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It may be an exhibition match, but Roy Jones Jr. is expecting Mike Tyson to come out swinging when the two face off in September.
Jones told ESPN on Tuesday that while he’s betting on himself, he knows Tyson is as powerful as ever.
MIKE TYSON RETURNS TO BOXING IN EXHIBITION MATCH AGAINST ROY JONES JR.
“A lot of times people say the legs are the first thing to go, and my legs were really a key part of my style, my skill level. They say power is the last thing to go, and his power was the key element of his skill set,” he said.
"His skill set — his power — is still there. My skill set — my legs — are still there, but not what they used to be. So I wouldn't be mad if they said he was the favorite, but I wouldn't agree with that."
Tyson and Jones, both in their 50s, will step in the ring for an eight-round exhibition match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sept. 12 but Jones says he’s anticipating that Tyson won’t hold back.
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“For me, I know how to have fun in the ring and try to make it the best that I can make it," he told ESPN. "But at the same time, Mike knows one way. It's like playing with a pit bull pup. … He'll play, but he'll get lost because all he knows is [to] … go at it. So that's all Mike knows — go at it. So I've got to be prepared for whatever Mike comes out with”
Rumors of Tyson’s comeback have been circulating for months after the 54-year-old posted several videos to his social media showcasing his legendary speed and skill set. His trainer said in May that Tyson could realistically fight again in six months if he wanted.
Jones last stepped into the ring in February 2018, where he finished with a career record of 66-9. Tyson, by comparison, hasn’t had a professional fight since June 2005. He holds a record of 50-6.
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"Because you're dealing with Mike Tyson, you're at the mercy of Mike Tyson,” Jones said.
“If Mike decides to turn it on for five seconds, who's going to save you? Nobody. So you better be ready to save yourself. You better be ready for it. You don't know what Mike might do. You don't know which Mike might come. Mike might get mad because he can't hit you like he wants to."
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