So what did you think of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones exhibition bout? It seems most people who tuned in enjoyed the bout, enjoyed seeing Tyson and Jones show the world the moves they are still capable of when in their 50s. The general feeling is Tyson deserved the win after the eight two-minute rounds were over, instead “Iron Mike,” arguably the best conditioned 54 year old in the world, had to settle for a draw.
But what next? Tyson had said before facing Jones that he hoped to do more afterwards, that this wasn’t a one-shot deal. And speaking after the exhibition bout that reportedly netted him the handsome sum of $10 million, the former world heavyweight king mentioned the possibility of taking his show on the road to France, maybe to Monaco, where he could perhaps box a European fighter. Tyson, speaking at the post-fight presser, said he’ll “be better in the next exhibition,” and that he wants to “beat up my body some more.”
“This event made me find out what I was really made of,” Tyson said. “Everything I was doing I could have done better, but God willing, I’ll be better in the next exhibition. I don’t know, maybe we’ll do something in the south of France, Monaco or Saint-Tropez and we’ll do something out there, one of the European fighters, anything’s possible, the sky’s the limit. I just want to continue to do this from a humanitarian perspective. My body feels splendid. I want to beat it up some more. I will do it again. I’d like to have one every two months.”
Of course what some fans want now is to see Tyson in a real fight, against a contender. It seems unlikely Tyson will take it to that level, but who knows for sure? Tyson showed in spurts on Saturday that he’s still got it. In fact, quite amazingly, Tyson looked better against Jones than he did in his last real fight, when he quit against Keven McBride 15 long years ago. Interestingly, McBride spoke to Sky Sports ahead of Saturday’s fight, saying he’d like another go at the man he stopped in Washington D.C.
Tyson is happy doing what he wants to do and more power to him. Saturday’s exhibition was a big success and even if the next one doesn’t carry with it the same curiosity value and will therefore not attract as much fan interest or fan money (we can only afford to shell out for so many $50/£20 P-P-V boxing exhibitions), there will be enough people wanting to see it.
Who knows how long the Tyson exhibition show will run for. And which other former champions will now follow suit and return to box in exhibition form? Lennox Lewis, perhaps jokingly, said he’d consider it, maybe against Riddick Bowe – “if it’s right,” he said to BT sports. “There’s been talk that Riddick Bowe wants to fight me still, there’s some unfinished business there.”
Lewis is 55, Bowe is 53.