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Roy Jones Says He’d Come Out Of Retirement To Fight ‘Legend’ Mike Tyson

Roy Jones Says He’d Come Out Of Retirement To Fight ‘Legend’ Mike Tyson

Roy Jones has thrown down a challenge to Mike Tyson if the heavyweight is serious about returning for an exhibition fight, saying Iron Mike is the only man he'd end his retirement to face.

Plenty of big names have been linked with Tyson since he shocked the sporting world by getting into tremendous shape, then announcing he plans to return to the ring for four-round exhibition bouts.

Evander Holyfield, Shannon Briggs, James Toney and more have all been linked as opponents. But Jones - the best boxer in the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s - might be the biggest name yet.

"Yes, it's true - Mike is a legend," Jones told sports.ru when asked if he wanted the fight. "It would be crazy to receive an offer to enter the ring with him and refuse.

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"I had no intention of going back and fighting again but, for the sake of Mike Tyson, I agree to make an exception," added the 51-year-old, who had a final farewell pro fight in Florida in 2018.

"For me, this is an opportunity that I cannot refuse. Of all those who wanted to go into the ring with him, he chose me. And since he did that, how can I say no?"

In one sense, this would be a long-awaited blockbuster fight come true. There was first talk that the pair could face one another in an all-star showdown back in 2003, after Jones stepped up to heavyweight and beat John Ruiz for a version of the world title, with a rumoured $40 million offer on the table for Jones.

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Tyson was toward the end of his career by then, but would have had a significant size advantage over Roy, being the naturally heavier man. As it was, Jones decided to drop back down to light-heavyweight but never quite regained his former glory after the huge weight cut.

What a 'fight' between the pair would look like now is anyone's guess. Many boxing purists would loathe the idea of two all-time greats, both decades past their prime, trading punches for pay. But no doubt an unlikely exhibition would attract huge interest.

Frankly, as Iron Mike once wrestled a Bengal tiger, wanted to fight a silverback gorilla and recently announced he was facing off against a great white shark, being linked to a fellow ex-boxer is a relatively normal challenge.

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In another interview, Jones also struck down comparisons between Tyson and Deontay Wilder, saying the names on the Bronze Bomber's record "don't add up to the names on Mike Tyson's record."

Whether 54-year-old Tyson will be adding the legendary name of Roy Jones Jr to his ring record remains to be seen. But judging by how crazy 2020 has been, like Roy, we're not ruling it out.

Imagery: PA Images/@MikeTyson Instagram

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

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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.