The boxing legend known as the baddest man on the planet is not happy about the rules in place for his comeback fight.
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. insisted Friday they are preparing for a bruising battle when they face each other in an eight-round exhibition bout in Los Angeles.
Former world heavyweight champion Tyson, 54, will be fighting for the first time in 15 years when he meets four-division world champion Jones, 51, at the Staples Centre on November 29.
While the California State Athletic Commision-sanctioned event has been dismissed as a circus act in some quarters, Tyson and Jones bristled at criticism the pay-per-view fight would not be a legitimate contest.
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) October 23, 2020
“Not a real fight? It’s Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones. I’m coming to fight and I hope he’s coming to fight and that’s all you need to know,” Tyson told a virtual press conference.
Jones, whose last fight came in 2018 with a unanimous decision over cruiserweight Scott Sigmon, also rejected the fight’s exhibition tag, while describing himself and Tyson as “freaks”.
“The last guy that tried an exhibition with Mike Tyson got dropped in the first round,” Jones said.
“If you don’t know that then there’s something wrong with you. Who goes in the ring with the great, legendary Mike Tyson and thinks ‘This is an exhibition’? Twelve-ounce gloves? No headgear? Really? This is an exhibition? Come on, be real.
“When I came along, at 32 years old you were considered an old guy … but we’re freaks — that’s why this is such a big thing.”
But both fighters are unhappy with the decision to use two-minute rounds, saying they would have preferred to fight with the longer three-minute rounds.
“I’m sure they have their reasons for doing it,” Tyson said. “But you know, women fight for two minutes. But I guess the commission has a bigger influence than I do. I’m just happy that we’re doing it.”
Jones was more critical. “I’m not happy at all,” Jones said. “That’s for women. Why we doing two-minute rounds? We’re two of the best to ever do it. Two minutes doesn’t do anything for me or him.”