For fight fans who were curious about the long-discussed exhibition match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., but not curious enough to shell out any money for it, I rounded up a few decent videos. There were two matches that I kept seeing get mentioned online. The main event, of course, and one that was entirely unexpected.
Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson
Now, if you followed any of the chatter on this one, you’ve likely seen the Nate Robinson memes and you know how it ended. This is one of my personal favorites…
And the key thing that EVERYONE is taking away from this match is a little training can go a long way. A lot of commenters on the match are pointing out that Nate didn’t approach this match seriously enough and felt like his athleticism would take him to the “W”.
This is Jake Paul’s second boxing match, and the YouTuber clearly had the edge in terms of ring experience. His positioning was better. His stance more measured.
I’ll let a channel I follow regularly breakdown things a lot better for you.
On to the main event.
Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.
I cannot express how much respect I have for the track record of these two titans of the ring, nor how impressed I am that both of them could perform how they did being over 50 years of age.
Buuuuut – I’m also not going to act like this was an amazing match to see.
Did it tickle all of the nostalgia points in my brain just right as a fan? Yes.
Was it boring? A little. Yes. I say that not wanting to ever trade blows with either one of them – even with their advancing age as fighters.
And Snoop’s commentary took any sense of seriousness out of this fight – haha!
This is definitely a fight I would’ve preferred to have seen years ago, but – as a fan – I’m glad it happened all the same. I also had no idea they were so close in age!
Ultimately, I came into this one with managed expectations because I felt like all of the “bite” had been taken out of the dogs in this match. It was rumored that no knockouts were allowed, but the promoters insisted otherwise. If there were any cuts the fight would’ve been stopped.
I’ll let you be the judge, though. Here’s the match.
And this was the hilarious shared interview following the match.
I THINK Mike knew he won. And I THINK Roy knew that Mike won. Still – the grave that Tyson showed at that moment was commendable. He clearly respects Roy and sees a larger opportunity here (you can hear more of Mike’s thoughts on the match in this video).
And I can’t miss the chance to say that Roy’s punches didn’t pack the same power as they did back when he made this…
But his combinations were still starting to show up as the match went on (even if, again, they lacked power).
Mike’s vision isn’t a bad one if he can pull it off properly.
The Bigger Picture: The Legends Only League
Mike Tyson has created something called the Legends Only League (LOL) in partnership with Eros Innovations. He intends to allow more senior athletes to still compete (in a sense) and show off their stuff, and he’s not joking about it (see what I did there?).
The idea is actually pretty solid in theory. How many people actually WANT to see if Michael Jordan still has it vs. some younger players (maybe)? There are fighting greats (Anderson Silva, GSP, etc.) who may still want to compete in prize matches but with lower levels of risk – sort of like Tyson himself just did with Jones.
So long as things aren’t altered to the point of being dull for the fans, this could provide more longevity for careers at a safer clip AND help keep nostalgia alive and well for a number of diehards out there.
I think people would be willing to pay for it, and I think last night’s matchup was a solid proof point. Now the questions are simply, “Can they repeat that, and is there enough older talent who still wishes to compete under less strenuous circumstances?”
What do you think?
I appreciate your looking at my l(iteral) armchair commentary, and I leave you with a Hiphop classic featuring Tyson on some of the guest vocals…