Let’s try this a different way. We’ll see if you can guess what the following names have in common. James ‘Buster’ Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Any idea? What about Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson, Danny Green, Denis Lebedev and Enzo Maccarinelli. Any relations there? These individuals have all bested, better yet KNOCKED OUT, two of the most electric, charismatic fighters of our generations in Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. granted, as I have stated before in these pages, the sport of boxing is not played. Man to man, toe to toe, heart to heart at its essence, prize fighting is the ultimate hurt business. When business is good, we’re entertained by two prime athletes in peak physical and mental condition lay it on the line in quest of having their arms raised in victory. When business is booming, those same attributes apply but the combatants have garnered names outside of the world of pugilism, at times they’ve gained recognition beyond the world of sports, making for a mega event. That right there is both the gift and the curse of the sport. Once someone has reached that household name space, their name can still generate box office even if their legend has far eclipsed the skill level. That brings us to Nov. 28, when the legendary specters of Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr attempt to turn back the clock when they collide for a pay-per-view exhibition match. Also featured on the card will be former New York Knick/3-time Slam Dunk Champion Nate Robinson, making his boxing debut vs Jake Paul, two division world champion Badou Jack vs Blake McKernan and Viddal Riley vs Rashad Coulter.
15 years ago, in Washington D.C was the last time we saw the 54 year old Mike Tyson as a professional boxer and it resulted with his cornerman Jeff Fenech uttering the words to the referee, “Enough! I’m the f’in boss here and I said enough” as a battered Tyson rested on a stool. During the post-fight interview Tyson himself said, “I’m sorry I let everybody down. I just don’t have this in my heart anymore. I’m just fighting to take care of my bills basically. I’m not gonna disrespect the sport by losing to this caliber of fighter (Kevin McBride).” Tyson, in promotion for his bout with Jones, gave the statement a new twist. Says Tyson, “I have a will and desire to do this now, that guy in Washington, was just a ghost of me. I’m ready to do this and I want the world to see how good I look.” Granted, in training footage that’s been circulating on the internet he is quite impressive. His opponent, Roy Jones Jr admitted to such with, “I’m glad to see him bounce back the way he has. Most guys at the age of 54 count themselves out.” He adds, “We’re freaks that’s why this is such a big thing. We’re two of the most explosive guys to ever touch the boxing ring. I’d rather watch Tyson at 54 hit the mitts and bags right now, then see the younger guys FIGHT because he’s just so exciting. At 51, I’m hitting the bag so fast that people are saying they have to be speeding this up (the footage). He inspires me by how hard he’s working and how he’s preparing.”
Adding spice to the spectacle is a star-studded lineup featuring DaBaby, Lil Wayne, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa and YG performing selections from their catalogs announced the entertainment platform Triller Triller is backed by a long list of entertainers including Snoop Dogg, Future, The Weeknd and Pitbull, and the social app is tapping into their brand identity by bringing the fighters and musicians to Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
“The connection between boxing and music is undeniable,” said Bobby Sarnevesht, executive chairman of Triller. “As a global language, music unites cultures, and we knew this historical moment needed to include some of the biggest names in the industry. Unparalleled to any other entertainment platform in the space, Triller is determined to give fans a night they will never forget.”
“This event is going to go down in history, no doubt! I’m grateful to be a part of it and share the arena with two living legends. I’m stoked to perform and give the fans something they can rock to,” said Lil Wayne.
“It’s truly a moment,” added French Montana. “I’m honored and can’t wait to see Tyson and Jones fight.”
The Nov. 28 Tyson vs Jones PPV begins at 9:00 p.m. and can be purchased digitally for $49.99 via TysonOnTriller.com, FITE.TV or any of the FITE’s OTT platforms on mobile devices and smart TVs.
Over and out, Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.