The California State Athletic Commission once said that Tyson vs. Jones Jr is nothing but an exhibition match.
For Rafael Cordeiro, a longtime MMA and muay Thai coach, the 56-year-old “Iron Mike” won’t hold back.
“Two legends in the ring, they both are going for the finish,” Cordeiro said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “The fight has three judges [sic] and a referee, so it’s a real fight and must have a winner. It’s no longer an exhibition, someone has to win. We’ll try to win from start to finish. … Mike is not going there for an exhibition, he’s going there to fight.”
A no-knockout rule would be difficult to enforce, especially when you have someone like former heavyweight champion Tyson in a ring, but CSAC executive director Andy Foster said “they shouldn’t be going for a knockout.”
“We’re on a sparring week in the gym and that’s it,” Cordeiro said 16 days before the pay-per-view event. “That’s something he really enjoys. No one spars a full month for an exhibition. It will be a real fight. We respect Roy because Roy is coming for a real fight, and that’s what makes this match so different. They are both coming for a real fight.”
In his prime, fans would always tune in for a Mike Tyson match wondering how long it would take for him to knock his opponent out as 23 of his professional wins came inside one round. Training three times a day for the past few months, the veteran hasn’t lost his hunger.