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Tyson vs Jones exhibition fight divides opinion despite undeniable interest

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr are set to meet in an exhibition fight this weekend which divides opinion in the world of boxing.

Tyson and Jones Jr return to the ring in Los Angeles on Saturday night (Sunday morning UK), with the two former champions looking to turn back the clock – even if there if some confusion as to the exact rules of the bout.

The controversial showdown – which sees Tyson and Jones Jr go head to head now in their 50s has been met with understandable criticism, with fight promoter Frank Warren calling it a meaningless sparring session between two past-it warriors.

However, record pre-fight pay-per-view sales have been reported for the exhibition, which will not be scored, with both men reportedly told not to go for the knockout.

Former world heavyweight champion Iron Mike, 54, who has not boxed professionally for 15 years, has shed an impressive six stones for a scheduled eight-round contest on Thanksgiving Day at the Staples Center.

Jones Jr’s comeback has raised fewer eye brows. He was still boxing in 2018 and won his last four fights, although his stoppage of Jeff Lacy in 2008 was his last notable success.

The 51-year-old is a former world champion at four different weights – middleweight, super-middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight.

Jones Jr is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in history and is the only man to start his professional career at light middleweight and go on to win a heavyweight title.

Tyson’s legacy as “the baddest man on the planet” is somewhat diminished, but he is still the youngest boxer to win a world heavyweight title after his destruction of Trevor Berbick in 1986 aged 20.

The undercard features YouTuber Jake Paul’s bout with former NBA star Nate Robinson, while former two-weight world champion Badou Jack takes on unbeaten cruiserweight Blake McKernan.

Rappers Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa, plus singer Ne-Yo are among those scheduled to perform between bouts.

While there are questions marks over how much of a contest Tyson vs Jones Jr will be, there is no doubt that there will be plenty of eyes on the bout regardless.

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