Roy Jones Jr. is having some second thoughts ahead of his Nov. 28 exhibition match against Mike Tyson on Triller pay per view.
Weeks after Jones Jr. was angered over the delay of the fight and threatening withdrawal if he wasn’t compensated properly, the 51-year-old appears to again be game for the choreographed encounter.
“He’s still Mike Tyson, he’s still one of the strongest, most explosive people who ever touched a boxing ring. If anything, I made a mistake going in with him. He’s the bigger guy, he’s the explosive guy,” Jones Jr. told Sky Sports. “When it comes time to fight, we’re going to fight. If it comes down to bite, we’re going to bite. Whatever has to happen, is going to happen, that’s just what it is.
“He’s going to have all the first-round fireworks, not me. I do have first-round fireworks, but he’s known for more first-round fireworks than anybody to ever touch boxing, other than maybe George Foreman … With him having the first-round fireworks, he’ll be against a guy smaller than him, maybe 40-to-50 pounds smaller than him.”
The four-division champion and future Hall of Fame fighter Jones Jr. (66-9, 47 KOs) last fought as a professional in 2018 and scored a unanimous decision victory versus Scott Sigmon. In recent years, the former HBO Boxing analyst has focused more on his craft as a trainer rather than a fighter and broadcaster.
During the pandemic, he took middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. under his wing at his Florida-based ranch, and has been training and coaching the British boxer.
“Man, with training these guys like Chris Eubank Jr., they inspire me to get my mind going,” said Jones Jr. “They’re so good already, but you’ve got to take their mind to another level. You’ve got to take them somewhere they haven’t been yet, or you can’t really train them … When they do it, they also awaken me. Things that I forgot, that I don’t do anymore. It turns me back into a better fighter, because it made me remember things that I did once upon a time.”
Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22 KOs) has handed the coaching keys to his career to Jones Jr., and the 30-year-old offered a promising scouting report on his new trainer as he prepares to face Tyson.
“Most fighters once they retire, that’s it. Roy has always been in the gym, so it’s easier for him to then get back into the swing of things, whereas guys like my father, or Mike, who are not in the gym regularly. It’s harder for them to get back into it,” said Eubank Jr. “He’s definitely still got it. He’s still got the power, he’s still got the speed, so you have to be careful, that’s for sure.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.
This article was originally published on www.boxingscene.com