Tyson vs Jones Jr: An Illusion Of A Fight
Just a few hours will separate two high-profile heavyweight fights this coming weekend. Sadly one will take away at least some, if not most of the attention away from a fight where the winner could end up fighting for the world heavyweight title in their next fight.
Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will trade leather for the opportunity to challenge for the biggest prize in the sport. Both deserve credit not only for fighting each other, but also compromising enough to allow the fight not to have to go behind a second paywall.
Unfortunately, and I mean that in many ways, two past greats will return to a sport they once dominated. Their time has long since gone, and you can call it an exhibition, give them bigger gloves, make the rounds shorter, add some bizarre nonsensical rules, but nothing can mask what it is. A shameless exploitation of the fighters and the sport they once ruled.
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr somehow have been given permission to glove up once again. As ever boxing finds a way, usually the wrong way. We don’t need to see it, the two fighters don’t need it, even if they believe they do, and the sport certainly doesn’t need it.
Tyson is 54 and has been inactive since 2005 and when he announced his ego has been reignited earlier this year to tease his ‘comeback’, the phone rang, of course, it would. Jones 51, eventually became the chosen one, it could have been worse.
Dubois and Joyce will not only fight to be the potential next challenger for the heavyweight championship of the world, but also for mainstream attention from the casual audience. A battle they are unlikely to win. Tyson, very much the A-Side, still has his name if little else left of what made him.
There should be no comparison, no competition, one fight is for is everything, the other for relatively nothing. A desire to remain in the past rather than live in the present.
We live in an age of views, superficial over substance. A narrative often pushed to fall in line with a pre-determined agenda. Fight fans have to budget for the price of being a fight fan, both financially and indeed emotionally. We pay subscriptions, accept the ordinary and expected to pay again for something worth watching. BT Sport in the UK have decided to charge us extra for the privilege of watching two fighters with a combined age of 105, that in many ways is not a proper fight, it certainly isn’t a justifiable one, despite those trying to do exactly that.
Tyson has indeed returned, 2020 practically guarantees the abnormal. Any other year it would be dismissed as a novelty, a disgrace, but anything seemingly goes in a year where nothing seems normal. The outrage very much left in the background, the excitement of seeing Tyson return outweighing any thoughts of common sense of what they will actually witness.
Tyson appears in good condition for his return, one outlet even saying Tyson is in the best shape of his life, which is ridiculous, stupid even, and just adds to the hysteria. Tyson might look at the man in the mirror, and see his youth, but in reality, it is an illusion of the man, of the fighter he used to be.
We can relay that both fighters are a long way removed from their peak, but do we really need to. The attraction of seeing two past masters in their fifties is lost on me. What does it prove, what does it mean, there is enough footage around to witness both fighters at their supreme best. The longer it lasts the more we will see it for what it is.
Unless both fighters have a time machine, to defy so much, it will quickly end up becoming an undignified spectacle, which could be the preferred option. The lesser the fight is, the less the paying public will demand more of the same.
But if Tyson comes out and blows Jones away quickly, despite the rules apparently saying he can’t, what happens next, that is even more of a worry than the fight itself. Promoters with eyes on the dollar, will shed decency and integrity and look to push Tyson to a place where he has no right to be.