They say legends never die, quitters never win and winners never quit.
In fairness, people say a lot of things.
On Saturday night, in the wake of a cracking victory for Kilkenny’s camogie stars, bitter disappointment for Kilkenny’s hurling elite and a change of management in Carlow, there was a boxing event taking place on the other side of the world that would turn back the clock – if only for a quarter of an hour or so.
Mike Tyson (54) and Roy Jones Jr. (51) donned their 12oz gloves once more for a boxing exhibition between two of the biggest names ever associated with the sport.
Did we need such an event years after their respective retirements? Probably not.
Will it do anything to their reputations and legacies left behind in the sport? Probably not.
Would we watch it anyway? Most definitely.
Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it
In a bout a scheduled for eight two-minute rounds, there would be some stipulations.
Head gear would be abandoned, given their age a sixteen minute rule would have to be adhered to, 12oz gloves would have to be worn and the fight would be stopped if either man was cut.
Initially it had been reported there would be no knockouts and no official winner either though Triller, the social media network pushing the bout later rolled back on the knock outs.
While indeed there was no official winner and the bout was ultimately declared a draw from the three ‘celebrity’ judges, Tyson looked the better of the two.
Iron Mike had cut some serious weight in the months leading into Saturday night’s affair (he cut 100lbs for the showcase event) and it showed in the ring as he kept light on his feet, finding plenty of power to attack Jones’ body from early on.
Jones, for his part, seemed happier to clinch and clinch heavy for a lot of the encounter, using his frame to slow down Tyson before repeated separations.
Breathing for Jones looked laboured one rounds three and four while Tyson looked in the last round like he did in the first, raring to go. When he did advance, it would be quick jabs and out foe Jones while Tyson was finding more of a home for his double left and hooks to the body.
As such, the eight rounds played out very rinse-repeat.
In the end, a draw
We’re not quite sure who the winner is (granted we scored every round bar one for Tyson) in the grand scheme of things, but at the end of the bout the night was declared a draw. It was a result both seemed happy with but at the end of the day I don’t think either man would be giving out with the fight having no impact on their professional records.
Post fight interviews drew smiles and laughs from both and they get to live to fight another day.
It’s only two years since Jones officially retired. Make it 15 for Tyson. While the former doesn’t have any plans to resume his career, Tyson showed even with such a break from the sport that he’s never lost it.
You can watch all the buildup, find the docuseries, and last night’s fight replay here.
Here’s how both men showed up for the fight.