Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. vowed at an official press conference recently, ahead of their November 28fight in Los Angeles, that both men are training as hard as they did in their primes for their upcoming match.
“I looked at film of Roy when he was at his best because that’s the guy I anticipate fighting,” Tyson said. “I’m in the best shape. I boxed seven rounds so far, and it keeps improving. I’m boxing younger guys and hungry guys, and it’s showing me that, from the looks of things, I’m doing really well.”
Tyson also stressed that he has spared as much as seven full rounds against younger opponents in his training camp for this contest.
“I am the only boss,” he said, referring to his sparring partners. “If you don’t kick my ass, you’re fired. Everyone’s doing their best and if you are not doing your best, you got to go home.”
“I usually judge it how I feel that night,” he said. Former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson waves to fans as he arrives in Bloxwich, Walsall, West Midlands on November 18, 2005.
Tyson also appeared disappointed about the shortened two-minute rounds for this fight, as did Roy Jones, Jr. Professional men’s boxing uses three-minute rounds. Women’s fights use two-minute rounds. Some fights involving senior fighters or certain exhibitions may also use one-minute rounds.
This fight will be contested over eight two-minute rounds as per the rules of the California State Athletic Commission. Both men stressed the smaller, 12-ounce gloves and lack of headgear as part of the reason that, from their perspective, this is no exhibition. The winner will be awarded a “Frontline Battle” Belt by the World Boxing Council.
While age may not have softened their desire to win, both men seemed to take a humbler approach when describing his new opponent. Tyson offered that he had turned down offers to face 47-year-old MMA legend and former NFL player Bob Sapp and 48-year-old title contender Shannon Briggs before finding a worthy challenge in Roy Jones, Jr. Tyson also confirmed rumors that the two had once discussed a potential fight in 2003 at a face-to-face meeting in Texas.
Jones offered similar praise of Tyson as one of boxing’s hardest punchers. Jones described the fight as “bucket list” material.