Mike Tyson has dominated on his long-awaited return to boxing at the age of 54, running rings around a 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr who had fought as recently as two years ago.
The controversial eight-round exhibition fight took place in Los Angeles on Saturday local time under modified rules after the veterans refused to wear headgear.
Eight two-minute rounds were scheduled for a total fight time of 16 minutes, while larger gloves were worn in a bid to protect both men.
Californian boxing authorities declared significant cuts would end the fight, though knockouts were allowed despite speculation of a ban.
Concerns of a glorified sparring session were unfounded after Tyson put on a show in his first fight since 2005.
But in true boxing fashion, a fight like this couldn’t end without a bit of drama.
The bout was declared a draw, which surprisingly satisfied Tyson.
“I’m good with that. Yeah (I thought I won) but I’m good with a draw,” he said.
“Because I entertained the crowd. The crowd was happy with it.”
Despite being a clear runner-up, Jones wasn’t satisfied with the result as both fighters hinted it might not be their last time in the ring.
“Hell no, I don’t do draws,” Jones said.
“I understand why they say some things are a bucket list (item) because when he hits you, whether it’s his head, or his punches, his body shots, it don’t matter, everything hurts.
“So for me I thought I did enough boxing on the outside to edge him out but I’m cool with a draw.
“It might mean we try to do it again.”
Both fighters dialled themselves in quickly but as the fight wore on a hurting Jones turned to keeping Tyson close to limit the damage.
Tyson, who weighed in at 220 pounds to Jones’s 210, went on the attack after the opening bell, throwing body shots at his opponent.
An accidental headbutt caused a slightly delay in the third round.
Jones continued to slow but Tyson’s fitness held up as the 54-year-old who first debuted in 1985 showed off a surprising amount of power.
Tyson’s last official bout was in June 2005, and the former undisputed heavyweight champion hasn’t held a title since 1996.
Jones fought steadily through his 40s, long after his super middleweight and light heavyweight title reigns had ended, while his most recent bout came in February 2018.
Earlier in the night YouTube star Jake Paul knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson.
The violent finish sparked concern for Robinson, who remained down for some time before being assisted to his feet.
– with AAP