All eyes of the fighting world will be on the Staples Center this Saturday when Mike Tyson returns to the ring to face fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr.
According to the California State Athletic Commission, the fight will be contested under special exhibition rules: The bout will be eight, two-minute rounds instead of 12, three-minute rounds, and both fighters will wear 12-ounce gloves in order to minimize damage. CSAC executive director Andy Foster has also said that the bout will be stopped if there’s a cut and competitors will not be permitted to knock their opponent out. However, Tyson’s trainer, Rafael Cordeiro, believes the fighters trained hard in order to provide an entertaining ending for the fans watching on pay-per-view.
“As soon as there’s an athletic commission, three judges (the bout will not be officially scored, but three ex-fighters have been assigned to determine an unofficial winner) and one referee it’s not an exhibition fight,” Cordeiro told Sherdog.com. “It’s gonna be a fight and we are training hard for that fight to have a happy ending. And when we talk about a happy ending for Tyson there is only one — with his opponent’s body fallen on the ground.”
“During the whole camp he did 10 rounds of three minutes,” Cordeiro said. “On his last day of sparring he did six rounds of three [minutes] — but really hard.”
The Brazilian trainer came away impressed by the focus of “Iron Mike.”
“I would say that training is like a drug to Mike,” Cordeiro said. “The more he trains, the more mentally and physically balanced he gets. He thinks that whenever he is not training his opponent has an advantage.”
When it comes to strategy, the Kings MMA leader believes the game plan for both men will be relatively simple.
“Roy must circle and move a lot to avoid Tyson´s knockout power, while Mike will try to lead him to the corner,” Cordeiro said.
Though much depends on Saturday’s result and future offers, Cordeiro believes that fans could have the opportunity to see Tyson compete again soon.
“Who knows? He wants to have three more fights — of course the opponents will depend on wht is offered,” Cordeiro said. “The fact is that no other fighter in any other combat sport attracts the audience's attention like Tyson. His video was seen by 2.5 billion people on the internet. No matter who is in the other side, Tyson has potential to beat any pay-per-view record. Everything depends on what he will decide to do next.”
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