Ryan Kavanaugh, one of the people involved in arranging Saturday’s showdown between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr, has hit out at reports that the fight will take place under a bizarre set of rules, including a “no knockout” clause.
Saturday’s bout between the two fiftysomething fighters has generated significant combat curiosity among fans as to how the two ring legends will look now that they are inarguably past their primes, but reports this week that the fight was to be governed by a series of stifling rules had led to some questioning the fight’s integrity.
Per Andy Foster of the California State Athletic Commission, the fight, or “exhibition contest”, was to take place under a strict “no knockouts” policy, and if either man received a cut at any point in the eight rounds, the bout would be waved off immediately.
These rather oppressive rules seemed to knock the wind out of the sails of fights fans, many of whom declared online that their interest in the fight had significantly dwindled as a result.
But Ryan Kavanaugh of Triller, who are broadcasting this weekend’s fight, says that Foster couldn’t have been more wrong in his detailing of what the fight will look like – and there WILL be the possibility of the fight ending via knockout.
“That commissioner, Andy, who stated that — I have not had a direct discussion with him, but we’ve been told by the people who do that that was him trying to make a name for himself in a magazine,” Kavanaugh told Variety.
“A knockout is allowed,” he added. “We heard someone say there’s no knockouts. A knockout is absolutely allowed…If someone’s bleeding, the fight’s not going to stop.
“[CSAC] approved the fight. They will have a ref there. The ref will be overseeing the fight under are all normal fight professional rules, with a few exceptions.”
Mike Tyson’s comeback against Jones was never thought to have been a hard sell, but Kavanaugh is clearly diving deep into his repertoire to satisfy potential pay-per-view buyers that a fight is going to break out in the ring on Saturday, not some sort of glorified sparring session.
He admits that some of the rules have been modified, with the rounds being two minutes long instead of three and both men wearing 12oz gloves instead of 10oz gloves. In the end though, Kavanaugh says those changes will be immaterial.
“That’s like putting in an extra Kleenex between two trucks crashing,” he said.