Roy Jones Jr believes 54-year-old Mike Tyson still has the ability ‘to fight anybody’ having gone eight rounds with the fearsome heavyweight.
Jones Jr earned a draw in his eight-round exhibition bout against Tyson on Saturday night and felt enough of the former world champion to say ‘Iron Mike’ can still mix it with the best.
At 51, Jones Jr also admitted that his body is feeling the effects, even joking that his hands are hurting from Tyson’s head.
He said: ‘I’m happy to scratch it off the bucket list and move on with my life. He hit harder, his hands hurt, his head hurts [my hands], everything hurt that makes contact.
‘He’s capable of fighting anybody. If he catches you, you’re going to have problems. I was feeling everything. He’s an exceptional puncher, still. All it takes is one punch from either one of us for something to happen. He can do anything he wants to do.
‘I thank God nobody got hurt, it makes it even better. People got entertained.’
Tyson declared his intention to carry on fighting after his battle with RJJ and old rival Evander Holyfield could be next for the powerful American.
Jones Jr said he had formulated his game plan for Tyson by watching old fights with Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.
He went on: ‘It makes you so fatigued trying to deal with him on the inside — you have to keep his arm locked up. I learned that from [his] Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield fights; lock his arms up [so he can’t throw] uppercuts.
‘I had to work on the clinches. Land punches on the inside of the clinch and get the hand back [inside the clinch]. That’s what my strategy was going in. Clinch him on the inside, box him outside.
‘I never thought about dropping, but he hit me with one good body shot and he hit me with an uppercut straight-up and my jaw is a bit sore. It’s all good, happens in a fight. But I never got dizzy, or that. I did feel them … but they never made me dizzy.
‘He was throwing more power punches. I was throwing more jabs and other punches. It could go either way. I’m cool with the draw.’
When asked if he’d be interested in a rematch, it seemed as though Jones Jr is not interested.
‘He [said] he wanted to do it all again but that’s a big, old, dude. He weighed 220-pounds but he’s more massive than 220, trust me.
‘I took a draw like Tyson, I mean, come on brah how can you get mad about that?’
Tyson on the other hand, was delighted with the event and is keen on performing again.
‘This is better than fighting for championships,’ Tyson said of the heavyweight exhibition, which raised money for various charities. ‘We’re humanitarians now. We can do something good for the world. We’ve got to do this again. I would absolutely do this again.’
‘I’m good with a draw, because I entertained the crowd. The crowd was happy with it. Nobody thought I could go eight rounds, but you’ve got to go the distance, that’s boxing. I was very happy to be here, despite what everyone says I was happy to go to eight rounds.
‘I used to do this for three minutes. Somehow, those two minutes felt like three minutes,’ admitted Tyson. ‘I’m just happy I got this under my belt and will continue to go further.’