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Roy Jones Jr. praises Mike Tyson, discusses fighting again: ‘Thank God boxing ain’t drugs, ‘cause I’d never say no’

Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson
Getty Images for Triller

Roy Jones Jr. improbably crossed an item off his bucket list on Saturday.

In an exhibition boxing bout that drew massive interest despite some confusion about its rules, Jones went the distance with fellow legend Mike Tyson in the main event of a show that took place at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Though Tyson was the aggressor for much of the bout, Jones apparently did enough to earn a draw decision on celebrity judges’ scorecards.

Jones, a four-division champion who won a middleweight world title in 1993 and 10 years later became a heavyweight champion, wasn’t ecstatic about the draw, but he reflected positively on the experience of going the distance with one of the most feared fighters in boxing history.

“Of course, everybody’s always gonna feel like they won the fight,” Jones said at the Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “I thought I won the fight, I thought I jabbed, moved around, and kind of controlled the pace better. But I took a draw with Mike Tyson, how could you get mad about that? He’s throwing more power punches anyway, I’m throwing more jabs and other punches, he landed more power punches, so it could go either way.

“I’m cool with the draw. I hear him talking about how he want to do it again, but he’s a big ol’ dude. He weighed 220, but he’s more massive than 220, trust me.”

With interest for the event reportedly trending well (buyrate information for the Tyson vs. Jones Jr. pay-per-view event won’t be available until a later date), Jones might not shut the door on competing again, even if just in an exhibition capacity. He previously competed as a pro in February 2018, ending his career with a win over Scott Sigmon.

While Jones, 51, is planning to have a discussion with his family first before even considering another walk to the ring, he’s confident that Tyson, 54, could find success in a comeback run.

“Mike can fight anybody if he just keeps going and stays in shape like he’s doing now,” Jones said. “Because it surprised me that he was able to go them eight rounds like that, so with him going eight rounds as strong as he was, he’s capable of fighting anybody.

“Truthfully, people are going to have problems getting out of the first couple of rounds with him. That was the hardest part is getting past them first two or three rounds. If he catch you, you’re gonna have problems. Like I said, I was feeling everything, so I now that he’s a really exceptional puncher still and he can do anything he wants to do. For him, it makes sense to do it a smart way, but he can do anything he want to do.”

Though there were stretches of inactivity, prior to his retirement in 2018 Jones was an active competitor for nearly 30 years. He’d stuck to that up until booking this exhibition bout with Tyson, but now that he’s back in action it sounds like he wants more. Earlier this week, he entertained the notion of an oft-discussed boxing bout with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who is currently a free agent.

But again, Jones has people to answer to at home and if they don’t sign off on another fight, then don’t expect to see Jones fighting anymore.

“I don’t really have a good sense about boxing,” Jones said. “If somebody calls me I’ll say I’ll do it. It’s not really fair to ask me, you should ask my other counsel because I’m not really too smart. I don’t know how to say no. So thank God boxing ain’t drugs, ‘cause I’d never say no.

“I don’t really know what to tell you right now. If it’s me, of course you know me I want to get back in there. But it’s not just about me.”

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