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Media Review: Mike Tyson comeback postponed

Mike Tyson vs roy jones
Mike Tyson's ‘exhibition’ with Roy Jones Jnr will now take place in November and there’s calls for Fury-Wilder III to be scrapped, writes George Gigney

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In a slower week for boxing news, it was the reported postponement of an exhibition bout between two middle-aged men that seemed to cause the biggest stir. Yes, Mike Tyson’s bizarre upcoming tussle with fellow legend Roy Jones Jnr is apparently no longer taking place on September 12, according to The Ring and The Athletic.

The Ring first broke the news with sources claiming Tyson’s team requested the postponement to “maximise revenue,” and Jones agreed. The new date for the eight-rounder, according to The Ring, is November 28.

It remains unclear why this new date would help them generate more money, though it does mean they won’t potentially be clashing with Canelo Alvarez’ next fight (mooted for September 12) or a UFC card on the same night. Coronavirus lockdown measures may also have eased by that point to allow some fans to attend, though that doesn’t seem likely in the US.

The Ring report also detailed how complications have arisen around drug testing – which will now be administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) – and over how the bout will be regulated to prevent it from becoming anything more than a glorified sparring session. Jones himself has expressed concerns over what he should do if Tyson decides to go all out.

Whatever the case, it gives us longer to continue focusing on real fights and who knows, maybe they’ll both grow tired of the whole thing before November and just call it off.

FOX Sports announced their upcoming Premier Boxing Champions schedule just a few weeks after Showtime did the same, and to say FOX got the raw end of the deal wouldn’t be an exaggeration.

The schedule centres around a November 21 PPV card headlined by Errol Spence vs Danny Garcia. It’s a good fight, but it baffles me how it’s on PPV, particularly when you consider Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 – which would also be a FOX PPV – is being targeted for the following month.

Other fights on the schedule include Shawn Porter vs Sebastian Formella and Erislandy Lara vs Greg Vendetti. Like I said; raw end of the deal. FOX also confirmed two cards later in the year – one on Boxing Day – which, as of yet, have no fights booked. Always a good sign.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have made some changes and they won’t issue long suspensions for athletes testing positive for recreational drugs out of competition. Rather than being banned for two years, those athletes will now be banned for one to three months, according to Reuters. If an athlete agrees to enrol in a rehabilitation program the ban is reduced to one month.

The changes will come into effect next year and will apparently allow WADA to give more focus to catching athletes who use performance enhancing drugs.

The changes themselves aren’t likely to have a major effect on boxing, as fighters not named Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr are rarely caught for recreational drugs, but the changes signal a willingness from WADA to adapt to the times.

In related news, Jarrell Miller has seen his temporary suspension extended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It wasn’t made clear just when his suspension is extended until, but let’s hope it’s a significant amount of time – or, better yet, indefinitely.

In more sombre related news, EFE reported that former two-weight world champion Ricardo Mayorga has agreed to enter a rehabilitation center to overcome his addiction to alcohol and drugs.

There have been worrying reports that Mayorga, 46, has been seen stumbling around the streets of Managua, his hometown, a shell of his former self. Former champion Rosendo Alvarez has spearheaded the campaign to get Mayorga help, telling EFE: “The objective is to get him away from drugs, away from his vices and away from bad company.”

We very much hope Mayorga gets the help he needs and is able to live a healthy and happy life.

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In the latest edition of ‘Eddie Hearn’s demands’, the innovative promoter is calling for Fury-Wilder 3 to be scrapped. Well, if certain conditions arise, that is. Hearn was reacting to comments promoter Bob Arum made to SiriusXM, claiming that the planned December 19 date for the fight may need to be pushed to February of next year if lockdown measures have not eased enough by then.

Hearn, speaking to IFL, said: “If [Arum] does [postpone the fight], then I think that fight should be cancelled.

“I think that Dillian Whyte should be enforced immediately as the mandatory for Tyson Fury. We’ve already got a deadline of the end of February, why can’t they do the fight?

“Yes, we know there’s a pandemic, but [Anthony] Joshua’s fighting. All the other major fights are going to take place so I don’t see how that’s even an argument.”

For context, the WBC have put a February deadline on the WBC heavyweight champion facing mandatory challenger Whyte, who has been waiting for over 1,000 days and faces Alexander Povetkin in just over a week.

To an extent, Hearn has a point; other big fights are set to take place amid the pandemic and there’s no clear reason – beside a desire to make more money – that Fury-Wilder 3 couldn’t also happen in December.

However, to call for the fight to be cancelled is obviously extreme. The WBC have already reaffirmed that the winner of the bout must face Whyte in their next fight, or risk losing the belt.

In a separate interview with IFL, Hearn revealed that he and rival promoter Frank Warren recently spoke on the phone for the first time after the latter left Hearn a voicemail. Apparently, all they agreed was to hold proper talks once Hearn’s ‘Fight Camp’ has concluded, but it’s still something.

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