Mike Tyson’s comeback to boxing has ended in farcical fashion after his bout with Roy Jones Jr was scored a controversial draw on Sunday.
Tyson showed glimpses of his destructive prime during the 54-year-old boxing icon’s return to the ring for a lively exhibition bout with 51-year-old Jones Jr.
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Both fighters had impressive moments during a fight that was unofficially ruled a draw by the WBC judges at ringside.
Tyson and Jones fought eight two-minute rounds, and both emerged smiling and apparently healthy from a highly unusual event at Staples Centre.
“This is better than fighting for championships,” Tyson said of the heavyweight exhibition, which raised money for various charities.
“We're humanitarians now. We can do something good for the world. We've got to do this again.”
However there was uproar amongst boxing fans and pundits, with many believing Tyson should have been declared the winner.
ESPN boxing analyst Dan Rafael called the judges’ decision “pure insanity”.
“Absurdly the unofficial WBC scorecards had #TysonJones a draw when Tyson clearly dominated,” he wrote on Twitter.
“(Judge) Vinny Paz had the pure insanity card of 80-76 Jones.”
Boxing commentator Bob Sheridan was also shocked.
“I gotta tell you, I gave Mike Tyson every single round, because Roy just couldn’t seem to do anything at all,” he said.
“I scored it 80-72.”
Mike Tyson actually looked really good... Roy not so much. I had Tyson winning basically every round so a tie is a disgrace
— Bennet (@LiftedSolo) November 29, 2020
@MikeTyson @SkySportsBoxing Boxing judges are an absolute disgrace! You shat giving the decision because it’s two legends... Mike Tyson clearly won that fight, did Jones even win a round? There’s no way that was a draw! What a way to ruin a great performance from Tyson. Robbed!
— Scott (Pukki) (@PukkiScott) November 29, 2020
A draw lmao boxing judges are a disgrace. Mike Tyson clearly won.
— Diego Rodriguez➕ (@DiegoRodFlow) November 29, 2020
Mike Tyson won that fight.
— Gou-Gou Shakka (@Alhayjhn) November 29, 2020
In a more real and serious perspective. An organization called that fight a draw when Mike Tyson clearly won. Individuals placed real bets on that fight and lost real money. Smh, what a joke
— Master Joda (@infinitejoshi) November 29, 2020
Mike Tyson clearly won! What a joke
— Victor #StaySafe 🇦🇺 (@BigV2011WCE) November 29, 2020
That’s disgusting... in what world is that a draw ?? Mike Tyson easily won that fight. Sports books called in too much money on mike. Gross
— 4K Sports Clan (@4ksportsclan) November 29, 2020
Mike Tyson returns after 15 years away
The former heavyweight champion of the world’s return to the ring after a 15-year absence attracted international attention, and Iron Mike did his best to show the form that made him a legend to a generation of boxing fans.
Tyson tagged Jones with body shots and a handful of head punches during a bout that was required to be a fairly safe glorious sparring session by the California State Athletic Commission.
“The body shots definitely took a toll,” said Jones, the former four-division world champion widely considered the most skilled boxer of his generation.
“It's something to take the punches that Mike throws. I'm cool with a draw. Maybe we can do it again.”
Jones walked to the ring with gloves and trunks honouring Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, while Tyson wore his signature all-black trunks.
After the traditional pre-fight pomp and an introduction by Michael Buffer, the 50-something champions both came out throwing punches that evoked echoes of their glorious primes.
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