Two all-time greats smashing lumps out of each other? Count me in.
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr Predictions & Results
Is it an actual boxing match? Is it an exhibition? Are knockouts actually allowed? Will there be blood spilled? No-one really knows, but it is Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr, who really cares. Both men remain superstars despite their frighteningly elderly age, and if the weigh-in are anything to go by, both have chiselled themselves into exciting shape.
Watching veterans duke it out is a risky affair – no-one wants to see their childhood hero knocked into an incomprehensible state, but at the same time, we hunger for more highlight reel action to satiate our passion for the fighters. It is very unlikely we will get a) an exciting fight and b) both fighters walking away healthy, but one thing is for certain, both men will be securing an impressive final payday that they wouldn’t have predicted.
Mike Tyson (50-6, 44KO) vs Roy Jones Jr (66-9, 47KO)
Tyson’s style is one that will not have aged gracefully over time. Around the turn of the millennium, Tyson had already begun to show a drastic decline in the ring. A style based around speed became fruitless as Tyson matured, shirked off training to pursue fake highs, and gradually lost his love for the sport. Constant head movement from side-to-side, bobbing high and low, and slick footwork required to twist angles around his opponent – Tyson simply could not employ the same tenacity or output that he could in his teens. Why then, does Tyson believe he can re-capture the glory years at fifty-four?
From the footage released of Tyson’s training camps, he doesn’t seem to have lost the patented snap of his body hooks. Ferocious pad work doesn’t always translate to in-ring performance, but it is pleasing to see Tyson snap his shots with the same vigour of three decades ago. The major issue, however, is the disjointed snapshots of footage. There has been no extended period of training, suggesting that Tyson’s gas tank is unable to operate effectively anymore. The explosive style that made Tyson famous will be his undoing in this fight if he is to adhere to it. Across eight rounds, Tyson will be lucky to be throw a couple combinations a round. This is all without looking at Tyson’s durability, which was on its way out nearing the end of his career. Being stopped by Lennox Lewis is okay, that is a former Heavyweight great. Being stopped by Danny Williams and Kevin McBride just a couple of years later? That is utterly devastating. Fifteen years out of the ring will no doubt have healed any underlying injuries that Tyson was unknowingly carrying, but his chin will remain the same as the 11th June 2005 when he exited the boxing ring for the final time as a professional.
Roy Jones Jr has been slept on horrendously during the build-up to this fight. While RJJ never attempted to market himself, and as such, is not a well-known name amongst the younger generation of casuals – RJJ’s skillset means he is well-regarded in tight boxing circles as one of the all-time greats. A ridiculous career which saw him achieving titles in four weight classes, RJJ may have been the biggest athletic freak to ever enter the ring. Lazer sharp accuracy, unbelievable head movement, God-tier hand speed and a keen eye for opportunity, RJJ was simply unbeatable in his prime. Unfortunately for RJJ, his style too was based around the physical gifts of youth. Fighting on past his prime, RJJ’s body could no longer perform what the brain wanted. Being stopped by Enzo Maccarinelli in 2015 was the clearest sign that RJJ should have been nowhere a boxing ring anymore. Anything after the Joe Calzaghe loss in 2008 should be seen as RJJ v2.0, a fighter devoid of his athletic talents that had made him so great. Years of hard weight cuts and transitions across divisions put an irreversible toll on RJJ’s body and slowed him beyond recognition.
Having said that, RJJ should be favourite when he enters the ring on Saturday night. Sure, RJJ is fighting well above his natural weight class. Sure, RJJ is facing the IRON MIKE TYSON. Sure, RJJ’s chin may as well be biscuits right now. But RJJ has remained active with somewhat competent competition up until 2018. It is easy to turn your nose up at journeymen like Scott Sigmon or Bobby Gunn, but every fight had a risk (bar Vyron Phillips lol) that RJJ was able to overcome. Regular fights meant regular training camps, keeping himself absorbed in the sport unlike Tyson. While RJJ may not have the pop to earn Tyson’s respect, he has the endurance to out-last Tyson’s early barrages, and pick apart his out-of-shape foe in the later rounds.
Predicted Result: RJJ Decision
It is a bit weird to state a prediction for a fight which seemingly will have no official scorecard, but hey ho. RJJ’s relative freshness in the ring, compared to the cobwebs defining Tyson’s ring rust, will lead him to finding success after a tense opening round.
Result: 🚫 No Official Scorecard 🚫
Jake Paul (1-0, 1KO) vs Nate Robinson (DEBUT)
Rather than give you a breakdown of Jake Paul, I’m going to flog my article that I released regarding Jake Paul vs AnEsonGib which delves into the skill-set of the Cruiserweight.
Nate Robinson has athletic abilities, there is no doubting that. A former NBA player, Robinson played professional basketball for thirteen years, ten of which were at the highest level. Unfortunately, that seems to be the only quality that Robinson is able to bring to the ring. From the training footage that is available, there is little to get excited about beyond his conditioning. Sluggish on the pads, poor technique, no footwork, and an inability to move his head off of the centre line – Robinson is in trouble on Saturday night.
Predicted Result: Paul Decision
Jake Paul isn’t the next reincarnation of Muhammad Ali, but at the very least he can jabbing competently. Robinson has looked dreadful in all the footage that has been released, and there is little reason to believe that he will be able to piece together an effective performance come Saturday night.
Result: Paul def. Robinson // KO Round 2 1:35
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Rest of the Card
vacant WBC United States Silver Lightweight Title
Jamaine Ortiz (13-0, 7KO) vs Sulaiman Segawa (13-2-1, 4KO)
Undefeated prospect Jamaine Ortiz will be looking to finally put his name on the map with a stand-out performance against Sulaiman Segawa. Ortiz has already fought a respectable calibre of opposition throughout his early career and carries power that is often unseen at Lightweight. Ortiz fights with flat feet, but he makes up for it with a tight defensive guard and rapid counter-striking ability. Keeping his lead hand low, Ortiz baits opponents into entering the pocket, before unleashing his lethal left hand. Moreover, Ortiz calculates distance early in the fight, enabling him to slip shots more confidently during the later rounds. Certainly a fighter to keep your eye on.
Ugandan born, Sulaiman Segawa, is a fighter unafraid of a challenge but one who has also been unable to rise to the occasion. Two failed attempts at capturing regional belts against undefeated fighters, Segawa put in hearty but ultimately losing performances. Not the most technically gifted, Segawa wades into the pocket leading with his chin and aims to take off his opponent’s head. Not the best strategy against a slick counter-puncher, but Segawa makes the fight dirty and is the perfect test of a young fighter’s mettle.
Predicted Result: Ortiz Decision
Segawa is a rugged, durable test for Ortiz but his technical limitations will mean he regularly ends up on the end of counter-punches. A perfect test for the young Ortiz, who will have to remain defensively aware for the entirety of the fight.
Result: Ortiz def. Segawa // KO Round 7 2:50
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Badou Jack (22-3-3, 13KO) vs Blake McKernan (13-0, 6KO)
It is a crying shame how Badou Jack’s career has panned out. Regular fight cancellations, long setbacks with injuries and an inability to finish fights in convincing fashion – Jack has had a difficult career. Fighting a full year after his shock split decision loss to Jean Pascal, Jack is facing off against with tame opposition for what is surely his last meaningful career push. A wonderful straight right to the body, Jack rocks onto his front-foot effortlessly to launch attacks. While his counter-punching was sharp a few years back, Jack looks ragged on the back-foot and shells up more often than search for opportunities to counter. More worrying, despite having complete control of the centre of the ring against Pascal, Jack was unable to push and keep Pascal against the ropes. For a fighter so technically sound, it was a saddening sight and could have been the difference on the judges’ scorecards.
Blake McKernan is undefeated, sure, but he is also totally untested against the elite quality that Jack poses. Victories over just four opponents with a positive record, McKernan has been enlisted to fall over for Jack’s career revival. Slow in the pocket, McKernan throws big looping overhand rights from a crouched position that catches opponent’s by surprise. It would have to be a big surprise to catch Jack out with such a simple punch, as the Swede keeps a tight high guard at all times.
Predicted Result: Jack TKO Round 4
Jack isn’t finished just yet, there is still a lot of life left in the old Swede. Jack tagged Pascal hard at times during his last fight, and if he can connect on McKernan early, then it will be a quick pay day for all involved. McKernan’s lack of experience against quality operators will be his undoing.
Result: Jack def. McKernan // Decision (unanimous – 80-72, 80-72, 80-72)
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
WBC United States Featherweight Title
Irvin Gonzalez (14-2, 11KO) vs Edward Vasquez (8-0, 1KO)
Irvin Gonzalez is a fighter who often smothers his own work, falling into his shots and leaving himself defenceless in the pocket. Against the timid opponents he has faced for the majority of his career, Gonzalez hasn’t had to fear the returning power much. A third round stoppage to Elijah Pierce, a durable regional fighter, highlights the ceiling of Gonzalez’s skill level.
Edward Vazquez is a feather fisted prospect who waits for his opponent to enter range before launching three-shot combinations. None of the shots have particular juice behind them, but they are scoring shots that force an opponent into a high guard and buys enough time for Vazquez to exit out of the pocket again.
Predicted Result: Vazquez Decision
Gonzalez is the more active fighter in the ring, but Vazquez will be able to avoid the majority of the danger with faster feet and a solid guard. Moreover, Vazquez may eventually force Gonzalez into being gunshy if he is able to land his suffocating combinations.
Result: Vazquez def. Gonzalez // Decision (unanimous – 75-77, 77-75, 77-75)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Tyson vs Jones Jr
2020 Boxing Season
Takeaway comments: Tyson is back baby.