Tyson vs Jones prediction: What can we expect?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Who would have thought Mike Tyson, 54, and Roy Jones Jr, 51, would be fighting again... and most of all, against other?

But let’s step back. It’s an eight round exhibition.

And no, exhibitions are not real boxing matches. Not only are they not included in a fighter’s win/loss record, such contests are usually glorified sparring sessions where neither guy aims to unleash a lot of hurt.

Exhibitions are cordial contests where unwritten agreements are par for the course.

Before we jump into our Tyson vs Jones predictions, what can we expect from this affair? Here is what we shouldn't expect...

  • Don't expect a hurt fighter to get pounced by his opponent
  • Don’t expect a fighter to take advantage of his opponent when the latter is sucking wind
  • Don’t expect a fighter to seek a knockout in any way shape or form
  • And don’t expect a decision in the end because exhibitions are usually not scored or ruled a draw

Muhammad Ali vs Lyle Alzado
Although rare post 1980, exhibitions involving big name boxers are not uncommon in the annals of boxing. For instance, then former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali faced NFL star Lyle Alzado at Mile High Stadium in July 1979 in an exhibition.

Well past his prime, a flabby Ali, still only 37, had been officially retired for 9 months since recapturing the heavyweight title the year prior, defeating Leon Spinks in their rematch.


“I’m not in shape to fight no Joe Frazier or Foreman,”Ali said. “But I’m in shape for a football player.”

“I’m going to make one prediction,” Ali said.

“... I’m telling y’all that this is going to be a terrible annihilation. I’m gonna have to lighten up on this man.”

“After this fight, you’re going to be known all over the world. I’m going to give you a worldwide whipping.”

The fighters had hoped the event would draw a lot more buzz and subsequent revenue than it did. And Ali, of course, fighting without bad intentions, won at least 6 or 7 of the 8 rounds in an exhibition that featured no major highlight reel fireworks.

Tyson vs Jones prediction - Two scenarios
The most likely scenario is an uneventful scrap with Jones getting the better of the naturally bigger Tyson.

Sure, Tyson looks great hitting the mitts but punching a living, thinking opponent with the skills and experience of Jones is altogether different.

Moreover, Tyson hasn’t fought in 15 years while Jones fought in professional contests until 2018.

Muscle memory and instincts are important in boxing and Jones, given he fought professionally every year from 1989 to 2018, will have faster and better recall than Mike.

Fact: Since Tyson’s last fight, a loss to journeyman Kevin McBride in June 2005, Jones has fought 23 times. And many of those bouts, albeit in the light heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions, were against elite level stars such as Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, Felix Trinidad and Danny Green.

Tyson vs Jones exhibition

8 rounds
September 12, 2020
Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA, USA

Prediction 1: The more-traveled, less shopworn Jones uses his speed and ring guile to frustrate an onrushing Tyson to claim at least 5 of the 8 rounds.

Second scenario
Boxing can be the ‘Theater of the Absurd’ and with two massive egos like Mike Tyson and Roy Jones in the ring the unexpected CAN happen.

A friendly affair could turn into an all-out brawl. A fighter, especially Tyson, could snap if he believes his opponent is breaking the rules of the unwritten agreement, such as punching too hard or too many times.

Sugar Ray Leonard exhibition, early 1980s
Circa 1981 or 1982, British amateur Steve Sinclair challenged then-welterweight champion of the world to an exhibition on a cruise ship they were travelling on. There were no bright lights or purses; It was supposed to be a fun, lighthearted affair to entertain passengers on the ship.Leonard, never shying away from the big stage, accepted on one condition. Recovering from recent detached retina surgery at the time, Ray requested to not be hit in the face.

But this happy little shindig would turn painful quickly. All smiles seconds into the sparring session, Ray became visibly agitated when Sinclair landed a glancing punch to his face.

Wearing a smile no more, the great Leonard went on the attack and unleashed a paralyzing left hook to the body that felled a badly hurt Sinclair like a ton of bricks. 

Exhibition over... Sinclair was probably on the canvas several minutes.

If Sugar Ray Leonard entered the ring as David Banner, he surely left it as the Hulk. And, although unlikely, a Hulk of sorts could resurface on September 12 during the Tyson vs Jones exhibition.

If things get out of control anything can happen because Tyson will have some of that explosive heavyweight power. However, it would still be in Mike’s best interest to keep things low key for the reasons mentioned above.

Tyson is the bigger name and is getting most of the buzz but what some fail to remember is RJ, prior to his demise, dominated the boxing scene from 1993 to 2004 and was an exceptional multi-talented fighter with incredible speed, explosiveness and technical prowess.

The consensus Fighter of the 1990s, Roy Jones, Jr has won world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, and is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters ever.

… And he has been far more active over the last 15 years.


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