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Mike Tyson's Next Opponent Once KO'd Fighter With Hands Behind His Back

Mike Tyson's Next Opponent Once KO'd Fighter With Hands Behind His Back

Roy Jones Jr delivered one of boxing's all-time great KOs 18 years ago - but will he dare try this jaw-dropping trick against Mike Tyson in September?

The boxer nicknamed 'Superman' lived up to his billing against Glen Kelly in 2002 when he showcased his audacious speed and skill against an undefeated but hapless foe.

Slipping both hands behind his back while against the ropes, the American left himself wide open - but before Kelly could react, Jones unleashed a lightning-fast right hook, catching his opponent high on the temple. Kelly collapsed: down, dazed, counted out.

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It remains one of the most spectacular one-punch stoppages in boxing history - from a man many have called the best pure athlete ever to set foot in a ring.

The light-heavyweight Jones was so supernaturally fast of hand, foot and eye that he could fight in an unorthodox style. Rather than using a jab to set up his shots, he would lead with rapid hooks - incredibly risky punches that even elite boxers usually throw when they have an opponent open or hurt.

Yet Jones trusted his immaculate reflexes in his prime - and those who think he's given up such showboating clearly haven't watched any of his late fights. Although he struggled, suffering several savage knockouts himself, late in his career - he's remained unconventional, dropping his hands and relying on upper-body movement.

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If you imagine the 51-year-old would never try such a bizarre tactic in his eight-round exhibition bout with Tyson on 12 September, you - and Iron Mike - might be in for a surprise.

Reaction to the Kelly KO on the night was awe from a stunned crowd who couldn't quite believe what they'd seen. Boxers brazenly putting their fists behind their back is rare enough - Tyson Fury has occasionally done it to taunt his foes - but scoring a one-shot stoppage from that position should be impossible.

Influential ESPN analyst Max Kellerman called the knockout, "One of the most spectacular things I have ever seen in a boxing ring." He added that Jones was, "A candidate for 'Most Talented Fighter Ever'."

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Larry Merchant, covering the fight for HBO was less impressed, claiming the one-sided bout and humiliating finish were attributable a dire mismatch, with Australia's Kelly out of his depth in the contest.

''How would he know?'' was Jones' response to Merchant. ''He's never raised his hand except to do nothing but wave to anybody.''

Whatever your view on Jones' crazy KO of Kelly, it remains one of the most memorable endings ever seen in a prize-fighting ring. One we're unlikely to see ever repeated.

Unless, of course, Jones backs up to the ropes and dares to stick his hands behind his back as the 54-year-old Tyson rumbles towards him next month. In that case, a knockdown might well be coming... but we can't exactly say who would be dealing it out.

Topics: Mike Tyson, Boxing News, Roy Jones Jr, Boxing, Fight News

Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.