Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. – To headgear or not to headgear, plus undercard rumor
The eight-round exhibition bout between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. may or may not take place with headgear.
The event is set to take place on September 12 at a crowdless Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view as well as multimedia platform Triller, which will also produce a 10-part docuseries.
A source with knowledge of the situation and close to the CSAC spoke to The Ring on the condition of anonymity Monday evening.
“The commission is not going to have a say on the headgear,” the source stated. “That is completely up to Mike and Roy. If they want to wear headgear, they can. If they don’t, they won’t. It is completely out of the commission’s hands at this point.”
The source also added that as of right now, media will not be permitted to attend the event, but that could change.
“The media would have to be considered as essential staff,” they continued. “If both sides deem the media to be essential, there could be a way to allow them in.”
California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster initially told reporters that there would be no headgear, 12-ounce gloves, and no judges to score the fight.
A second source with knowledge close to Jones told The Ring via text message Tuesday evening: “Headgear is being thrown out there now (as a possibility).”
The source suggested that the commission is somewhat involved in the headgear conversation.
“It has gone back and forth with the commission (on headgear). I need a day off with all this bullshit.”
Tyson and Jones signed their contracts to fight one another in June, but there was nearly a month-long delay to announce the event because their teams floated the idea of postponing the exhibition until fans would be allowed to attend in the wake of the coronavirus.
Since its onset, though, COVID-19 has caused most sporting events at the international, regional, and nationals level to be canceled or postponed. The impact of the virus is expected to leave its mark for a while longer.
Jones has not appeared in a professional bout since February 2018, when he defeated Scott Sigmon by unanimous decision. Tyson’s last pro fight took place in 2005, when he retired on his stool after six rounds against Kevin McBride.
The undercard is also starting to come together. According to a source reporting exclusively to The Ring, former two-division titlist Badou Jack (22-3-3, 13 knockouts), 36, a Sweden native based in Las Vegas, is expected to appear. There is currently no word on who he could potentially face.