The judges scoring the fight remotely were Christy Martin, Chad Dawson and Vinny Pazienza, all former World Boxing Council champions. Martin awarded Tyson the decision, 79-73; Dawson scored it 76-76; and Pazienza had Jones winning, 80-76.
Tyson, 54, landed the more convincing blows, including a straight left and straight right in the eighth followed by a rare combination to the body. The 51-year-old Jones, meanwhile, mostly tried to keep his distance from the former “Baddest Man on the Planet” while counterpunching to score.
Jones, regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters of all-time, also clinched for lengthy stretches, trying to wear down and frustrate Tyson, who at his peak was the most feared boxer on the planet and a must-see attraction every time he stepped into the ring.
Tyson was fighting for the first time in 15 years, when he infamously lost to Kevin McBride at MCI Center. The former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world had his turbulent professional career end that night when the fight was stopped after the sixth round, with Tyson saying afterward his heart wasn’t in the sport anymore.
Jones had been far more active in his twilight boxing years than Tyson, most recently fighting in 2018 when the former four-division champion scored a 10-round unanimous decision against Scott Sigmon in Jones’s hometown of Pensacola, Fla.
Saturday’s result did not count on the official records of Tyson or Jones, although the California State Athletic Commission and the WBC sanctioned the bout that included provisions intended to prevent both fighters from absorbing serious injury at their advanced age.
The fight was to be stopped if either participant suffered a cut. Rounds were two minutes instead of the customary three. Tyson and Jones each wore 12-ounce gloves, two ounces heavier than standard for sanctioned matches at the welterweight division or higher.
Review round-by-round recaps below:
Tyson, Jones fight to a draw
Tyson and Jones fight to a draw over eight rounds in a heavyweight exhibition between two of the most iconic boxers in the history of the sport. Tyson, 54, landed the more convincing shots, but Jones, 51, was able to keep the former undisputed heavyweight champion at bay during the later rounds.
Tyson finishes the fight with a flurry, landing a straight right and straight left before a combination to Jones’s midsection.
Tyson and Jones produce a flashback moment early in the round with both flashing hand speed reminiscent of their glory days. The rest of the round is spent mostly in the clinch, particularly from Jones.
Tyson remains the aggressor, landing single straight punches with both his right and left hand early in the round. A swooping uppercut just misses the chin of Jones, who continues to clinch to keep Tyson at bay. Jones did manage to pop a straight left in the closing seconds.
The action picks up considerably, with Tyson and Jones exchanging combinations in the center of the ring. Jones has his most aggressive round offensively, but even when he lands a solid shot, it doesn’t appear to faze Tyson in the least.
Tyson lands a combination to the midsection that has Jones barely hanging on. Tyson remains in firm control of the bout, with Jones again breathing heavily in his corner.
Tyson continues to command the center of the ring, keeping Jones backpeddling and dancing around the outside trying to avoid a big shot.
Tyson rocks Jones Jr. with a straight left, sending the former four-division champion stumbling backward. Jones spends the majority of the round on his heels or clinching Tyson, trying to wear down the former undisputed heavyweight champion.
Tyson controls the center of the ring, as Roy Jones Jr. keeps his distance. Jones is breathing heavy while in his corner.
Jake Paul knocks out Nate Robinson
Social media sensation Jake Paul made quick work of Nate Robinson with a second-round knockout courtesy of an overhand right to the temple that left the three-time NBA dunk champion motionless on the canvas. Robinson was making his professional boxing debut but clearly was overmatched against Paul, who was fighting for the second time.
Badou Jack dominates Blake McKernan
Former light heavyweight champion Badou Jack defeated previously unbeaten Blake McKernan via eight-round unanimous decision in a highly entertaining second fight on the main card. Jack (23-3, 13 KOs) spent the majority of the fight connecting forcefully to the body, but McKernan (13-1, six KOs), who served three years in the military, never went down despite absorbing one barrage after another.
What to know: Roy Jones Jr.
During his prime, Roy Jones Jr. was hailed as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in history, winning titles in four divisions and becoming the only boxer to start his professional career at light middleweight and win a heavyweight title.
He won the World Boxing Association heavyweight belt Nov. 8, 2003, beating Antonio Tarver in a majority decision four years after unifying the light heavyweight division by claiming the WBA, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles.
Jones’s style at the peak of his career included superior hand speed and quickness combined with exceptional power, particularly when he fought at middleweight, and an ability to land punches from unexpected angles.
Jones also served as a boxing analyst for HBO before the cable network severed its long-standing ties with the sport in 2018.
What to know: Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson was once called the “Baddest Man on the Planet" for his highlight-reel knockouts, running through the heavyweight division to become the youngest champion in the division at 20 in 1986 and the unified champion the following year.
Even after his last fight 15 years ago in the District, Iron Mike remains perhaps the most recognized name in the sport, with a post-fight career that has included a one-man show on Broadway, a memorable cameo in “The Hangover" and a cartoon series called “Mike Tyson Mysteries” that is clearly not intended for younger audiences.
In workout clips before officially announcing he would be getting back in the ring, Tyson showed he still possesses the one-punch knockout power promoters are counting on to draw pay-per-view buys, even if the fight is scheduled for just eight rounds at two minutes each.
“One thing you don’t lose is power," said Sugar Ray Leonard, the former five-division champion who is serving as a color commentator for the fight.