Former champs Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr will face each other for a new belt created for the bout by the WBC, which has also revealed that their fight will be judged by three former champions with scores declared between rounds.
The faces of both men in their prime, together with a circular Black Lives Matter logo next to a raised fist beside the image of the younger Tyson, feature on the light green belt unveiled ahead of the veterans’ clash on November 28.
A circular display of flags of countries surrounds the words Black Lives Matter in the middle of the design, which has been named the WBC Frontline Battle Belt by organizers.
While the California State Athletic Commission has warned that no knockout will be allowed, the governing body has announced the qualities that will allow either returning powerhouse to impress a panel of three champions who will serve as judges for the contest.
Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr will be competing for the WBC Frontline Battle Belt, I’m told. Here’s a pic of said belt, created just for them.They meet on 11/28. pic.twitter.com/CFwYAUMry9
Does everyone in boxing have a belt?Sheesh. pic.twitter.com/nd4NIUS42F
are they still calling this an exhibition?!? 🤣🤣🤣🤣👏🏻
Those attributes include “raw talent, athleticism and agility”, with a remote scoring system used to evaluate how the rivals are performing.
Both fighters are also voluntarily carrying out anti-drugs testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, according to the WBC.
Fans offered a mixed reaction to the news that 54-year-old Tyson and Jones Jr, who is three years his junior, will have the chance to win another strap in a sport not short of titles.
“Just what boxing needed – more belts,” joked one, while another said of the design: “If they take out the BLM and replace it with WBC Frontline Championship, that will be much better.
“It shouldn’t even be for a belt, considering that Tyson vs Jones Jr is an exhibition charity fight.”
Haha the most prestigious belt in boxing right there.
Just what boxing needed. More belts.
If they take out the BLM and replace it with WBC Frontline Championship that will be much better
Commission executives have insisted that neither hall-of-famer will be allowed to hurt each other when they finally meet at the Dignity Health Sports Park in California, but the introduction of a belt could add more edge to a showpiece that both fighters clearly want to win in style.
Ahead of the first pre-fight press conference later this week, Tyson shared a promotional video with his following of more than 13 million on Instagram that featured his claim to be an “annihilator” and “the greatest fighter since the conception of god.”
Rafael Cordeiro, the trainer with whom Tyson has looked impressive in sparring in the build-up, has said that “the best is yet to come” for the heavyweight icon and has even suggested that he could hold his own with current champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
That hype does not appear to be justified by Tyson’s most recent ring appearances, retiring against journeyman Kevin McBride in 2005 and being knocked out by Danny Williams a year earlier.
Jones Jr, meanwhile, is seen in the trailer bragging that “this is easy” and “I can do it all.”
The former four-weight champion has not fought since 2018 but is undefeated in four fights, winning the German version of the WBU cruiserweight title and a WBF cruiserweight belt in his last two contests.