Mike Tyson returns 15 years after he stepped into the professional ring for the last time as he faces fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr in an eight round ‘exhibition’ match at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles on Saturday night. The four fight main card also features YouTube star Jake Paul against former professional basketball player Nate Robinson, former two weight world champion Badou Jack and Britain’s Viddal Riley’s fifth pro fight.
How to watch
BT Sport Box Office will broadcast the card live in the UK, costing fans £19.95. Coverage starts at around midnight UK time. The fight will be shown on Triller in the USA and will see experienced broadcaster Al Bernstein joined by boxing icon ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard and current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
The 54 year old Mike Tyson (50-6 2NC, 44 KO’s) enjoyed his longest sustained period of success in the 1980’s, becoming the youngest world heavyweight champion ever (a record he still holds) at just 20 years and 4 months when he knocked Trevor Berbick out in under two rounds to win the WBC crown.
By 21 he’d unified the WBC, WBA, IBF and Ring belts cementing his legacy as one of the greatest the sport had ever seen. Over the course of the next 15 years Tyson was involved in some of the biggest sporting events in the world, clashing with hall of famers Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno.
While Tyson was a devastating savage puncher, Roy Jones Jr (66-9, 47 KO’s) was one of the most naturally talented boxers the sport has ever seen. A combination of flexibility, speed, movement, power and athleticism made Roy Jones near unbeatable in his prime, and saw him win world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.
With a resume reading like a who’s who of boxing greats from the 90’s to the early 2000’s, RJ holds wins over Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Antonio Tarver, Felix Trinidad and Mike McCallum amongst others, and has enjoyed an all time great career.
The co-main event sees controversial YouTube star and 1-0 professional boxer Jake Paul face former NBA favourite Nate Robinson. With two years of boxing experience behind him, a large size advantage and the fact Nate Robinson- while being an A class athlete, has never boxed at any level prior to this camp, all the odds seemed to be stacked on the 23 year olds side.
Former WBC super middleweight and WBA light heavyweight champion Badou Jack (22-3-3, 13 KO’s) returns after nearly a year out of the ring as he faces the unbeaten Blake McKernan over eight rounds. Jack’s last fight saw him come up short in his bid to become a three time world champion, dropping a close split decision to WBA (Regular) light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal.
‘The Ripper’ hasn’t won in three fights, and has only won one of his last five, but has been facing the cream of the crop at both 168 and 175 lbs, the question will be will the younger McKernan (13-0, 6 KO’s) be able to make the giant step up.
The opening bout of the main card sees Hackney’s 23 year old Viddal Riley (4-0, 2 KO’s) face former UFC heavyweight Rashad Coulter in a six round cruiserweight bout. Riley, best known for his role in the development of YouTube boxing, enjoyed a successful amateur career that saw him win eight national titles and a silver medal at the European junior championships, and has gone on to turn pro with Mayweather promotions.
Coulter (9-5 MMA) is 38 and went 1-3 in the UFC prior to being cut, with all three losses being knockouts, expect Riley to score an impressive stoppage as he looks to forge his own identity in the sport.
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr
Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson
Badou Jack vs Blake McKernan
Viddal Riley vs Rashad Coulter
Jamaine Ortiz vs Nahir Albright
Irvin Gonzalez vs Edward Vasquez
Juiseppe Cusumano vs Nick Jones