American-Russian boxer Roy Jones Jr. (2nd L) listens to the Russian anthem before his bout against British boxer Enzo Maccarinelli in Moscow on December 12, 2015. (Photo by VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—Roy Jones Jr. happily walked away from the sport of boxing in 2018 but the draw of fighting Mike Tyson ultimately pulled him back to the Sweet Science.

A couple of years on, the 51-year-old Jones will have his dream match against the man who was once called “The Baddest Man on the Planet” in an eight-round exhibition bout with proceeds going to charity.

“Too hard to resist, too incredible to resist, too much of a blessing to resist,” said Jones in a report from MMA Junkie.

Both Jones and Tyson defined 1990s boxing with the former ruling the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions and the latter taking the helm at heavyweight.

After multiple title reigns at the 168 and 175-pound divisions, Jones ultimately jumped to heavyweight in 2003 when he defeated John Ruiz for the WBO championship but that match was his lone title fight in the weight class before he returned to light heavyweight and then transitioned to cruiserweight to end his illustrious career.

Jones’ brief spell at heavyweight meant that the chance to fight Tyson during their active days was essentially zilch, so when the proposition of an exhibition against Iron Mike came his way he knew that he had to accept it right away.

“When I won the heavyweight title, I told them the only other person I would fight as a heavyweight was Mike Tyson. If Mike Tyson didn’t want to fight, I was going back down to light heavyweight. From what I got … was that he was through with boxing, he didn’t want to box no more, so I left and went back to light heavyweight,” he said.

“I didn’t stick around, but to have him come out now and say, ‘OK, I want to come back. Guess what? You wanted it, you get your opportunity.’ I’m like, ‘Yes.’”

The last time Tyson competed professionally was in 2005 when he suffered a stoppage loss at the hands of journeyman contender Kevin McBride.


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