In an eight-round exhibition battle of former heavyweight champions, Mike Tyson's return to boxing at age 54 ended in a draw with 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday.
Fifteen years after retiring with a 2005 defeat to journeyman Kevin McBride, in a pay-per-view matchup that merged curiosity and nostalgia, Tyson made his debut at Staples Center in Los Angeles without spectators.
Instead of the standard three-minute rounds, California State Athletic Commission officials required two-minute rounds, ordered larger than normal 12-ounce gloves, said neither fighter could attempt a knockout, and announced that there could be no official winner for over 50 fighters in safety moves.
"Sometimes that two minutes felt like three minutes," said Tyson. "I'm glad I got this under my belt and I'm looking forward to doing it again."
The bout a draw was scored by an "unofficial" panel of former World Boxing Council champions at ringside, a result that Tyson applauded while appearing to dominate.
"I'm good with that said Tyson, admitting that he thought he was winning the fight. "Yeah, but I'm good with a draw. The crowd was happy with that."
Jones, who looked tired and took much of the fight from Tyson, was unhappy with the tie.
"I ain't never happy with a draw. I don't do draw," Jones said, admitting that Tyson hurt him, especially with body blows, throughout the bout.
"If he hits you with his head, punches, body shots, it don't matter, everything hurts. Body shots definitely took a toll. Body shots are what makes you exhausted."
With 44 knockouts, Tyson, who entered 50-6, lost 100 pounds and started training again, his drive to get back in shape once more becoming a hunger to pull on the gloves.
Jones, who finished 66-9 with 47 knockouts, had not fought since a cruiserweight win in February 2018. He hoped a strong effort against Tyson could set up a clash with Anderson Silva, a 45-year-old Brazilian mixed martial arts star.