54-year-old Mike Tyson returns to the ring this Saturday to fight fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition bout at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Tyson’s final professional bout was over 15 years ago – a sixth round loss to Kevin McBride after his corner threw the towel in.
However, Tyson first mentioned the idea of exhibition fights earlier this year as motivation to get back in shape.
In May this year he posted two short videos of himself on Instagram, showing an impressive physique and hard-hitting punches.
Opponent Jones Jr. only hung up the gloves in early 2018 after beating Scott Sigmon to take his professional record to 66-9. He is three years younger than Tyson.
Evander Holyfield was the first to reach out publicly to Tyson as a challenger, and some excitement that would have created given their history. Two months of negotiations failed to materialise a deal though.
Then Roy Jones Jr stepped up to the plate. A deal was agreed, originally for 12 September, before being pushed back to 28 November 2020. The event will be officially sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission.
Mike Tyson heads into the weekend’s bout as the bookmakers’ 4/9 favourites, with Roy Jones Jr. back at 7/4.
In his prime, Mike Tyson was the biggest box office draw in the 1990s and the WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight champion.
Roy Jones. Jr held multiple titles during his heyday too, mostly in the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, though did win the WBA heavyweight title himself in 2003.