Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, Jr. are slated to fight an exhibition this fall at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, but the date has been changed. The fight was originally scheduled for September 12th, but it has been tentatively moved to November 28th, per The Ring reporter Ryan O’Hara. It will still happen without fans in attendance.
O’Hara is reporting the decision came due to a belief that revenue for the event could be maximized if it was bumped back. Reps for Tyson and Jones met to discuss it and Jones approved of the switch.
It’s not entirely clear just what to make of the potential competitiveness of the fight. Andy Foster, the head of the California State Athletic Commission, told boxingscene.com in July this would be more like a glorified sparring session.
“I wanted to have their assurances that they understand, ‘I don’t care if they spar. I don’t care if they work.’ They are world-class athletes, even still,” said Foster. “They have a right to earn, and all these types of things. They’re about the same age. We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.
“It’s an exhibition. They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other. They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout. This isn’t a record-book type of fight. This is not world-championship boxing right now. It’s not what this is. People shouldn’t be getting knocked out. The public can see what kind of shape Roy and Mike are still in.”
Jones has already expressed some concern about the nature of the fight. He told Yahoo! Sports he would be ready to defend himself as needed if Tyson escalates the fight.
“It’s a sparring session, but you have to remember, I’m the small guy here,” Jones told Yahoo Sports. “Andy Foster can’t control Mike once Mike gets in the ring. I’ve got to defend myself like I’m in a real fight. If Mike goes out there and decides to start hammering, what am I supposed to do, look at Andy?
“Hell no! I’ve got to defend myself and get back in it. I have heard what Andy Foster said, but I also know what Mike said and I can’t depend upon Andy Foster when I am in the ring with Mike. You hear me? I have to get myself ready for whatever Mike may bring. I have to be ready for war.”