Tyson lands a pair of body shots early that appear to hurt Jones, who spends the remainder of the round grappling in an effort to burn time. More holding than hitting in the fourth. We’re halfway through the scheduled eight rounds and Tyson has landed 30 of 92 shots (33%), compared to 15 of 108 for Jones (14%).
Guardian’s unofficial score: Tyson 10-9 Jones Jr (Tyson 39-37 Jones Jr)
Both fighters spending more and more time in the clinch, looking to explode with a combination out of the reset. Tyson leading more with his head, trying to take Jones out of his comfort zone. Lots of heavy breathing from both guys, but Jones looks more gassed. A good round for Tyson, who’s landing consistenly with the right to the body.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Tyson 10-9 Jones Jr (Tyson 29-28 Jones Jr)
Jones showing better lateral movement in the second, bouncing left and right and landing the occasional potshot on Tyson. Jones connects with a nice sequence to the head and body, but Tyson cracks Jones with a right hand upstairs and Jones clinches. He’s done of a good job of making Tyson expend a lot of energy there. Both guys already look very tired midway through the second round. Tyson lands another shot to the head.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Tyson 9-10 Jones Jr (Tyson 19-19 Jones Jr)
Tyson opens with a series of doubled-up left jabs. Neither guy landing much of anything early. Tyson throws a few shots to the body, but he’s not really sitting down on them. Tyson lands a left upstairs and Jones clinches. Tyson clearly looks the bigger man in there. Good head movement by Tyson though he hasn’t done much to hurt Jones, who has landed even less. Says Snoop on the US feed: “This shit like two of my uncles fighting at the barbecue.” Well put.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Tyson 10-9 Jones Jr (Tyson 10-9 Jones Jr)
After a significant delay, ring announcer Michael Buffer gets the show on the road. Roy Jones Jr makes the short walk to the ring in a sleeveless white robe with purple trim. He’s followed by Mike Tyson, wearing a cutoff black sweatshirt and signature short shorts. Ne-Yo performs the Star-Spangled Banner. Buffer is going through the fighter introductions. We should be under way very shortly.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has checked in. She’s ready for the main event, too.
New York rapper Saint Jhn and Snoop Dogg have taken the stage for one final performance before the main event. The fighters should be making their ringwalks in the next 15 minutes or so.
Jake Paul has destroyed Nate Robinson in the final undercard fight, dropping him three times en route to a second-round stoppage. The LA-based vlogger sent his opponent to the floor midway through the first round with a shot that appeared to clip the back of Robinson’s head. Robinson made it to his feet at nine and for a moment it was uncertain whether he wanted to continue.
Paul then dumped Robinson again with a right hand in the second round, then a third time moments later. That final shot detonated square on Robinson’s chin and left the (disputed) three-time NBA Slam Dunk contest champion face-down and motionless on the canvas for a several anxious minutes.
“I talk a lot of shit but I back it up,” says Paul, who landed eight of 38 punches (21%), compared to 10 of 56 for Robinson (18%).
Badou Jack has won a unanimous decision over the overmatched Blake McKernan in their eight-round light heavyweight scrap. This one was one-way traffic from start to finish with Jack winning every minute of every round in the Guardian’s view. All three judges concurred, handing down identical scores of 80-72.
And before the fighters have even left the ring, the lights go down for a performance by the LA rapper YG, who comes in hot with Out On Bail and Blood Walk.
Time for some more boxing. Former two-division world champion Badou Jack is coming to the ring for his eight-round light heavyweight bought with Blake McKernan. Jack is going off as a minus-3000 favorite. So, yeah.
Jamaine Ortiz has scored a seventh-round TKO of last-minute substitute Sulaiman Segawa in the opening fight of tonight’s pay-per-view undercard. The Worcester native finally dropped his opponent with a chopping left hand to the liver midway through the seventh. Segawa beat the count but was unable to defend himself and the referee waved it off with 10 seconds left in the frame.
Ortiz improves to 14-0 with eight knockouts and captures something called the WBC USNBC Silver lightweight title.
Next … a performance by XXL Freshman Class of 2012 alumnus French Montana.
Lots of reader questions regarding the competitive merit of tonight’s main event. Those expecting the brand of primal destruction Tyson built his brand on in the 80s and 90s will likely come away disappointed. California’s state athletic commission was reportedly leery on sanctioning the bout given the fighters’ advanced ages and went forward on the condition that both men will keep it light and breezy. In tennis, it’s what’s known as a hit and giggle.
Andy Foster, the executive director of the CSAC, said that Tyson and Jones will be on a short leash and the referee will be ready with a quick hook to intervene if it does get hairy. “We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight,” Foster said. “They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.”
In case you missed it, the fighters stripped down on Friday for the ceremonial weigh-in. Tyson tipped the scales at 220.4lbs while Jones came in at 210lbs.
Good evening and welcome to tonight’s quinquagenarian showdown between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. Two of the most famous prizefighters of their generation are returning to the squared circle for a scheduled eight-round heavyweight exhibition at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. While the bout has been sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, it’s officially an exhibition and the result will appear on neither man’s professional record.
Tyson, 54, held the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1987 through 1990. Jones, 51, won titles in four different weight classes and was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer of his time.
A number of precautions have been taken to protect the fighters’ health. The rounds will be shorter than usual – two minutes instead of the standard three – and both men will be wearing larger-than-usual 12oz gloves.
The televised pay-per-view card is about to start with three preliminary bouts ahehqad of the main event between Tyson and Jones, who will likely make their ringwalks around 11.30pm ET (4.30am GMT).
- Jamaine Ortiz v Sulaiman Segawa, eight rounds, lightweights
- Badou Jack v Blake McKernan, eight rounds, light heavyweights
- Jake Paul v Nate Robinson, six rounds, cruiserweights
- Mike Tyson v Roy Jones Jr, eight rounds exhibition, heavyweights
But first, in keeping with the evening’s nostalgia act theme, it’s a performance by Wiz Khalifa.