There is just a week to go before Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Junior both return to the ring to square off in an eight-round exhibition bout at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
In the build-up to this clash of boxing legends, much has been made of the fearsome knockout power that Tyson carried in his prime, while his incredible body transformation has drawn praise from all corners.
However, Jones was no slouch when it came to throwing a shot either – as he proved when he separated Uganda’s Art Serwano from his senses in April 1992.
Jones, a decorated amateur who was cruelly denied Olympic glory by some terrible judging, made a flawless start to his professional career. The Pensacola-native had raced to 16-0 by the time he met Serwano in Reno, Nevada.
With Jones seeking to make his way into world title contention, Serrano was expected to provide the up-and-comer with the opportunity to gain valuable in-ring experience.
To that point, none of Jones’ opponents had seen the final bell. Not one of those sixteen men had been taken apart in the manner that Serwano was about to be, though.
After a cagey start to opening round of the contest, Jones threw a swift jab followed by an overhand right to the temple of his opponent.
The perfectly-timed shot, described as Jones’ ‘hardest punch of his career’, absolutely crushed Serwano, who was quickly rendered unconscious. Several minutes passed before he was able to regain his feet.
The bout was officially halted at one minute and 40 seconds of the first round – and Jones had sent notice to the world of his punching power with a highlight-reel stoppage.
Following his demolition of Serwano, it would not take Jones long to capture his first world-level honours. Jones defeated fellow-future legend Bernard Hopkins by decision to win the IBF middleweight title just five fights later and would never look back.
His eventual professional record of 66-9 disguises in some ways just how great of a fighter Jones was.
Widely recognised as one of the sport’s pound-for-pound best until the mid-2000’s, Jones held world championships from middleweight all the way up to heavyweight during his career.
Whilst Tyson will inevitably receive the lion-share of media coverage heading into the bout, there are two iconic fighters heading into battle next Saturday night. Jones is not coming just to make up the numbers.