- Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr clash in a highly-anticipated bout on Saturday
- The veteran fighters will roll back the years in an exhibition in Los Angeles
- But fans have been left baffled by a series of strange restrictions on the contest
- Mental Health and Psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr are going head to head in an exhibition fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles – but an exhibition is all we will have.
With both men in their 50s, there is concern for their health, so the rules for this bout have been tweaked. No, this won’t be a bloody, 12-round slugfest like something we’d hope to see in a Rocky film.
Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, which is safeguarding the event, made that clear earlier this summer when the fight was agreed – and said he had spoken to both fighters over Zoom.
Not get hurt? In a fight? It’s hard to imagine ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ in Tyson and four-weight world champion Jones Jr not causing any damage to each other at some point, but the restrictions placed on them may very well turn this into a glorified sparring battle.
Ryan Kavanaugh of Triller, the broadcaster showing the fight has insisted knockouts are indeed allowed.
‘A knockout is allowed. We heard someone say there’s no knockouts. A knockout is absolutely allowed… If someone’s bleeding, the fight’s not going to stop.
‘(California State Athletic Commission, CSAC) approved the fight. They will have a ref there. The ref will be overseeing the fight under are all normal fight professional rules, with a few exceptions.’
No ifs, no buts. If either fighter sheds blood, the contest is called off.
‘They can move around and make some money, but I told them: ‘If you get cut, it’s over,” said Foster.
Headguards won’t be necessary, but they will be forced to use 12oz gloves – which should offer more protection than the 10oz gloves often used for professional fights.
No Judges ringside
So if there’s no officials ringside, how are we going to know who wins the fight?
Well, we won’t. No winner will be declared for this bout – it is an exhibition after all.
You’ll be relieved to hear that there will be a referee inside the ring to ensure both men adhere to the rules – the experienced Ray Corona – but no one will be scoring this, not officially anyway.
The main priority of the commission is to keep both fighters in good health, meaning this won’t go on for 12 rounds. Instead it’s been decided that the fight will be reduced to eight rounds lasting two minutes instead of three.
But while both fighters have accepted not being able to strike a huge blow on their opponent, fighting two-minute rounds is something that has not gone down well in either camp.