I’m a fan of boxing and MMA, and I’ve always enjoyed combat sports. Combat sports goes back 17,000 years, with wrestling being the oldest. I’m sure it was brutal but probably better than the occasional stabbings and mutilations that may have taken place without the sport.
Advance to 2020 and Pay Per View, which showed two 50+ retired pro-boxers going head-to-head. The hype was all there. Weeks before the fight, Mike Tyson was shown sparring and looking incredibly fast. His legs looked like he just squatted 800 pounds. Roy Jones Jr. was no slouch. His sparring footage showed he still had the skills necessary to knock out his opponent.
This was an exhibition fight and technically does not count towards anything official. Tyson and Jones were told not to go beyond “hard sparring” by the California State Athletic Commission. Can you spell SILLY? Two of the best boxers in the world who never fought each other told to take it easy. Tyson, boxing, easy; those don’t belong in the same sentence.
When it came to the weigh-in and face-off, reality showed up. You could see the softness in the retired boxer’s bodies. They were not their younger-looking selves. If they were given a year to prepare, we would have seen two different fighters.
The fight ended in a draw, although many said Tyson was the dominant boxer. I believe it was smart for the organizers to have shortened rounds at 2 minutes and not 3. At 3 minutes and a few rounds in, the outcome might have been worse. There were no losers in this. Pay Per View (PPV) brought in $80 million in revenue, Snoop Dogg was electric as a commentator, and both Tyson and Jones will share in the PPV earnings. Before the fight, there was a guarantee of $1 million each to Tyson and Jones. After the revenue PPV had, the speculation is that Tyson will get $10 million and Jones $3 million. Tyson stated he would give all of his earnings to charity. That’s commendable considering years ago how tough it was for him financially.
If I had to narrow it down and pick a winner, it would be PPV. The Tyson vs. Jones exhibition fight opened the door to more fights to come. Floyd Mayweather will challenge Logan Paul, a well-known YouTube and internet star, on February 20, 2021. This will be another huge draw considering Mayweather is 50–0 with 27 knockouts. I’ll be watching.