Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson returned to the sport and brought an end to the 15 years of inactivity by playing an engaging draw with Roy Jones Jr.

Tyson, took on 51-year-old Jones in a high-profile pay-per-view eight-round ‘exhibition’ bout at the spectator-less Staples Center amid the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday evening.

The four-hour live event — supported, commemorated and scored by the World Boxing Council (WBC) — had rounds which were 60 seconds shorter than usual two minutes, instead of three. The fight was sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, according to CNN.

Tyson, 54, said he was happy with the draw and made clear his future pursuits would not be in a professional capacity.

“This is bigger than championships, we are humanitarians, we are helping people. I’m happy I got this under the belt and I’ll continue to go further and do more,” he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

Rap artist Snoop Dogg, who turned as a ringside commentator, said it was like watching “two of my uncles fighting at a barbecue”.

Tyson, who became the youngest heavyweight champion of all time when he defeated Trevor Berbick in 1986 aged 20, won 50 of his 58 professional fights before retiring after his loss to Kevin McBride in 2005.

–IANS

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