For those with expendable income and an eagerness to relive some nostalgia, this coming Saturday’s Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr., battle of the 50-somethings exhibition should be okay.
If you’re a real fight fan, though, looking to spend a few bucks on a real fight, keep that money in your bank account and save it for the following week’s Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia pay-per-view.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Spence-Garcia will deliver. But, at the very least, it’ll actually be a fight and not just some half-amped play-act show existing solely to take your money.
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr will have no official scoring and no official winner. And, if things start to get heated and a fight starts to actually break out (or if someone gets cut or otherwise injured), the California commission is going to shut it down posthaste. The authorities have made it abundantly clear that a real fight will not be allowed that night.
“I wanted to have their assurances that they understand,” California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster told Boxingscene way back in July, when details for the exhibition were first being hammered out. “I don’t care if they spar. I don’t care if they work…They have a right to earn…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 shouldn’t be going for a knockout. This isn’t a record-book type of fight. This is not world-championship boxing right now.
“We wanted to make sure that they both understood that it was a sanctioned exhibition fight. They can move around and make some money…We’re glad to have it…It’s going to look like a boxing match…They can move around and make some money.”
So much for the “I’m going to kill or die” bluster coming from both sides of the exhibition.
For your 50 bucks, Tyson-Jones will also deliver an undercard that is almost interesting in its absurdity.
YouTuber Jake Paul faces retired NBA star Nate Robinson in a six-round light heavyweight bout. Former two-division world champ Badou Jack will meet limited, unproven Northern California club fighter Blake McKernan in a cruiserweight bout. Then, there’s the 23-year-old boxing YouTube personality Viddal Riley against 39-year-old former UFC journeyman Rashad Coulter in a cruiserweight contest.
At the end of the day, the 50 bucks being charged to view the event is a personal expense from the consumer. And each consumer has to ultimately decide what’s worthy of their money, especially in a very uncertain economy due to the still-lasting effects of a worldwide pandemic. That “what to do with my own money” issue is always a question to be addressed and the answer is a personal one.
However, the consumer should be well aware of what they’re buying into and, to be honest, what’s being sold to them in this pay-per-view is not what they will be getting.
If you’re down for a night of empty nostalgia, some celebrity boxing, and a simulation of a fight between two legends, then jump right in. This show is for you. If you’re expecting a real fight with real-world repercussions, hold on to your money, save it for something better.