Tyson, 54, to face Jones Jr, 51, in eight-round exhibition fight
Fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view and TikTok-like app
Mike Tyson will make his widely speculated return to the prize ring for an exhibition bout against four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr on 12 September.
The eight-round fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view and Triller, an upstart TikTok-like music video app which confirmed the event in a release on Thursday.
Triller said the main event between Tyson and Jones will headline a three-hour telecast including undercard bouts and musical performances to be announced in coming weeks. The app will also air a 10-part documentary series tracking the quinquagenarian fighters during the run-up to the match.
The release said the event will take place in California and has already been sanctioned by the state’s athletic commission. The commission did not immediately respond to messages from the Guardian, but executive director Andy Foster told Yahoo Sports he believed the fighters would not be wearing headgear and would be using the larger-than-normal 12oz gloves.
Tyson, 54, became the youngest ever boxer to win a heavyweight title back in 1986, becoming the division’s undisputed champion until he was dramatically unseated in a shock upset defeat to James ‘Buster’ Douglas in 1990. The Brooklyn native retired in 2005 with a career record of 50-6 with 44 knockouts.
The 51-year-old Jones, a native of Pensacola, Florida, represented the US at the 1988 Olympics, where he won a silver medal after a highly disputed loss that prompted a complete overhaul of the scoring system for Olympic boxing. As a professional, he was captured world championships at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, earning widespread recognition as the finest pound-for-pound fighter of his generation.
After a 49-1 start with the lone defeat coming on a disqualification, Jones lost seven of 12 fights between 2004 and 2011. He finally retired in 2018 with a professional record of 66-9 with 47 knockouts.
The Wall Street Journal reported Triller, which has positioned itself as TikTok’s biggest US-based competitor, raised $28m in a Series B round in October, valuing the five-year-old San Francisco-based startup at $130m.