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Mike Tyson returns to the ring to fight Roy Jones Jr.

Mike Tyson and the most legendary fights of his career 0:37

(CNN) – When Mike Tyson was in his prime, he was described as “the baddest man on the planet.” A heavyweight boxing champion who beat his opponents to submission so fast that many of them couldn’t even experience the corner stool seat – they were in and out of the ring in less than three minutes.

He was fierce and his beatings could be savage; Tyson’s fists moved so fast that “Iron Mike” instilled fear in his opponents long before they crossed the ropes, and even now, 15 years after his last professional fight, the 54-year-old American maintains a formidable reputation.

Analysis: the terror that Mike Tyson causes in boxing 1:25

A man who frequently sparked controversy both in and out of the ring, the former world heavyweight champion could be described as many things, but it seems rather unusual to call him “a dance partner,” which is how Roy Jones Jr. referred to his compatriot earlier. from his exhibition fight in Los Angeles on Saturday.

“I’m happy, I can see what it’s like to be in the ring with Mike Tyson before he dies,” Jones told CNN. “I will receive the best wishes of my life.”

For Jones, 51, this is almost an unrequited love story, a date, at last, with the fighter who got away.

While Tyson dominated his division to become one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, Jones cemented his legacy by moving through the divisions, becoming a world champion at four different weights.

Jones said that when he was heavyweight champion in 2003, the only man he wanted to fight was Tyson, but the stars never aligned. Near retirement, Tyson was no longer interested in fighting much, so Jones returned to the light heavyweight division and continued boxing until 2018.

When asked how he felt coming out of retirement in his 50s, Jones said, “On a scale of one to 10? About a five. But thanks to Mike Tyson, I’m about 15! “

Roy Jones Jr. wins in a twelve round unanimous decision against John Ruiz to claim the WBA heavyweight title, becoming the first light heavyweight to do so since 1897.

“I’m back”

Few boxers have created as much excitement in boxing as Tyson, few have earned as much respect as Jones.

They both must have thought their fight was behind us, but everything changed in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic when Tyson posted a video of him training with rapid-fire intensity on social media, declaring, “I’m back.”

Speculation swirled about a comeback and for two months it looked like he would rekindle his rivalry with Evander Holyfield, who defeated Tyson in 1996 and 1997 and the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to win a world heavyweight title three times.

But, in late July, Tyson announced instead that he would be fighting Jones.

Evander Holyfield (left) and Mike Tyson (right) trade blows on June 28, 1997 in their fight for the WBA heavyweight championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

«You get a call from the great Mike Tyson, it’s very difficult [decir que no]Jones said.

Tyson is dictating the terms of the fight; First, the deal was to wear 16-ounce gloves with head protection, then 12-ounce gloves without protection. And remember: the lighter the glove, the stronger the blow.

It’s an eight-round exhibition fight, although the rules have reportedly been adjusted so that it can end with a knockout, which Jones’s team knows is Tyson’s intention.

Fortunately, they say, their man is ready.

Jones said he will need to avoid the barrage of punches early and stay in contention, then hope the tide turns in his favor.

“You have a cheetah on one side, who can run at 90 km per hour, but only 30 seconds. And on the other hand, you have a wild dog, with strong jaws, that can run all day, “he explained.

“I am taking a great risk going out without head protection gear and wearing 12-ounce gloves. Every day, he is a murderer. The referee or the commission can say what they want, but you can’t tell Mike ‘Don’t do this’. You can tell him, but he won’t listen.

The passage of time won’t have changed a thing from Tyson’s style, Jones said, “That’s all I knew. So how can you hope to get something else? Dogs don’t meow. They bark.

Vegan diet for Tyson

Rounds will be 60 seconds shorter than usual – two minutes, instead of three, and that has been approved by the California State Athletic Commission.

The boxers have been rigorously tested. On the day of this interview, Jones said he had a blood test, explaining, “I have to have a brain scan, a heart scan, a cardiovascular exam. I have to do a lot of things because they are concerned about our health. They want to make sure we’re in shape before we go in. “

Mike Tyson looks like old time 0:37

Tyson has said that he has lost 100 pounds to get in shape, telling ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​that he has been on a vegan diet and has been happily removing his shirt at appearances on television to show your physique.

And clothes aren’t the only thing Tyson can seemingly do without. He told talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that he plans to give all his money to charity, saying, “I want to die with a clear conscience. I am here to make this [mundo] A better place”.

Jones said she will donate money to charities that fight human trafficking and breast cancer.

The fight is a pay-per-view event and sells for $ 50 in the US It remains to be seen if two 50-year-old boxers can live up to the hype, even if they are legends of their sport.

It’s certainly an intriguing fight and fans are hoping to get their money’s worth; It may be an exhibition match, but they haven’t paid to see anyone dance.

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