For as impressed as the sporting world was with the efforts of Mike Tyson to get back into ring shape for his comeback fight with Roy Jones Jr, few believed that he would have the stamina to last the distance in the pair's exhibition bout.
It was widely thought that Tyson's best chance of success would be to get to Jones in the early rounds. After that, many believed that the younger would take control as Iron Mike faded.
The 54-year-old proved the doubters wrong in a big way on Saturday night, though. In his first bout since ending his professional career all the way back in 2005, Tyson pressed the action for much of his contest with Jones - routinely landing hard shots to the body that forced his opponent to hold for much of the contest.
Yes, the fight was only contested over eight rounds of two minutes each (at the insistence of the California State Athletic Commission, who regulated the bout). However, Tyson was active for the whole 16 minutes and looked in condition to have fought on further if allowed. Jones, on the other hand, was clearly feeling the pace of the bout from its early rounds onwards.
How many punches did Mike Tyson throw against Roy Jones Jr?
According to Compubox data, as per Insider, Tyson threw 193 punches during the course of his bout with Jones. Iron Mike landed with 67 of these, giving him a connect percentage of 34.7%
Jones, by contrast, only landed at a rate of 15.7% in the fight - connecting with just 37 of the 236 punches he threw.
The bigger and more significant shots also came from Tyson, who was clearly happy with his evening's work when he spoke to the media afterwards.
Confirming that he intends to fight again in another exhibition-style contest to benefit his charitable work, Tyson spoke about how much preparing for the bout with Jones had helped his mindset.
"I just want to continue doing this from a humanitarian perspective," insisted Tyson, per Insider. "Before, it was all about me… a hot chick, a nice car, and the boats and planes, but that doesn't do it for me anymore.
"I went another way. I help somebody else, I guess. I like my pigeons, fancy clothes, but other than that I don't want anything else out of life. But, oh of course my children and my wife! But also my pigeons, clothes, and my joint."
Tyson, a noted marijuana user, also revealed that he had smoked in the moments leading up to the fight.
"Yeah, absolutely," Tyson replied when asked the question by a member of the media. "Listen, I can't stop smoking," he said. "I smoke during fights. I have to smoke. Sorry, I'm a smoker. I smoked every day, I never stopped smoking."
Tyson did, though, reiterate that he has no desire to return to the heavy party lifestyle which he adopted earlier in his life.
When asked about his plans for the morning following the Jones bout, Tyson was clear: "I'm going to work-out. It's my lifestyle. I'll never be fat, cokehead Mike anymore."
Despite Tyson's dominance in the punch stats over Jones, their bout was unofficially ruled a draw by a panel of former world champions. That "result" did not bother Tyson one bit after the fight, however.
"I was just happy to be in there with him and go the eight rounds," said Tyson."The scorecards didn't mean nothing to me. Everyone knew I could knock people out [but] going the distance is real fighting — that's endurance. You're not going to knock everybody out. I learned that.
"I wanted to go the distance. This is all about going the distance. I was interested in that and I'm training for duration now, rather than the quick kill.
"At 54 I realise I didn't know nothing as a champ — that was just youth. My body feels splendid. I'd like to beat it up some more because it feels great now."
Mike Tyson, then, intends to fight on. His bout with Jones was far from the farce that some had predicted and was an undoubted commercial success.
The iconic heavyweight has had many ups and downs throughout his life, but it was great to see him perform with such credit this weekend.News Now - Sport News