It has been one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting comebacks since Michael Jordan dusted off his size 13 Nike’s in 1995.
But the return of Mike Tyson to the boxing ring has been met with confusion and bewilderment after a series of odd rules were announced ahead of his bout with Roy Jones Jr on November 28th 2020.
This is an exhibition contest in name and in style, and that has to be the case given that this is a 54-year-old and a 51-year-old locking horns – the former, Tyson, hasn’t fought properly in more than 15 years. True, both men are in excellent shape, but safety has to be at the forefront of what could otherwise be something of a car crash spectacle.
And that’s why the unique rules have been implemented. There will be no ringside judges putting together their scorecards, and neither will the referee be counting points for clean strikes either. There will be eight rounds of two minutes each.
The duo will be wearing 12oz gloves as well – bigger than used in traditional sanctioned boxing bouts, and most curiously there will be no knockouts; quite how that will be policed is anybody’s guess in the heat of the moment, and with somebody as aggressive and big hitting as Tyson in the ring.
If either man is cut the fight will end instantly, and so the question remains: if there’s no judges, no points and no knockouts, how can either man actually win the contest?
Tyson vs Jones Jr Becomes Betting Farce
Given the uncertainty over how the fight can be judged as anything other than a draw, you can see why the bookmakers are so reluctant to get involved with Tyson vs Jones Jr.
At the time of writing, the vast majority of bookmakers are not accepting bets for the fight, and those that are offering odds are notably not offering a price on the draw – in theory, that’s the only possible outcome given the rules.
As reported by various online sources, Andy Foster of the California State Athletic Commission has said that there won’t be a winner of the fight, and that both Tyson and Jones Jr will be handed a ceremonial belt in the ring at the conclusion of the action.
But then Ryan Kavanaugh of Triller (the video network on which the fight will be streamed) contradicted Foster, claiming that the World Boxing Council would be scoring the bout remotely, and that ‘…there could be a knockout and there will be one winner.’
“Anyone who says there is going to be no judging or no winner either does not understand the rules or has their own agenda. Unquestionably. 100%,” Kavanaugh confirmed.
“WBC is scoring and a winner will be determined using those scores as a basis.”
And then, sensationally, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman denied his organisation would be scoring the event, and Kavanaugh backtracked somewhat by saying that the fight would not appear on either fighter’s overall record.
Confused? Everybody is. The good news is that your bookie will refund your stake in light of the rule changes, so right now your best bet is to sit back and enjoy the action without making a single wager – nobody quite knows how this bout is going to be resolved at the end.