Returning legend Roy Jones Jr. is demonstrating that some of his once vaunted hand speed remains ahead of his veteran’s clash with Mike Tyson on November 28.
Four-weight champion Jones, 51, will meet former undisputed heavyweight king Tyson, 54, at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, in an eight-round exhibition bout that has captured the imagination beyond the usual reach of boxing.
And, according to current trainer Tony Yankello, the quicksilver hands of Jones (66-9, 47 KOs) are still in evidence as the duo make preparations for ‘Iron Mike’ down in Florida.
“His hand speed is still incredible,” Yankello told The Sun. “I don’t think his hand speed has decreased at all, he’s as fast as he was when I [first] worked with him nine, almost ten years ago.
“His mobility is not maybe quite the same but he still has great agility, he’s kept himself in great shape. He still trains fighters so he’s been very active in the gym. He’s a lot more active than Mike Tyson.
“Mike Tyson’s last fight was in 2005 whereas Roy’s was in 2018, so he’s not been out the ring anywhere near as long as Mike has. Mike looks in great shape as well but it’s a different type of shape, your body can look in great shape but boxing shape is completely different shape.
“Boxing is a different animal, when you’ve been out the game that long it’s very, very difficult to get back in boxing shape. I know Mike’s been working on it a long time and he’s going to be in the best shape he can possibly be in but Roy has been more active whereas Mike has had a lot more transformations in his body.
“There’s a lot of pride and ego for both guys,” added Yankello. “I think the intensity of the event and magnitude is definitely something that has brought the dedication and desire and passion for honing his craft and being in great shape.
“A lot of the things [Jones] did in the lighter weight classes, at middleweight and super-middleweight, those will be the things that he will bring to the table for this fight. Knowing the blueprint that has given Mike Tyson trouble in the past are things Roy does very well.”