fight:

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Mike Tyson shows glimpses of his old self in draw with Roy Jones Jr.

Mike Tyson, left, shakes hands with Roy Jones Jr. following their exhibition fight at Staples Center on Saturday.
(Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

Mike Tyson showed glimpses of his destructive prime Saturday night during the 54-year-old boxing icon’s return to the ring for a lively exhibition bout with 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr.

Both fighters had impressive moments during a fight that was unofficially ruled a draw by the WBC judges at ringside. Tyson and Jones fought eight two-minute rounds, and both emerged smiling and apparently healthy from a highly unusual event at Staples Center.

“This is better than fighting for championships,” Tyson said of the heavyweight exhibition, which raised money for various charities. “We’re humanitarians now. We can do something good for the world. We’ve got to do this again.”

The former heavyweight champion of the world’s return to the ring after a 15-year absence attracted international attention, and Iron Mike did his best to show the form that made him a legend to a generation of boxing fans. Tyson tagged Jones with body shots and a handful of head punches during a bout that was required to be a fairly safe glorious sparring session by the California State Athletic Commission.

“The body shots definitely took a toll,” said Jones, the former four-division world champion widely considered the most skilled boxer of his generation. “It’s something to take the punches that Mike throws. I’m cool with a draw. Maybe we can do it again.”

Jones walked to the ring with gloves and trunks honoring Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, while Tyson wore his signature all-black trunks. After the traditional pre-fight pomp and an introduction by Michael Buffer, the 50-something champions both came out throwing punches that evoked echoes of their glorious primes.

They also tied up frequently on the inside, and their occasionally labored breathing could be heard on the microphones in the empty arena.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Fight ends in a draw

Mike Tyson throws a punch at Roy Jones Jr. during their exhibition fight at Staples Center on Saturday.
(Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

Round 8: The Battle of the Ages is over!

The fight goes the distance, as was originally planned, and the fight mostly unfolds as a glorified and entertaining sparring match.

Both Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. appear relieved that the exhibition is over, as they went toe-to-toe for a total of 16 minutes.

Since the fight was not scored by the California State Athletic Commission, as planned, and no official decision is announced by the state, ring announcer Michael Buffer congratulates everyone and throws it back to the broadcast crew. The WBC judges declared the fight as a draw.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Round 7

Round 7: Roy Jones Jr. momentarily shows his throwback flare by dropping his glove to his knee, patiently looking for an opening. It looks like a cheetah looking to pounce on a lion.

Both fighters appear gassed and are doing the best they can at this point. The broadcast crew wonders if they should hold a bit less? It’s Thanksgiving weekend. We can all use a warm hug — social distancing be damned.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Round 6

Round 6: Mike Tyson is coming forward and Roy Jones Jr. is fighting off the back foot. Some more holding ensues, and if any boxer can come nearly as close to competition at over the age of 50 as these two all-time greats, then that is a feather in anyone’s cap.

Jones catches Tyson’s attention with a short uppercut before the end of the round, and man, if only these two were actually fighting 20 years ago in a real fight.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Round 5

Round 5: Roy Jones Jr. is throwing jabs. Mike Tyson is winding up and throwing haymakers. The arms are flailing, and the action is there, but it’s obvious neither fighter is trying to find the ultimate shot to finish the fight. Just as it was planned in the exhibition. We should be seeing six more minutes of this.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Round 4

Round 4: Ray Corona has apparently seen enough holding, and the referee gave Roy Jones Jr. a warning. Mike Tyson connected with a pair of thudding body shots above the belt that caught Jones’ attention in what was the best moment of the round for the one time “Baddest Man on the Planet.”

Both fighters are beginning to breathe heavily at the midway point of the fight. Who will have better conditioning for the last four rounds?

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Round 3

Round 3: Signs of Father Time are beginning to show. The output level is a notch lower than the first two rounds, and they are both continuing to wrap up each other’s arms. In the first moment of adversity, Tyson accidentally head-butted Jones, but both fighters appeared to be fine. They danced around and threw some punches, and so far, it’s been a competitive, entertaining exhibition between two 50-plus-year-old fighters.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Round 2

Round 2: Mike Tyson threw a nice body shot, and Roy Jones Jr. countered with a nice, crisp, no-look jab that momentarily got Tyson’s attention. There was some extended holding in the middle of the round, and referee Ray Corona didn’t seem to mind one bit as they leaned on each other. Tyson landed some lefts to end the round, and embraced Jones afterward in a good show of sportsmanship.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: Round 1

Round 1: Mike Tyson walked out of his corner and came out with force against Roy Jones Jr., sticking a fierce jab, complemented with an overhand right hand. Tyson was the busier fighter, but none of the punches he threw had bad intentions, which is exactly how this exhibition is designed to play out.

Snoop Dogg quipped “this is like two of my uncles fighting at a barbeque.

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French Montana, Snoop Dogg and others add to the TV-MA atmosphere

French Montana kicked off the music portion of the night with a profanity-laced performance rapping a few of his bangers, setting the TV-MA tone for the night. He then brought out Swae Lee to sing their hit tune “Unforgettable.”

Triller’s producers made it very clear that they would not utilize the bleep button, or censor any images, despite the fact that they moved the event to Thanksgiving weekend to make it a family affair.

Wiz Khalifa surely made aspiring marijuana mogul Mike Tyson proud by smoking a blunt in the middle of his three-song set.

French Montana felt like he could offer more and came in for another round of songs.

Snoop Dogg, a celebrity investor in Triller, was featured in the pay per view as a commentator before crooning some of his classics. Like Khalifa, he also lit up.

Throughout various points of the night, Lil Wayne bowed out from his previously agreed upon performance, while Saint Jhn was added to the show as well.

Ne-Yo had the most PG performance of the night by performing the national anthem.

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Jake Paul knocks out former NBA standout Nate Robinson ahead of Tyson-Jones fight

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Jake Paul reacts over his knockout victory against Nate Robinson.
Jake Paul stands over Nate Robinson after knocking him down in the second round of their fight at Staples Center on Saturday.
(Getty Images)

YouTube personality Jake Paul promised to dribble former NBA standout Nate Robinson’s head off the canvas like a basketball in the promotion leading up to their pro bout, and he did just that in a second-round knockout.

Paul, who walked out to Kurtis Blow’s song “Basketball,” dropped Robinson three times, the last one emphatically, to score his second career victory over the former NBA slam dunk champion and Washington Huskies cornerback, who is trying his hand at a new sport.

Paul landed eight punches in the fight and almost all of them were extremely effective.

Paul knocked down Robinson in the first round in what appeared to be a shot in the back of the head. Robinson was in danger of suffering a knockout but got up before referee Thomas Taylor counted to 10.

Robinson momentarily calmed his nerves and survived the round to see the second, but he was knocked down again moments into it with an overhand right from Paul.

Robinson was clearly shaken and his eyes were glazed, but he was questionably allowed to continue. Paul then emphatically ended matters for Robinson, who fell face-first into the canvas, prompting Taylor to immediately wave off the fight without a count.

“I want to be in this sport for a long time. I’m in love with it. My whole life has been a fight,” Paul said afterward.

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Badou Jack defeats Blake McKernan in one-sided fight

Former super middleweight and light heavyweight titlist Badou Jack showed his superior championship pedigree and stopped Blake McKernan in a one-sided, unanimous decision.

Jack was awarded three scores of 80-72 by landing 203 punches — 151 of the power variety — compared to a total of 92 by McKernan.

The upstart Sacramento-based McKernan, a one-time Marine, was clearly outmatched throughout the fight by the two-division champion Jack, who is signed to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s promotional stable.

The 37-year-old Jack (23-3-3 13 KOs) employed a vicious body attack on 33-year-old McKernan (13-1, 6 KOs) from the beginning, backed up his opponent and wore him down in every facet imaginable.

The mostly unknown McKernan’s previous wins had come against unheralded competition on the club show level, and being in the ring against the decorated Jack was a gross mismatch. McKernan showed a sliver of positive moments, but anytime he tried to jumpstart an attack, Jack immediately jolted his plans — most of the time viciously.

Jack got back in the win column after going 0-2-1 in his last three fights, scoring his first victory since 2017. He’s now in line for a rematch with Jean Pascal in the first quarter of 2021 after dropping a disputed split decision loss to the Haitian-Canadian last December.

Meanwhile, in a Staples Center locker room...

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Undercard results ahead of Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. showdown

Irvin Gonzalez and Edward Vazquez kicked off the undercard action in a barnburner of an eight-round featherweight bout that featured each of them throwing exactly 545 punches.

Vazquez (9-0, 1 KOs) made the 177 punches he landed count and scored a split decision win with two scores of 77-75. Gonzalez (14-3, 11 KOs) also was awarded a score of 77-75 in the close and hotly contested fight. Gonzalez gave a great account of himself, but unfortunately, it won’t be reflected on his record.

American lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (14-0, 8 KOs) scored a stoppage win over Sulaiman Segawa (13-3-1, 4 KOs). The Ugandan suffered a seventh-round knockdown due to a body shot, and the fight was stopped moments after Ortiz unleashed a barrage of punches on the just-fallen fighter in the waning seconds.

In a non-televised fight, Virginia-based heavyweight Joe Cusumano improved to a record of 19 wins (16 KOs) and 3 losses with a sixth-round KO win over Gregory Corbin.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. pay per view showing off some interesting angles

The television broadcast features a mostly sleek, silver and black look that would make late Raiders owner Al Davis proud.

Social media platform and TikTok rival Triller said they unleashed a 21 camera-arsenal for the broadcast, and many of the new looks they’re offering are a welcome sight to the sport. The fresh visions, like the under-the-bottom-rope vantage point, are adding to the production value and viewing experience.

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has been a surprise and welcome addition so far in the broadcast booth in his analyst role. He’s used words like “bistancial” to describe a switch-hitting fighter, and even sneaked in a few expletives on the air.

Boxing Hall of Fame fighter Sugar Ray Leonard is the other analyst on the broadcast, while Showtime staple and mental health advocate Mauro Ranallo is handling play by play. Hall of Fame reporter Jim Gray, who just penned a new book “Talking To GOATs” and has covered Tyson’s career extensively, is handling interviews.

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Some of the unique rules in place for Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Mike Tyson, left, and Roy Jones Jr. engage in a stare down while separated with plexiglass during their weigh-in.
Mike Tyson, left, and Roy Jones Jr. engage in a stare down while separated with plexiglass during their weigh-in at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles on Friday.
(Manouk Akopyan / For The Times)

If you’re still wondering what kind of fight to expect between the 54-year-old Mike Tyson and 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr., let’s establish some of the rules so you can get a clearer picture:

1. The contest will be a maximum of eight rounds, as opposed to the 12 rounds championship-caliber fighters go.

2. The rounds will be two minutes each, instead of the traditional three minutes.

3. Both boxers will be wearing 12-ounce gloves instead of 10-ounce gloves.

4. There will be no headgear.

5. The California State Athletic Commission will not be scoring the fight or announcing a winner.

6. Longtime referee Ray Corona will police the action to make sure the fight does not come close to mirroring an actual heavyweight prizefight.

7. Former boxers Christy Martin, Vinny Pazienza and Chad Dawson will score the bout remotely on behalf of the World Boxing Council, and a tchotchke “Frontline Battle Belt” with the inscription “Black Lives Matter” will be awarded depending on who the trio of former world champions thinks performs better.

8. The fight will not be reflected on either fighter’s professional record.

9. The Voluntary Anti-Doping Assn. has implemented the Clean Boxing Program out of competition anti-doping testing for the match.

10. DraftKings is an official sponsor of the fight and is taking betting action in Illinois, New Jersey and New Hampshire. Tyson is favored to win. Nevada, meanwhile, is steering clear because it’s being billed as an exhibition.

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Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa among the musical acts at Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Lil Wayne smiling behind a microphone stand
Lil Wayne will be among the musical acts for Saturday’s Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight at Staples Center.
(Owen Sweeney / Associated Press)

Are you perhaps interested in a quasi concert with your combat sports?

Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, YG and French Montana will perform multi-song sets throughout Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. event. Grammy Award winner Ne-Yo has national anthem duties and Snoop Dogg will be around, too.

Mario Lopez will host the event and move the show along, surely hoping neither Tyson or Jones need to get saved by the bell at any point.

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Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. will make you think you’re watching ‘Rocky’?

Mike Tyson speaks during a news conference at his weigh-in at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles on Friday.
(Manouk Akopyan / For The Times)

Ryan Kavanaugh seems to be a graduate from the Don King school of promotion — without the master’s degree in hair — and he’s promising the Super Bowl, Academy Awards, a ‘Rocky’ film and a big Las Vegas fight all rolled into one with Saturday’s Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. bout.

“This will be the highest production value of any fight in history,” said Kavanaugh, who owns Triller and the pay-per-view rights to the fight. “People want to see Mike. We just hit a record, breaking the most PPVs pre-sold digitally in any fight in history. This is outpacing the Mayweather fights with Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao. I hope we break all records and do five million PPV buys. Nobody is going to walk away disappointed. You’re going to feel like you’re watching ‘Rocky’ — in a real fight though.”

There are other professional boxing matches (i.e. real fights) on the card as well, and our advance apology for what we have to label as “professional boxing matches.”

Three-time NBA slam dunk champion and former Washington Huskies cornerback Nate Robinson will try his hand at a new sport when he faces YouTuber Jake Paul in the co-featured, six-round pro bout. Sadly, a rematch between Paula Jones vs. Tonya Harding was never in the cards.

Former world champion Badou Jack also will be featured in a fight against Blake McKernan.

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What to expect from the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition match

Mike Tyson speaks at his weigh-in at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 27, 2020.
Mike Tyson speaks at his weigh-in at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles on Friday.
(Manouk Akopyan / For The Times)

Let’s party like it’s 1999 because two of boxing’s all-time greats — Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. — will meet in an eight-round exhibition match Saturday at Staples Center.

Yes, you read that correctly as your nostalgic juices pierced up to your ears. Tyson and Jones are going to be mixing it up in a practice session in an empty arena, and some of the proceeds will go to charity.

2020 has definitely been weird, and apparently, so are this fight’s rules and regulations.

Both fighters are promising a real fight despite California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster saying they should not intend to hurt each other.

Ryan Kavanaugh, Triller owner and producer of the pay-per-view event, apparently didn’t get the memo.

“When [the CSAC] says ‘the fight is for fun’ … Tyson and Jones have made it clear it’s not for fun,” Kavanaugh said. “The referee is there to make sure no one gets killed, Tyson doesn’t bite [Jones’] ear off or break his arm.”

A lot of the back and forth between Foster, Kavanaugh and the fighters were detailed in our advance feature, which can be read here:

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. vow violence despite fight being billed as exhibition

While you’re at it, be sure to read our profile on Tyson and his latest reinvention in life as he seeks to become a marijuana mogul with a wild dream that ends in the desert.

Mike Tyson’s latest act in life begins with comeback fight against Roy Jones Jr.

We’re sure you all love the splendor of a newspaper, so check out what the profile looked liked in Friday’s print edition of The Times. The piece was paired with a wonderful column by Bill Dwyre explaining how boxing has no socially redeeming qualities, and yet, the longtime Los Angeles Times Sports editor can’t believe how much he misses it.

Real fight or not, the Tyson and Jones scrap should provide a modicum of entertainment value.

Let’s just hope we don’t watch a real-life Rocky scene unfold from two fighters who bring a combined 105 years of age into the ring.

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How to watch Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.

Triller is asking cultural zeitgeists to pay $50 to find out what exactly transpires tonight.

Meanwhile, Tyson will be taking home nearly $10 million, while Jones is set to earn $3 million.

The pay per view can be purchased on cable and satellite, FITE TV, as well as digitally on TysonOnTriller.com for $49.99 in the United States and Canada. The action starts at 6 p.m. PT.

If you’re reading this from across the pond, get ready for boxing and an early breakfast because you’ll likely be watching live in the wee hours of the morning, as BT Sport is the PPV provider in the United Kingdom.

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