Like everything else on the planet, the sport of boxing came to an abrupt halt earlier this year when Covid-19 hit.
Okay, so the pandemic has not been great for any sport, but for boxing you could argue it has been particularly bad timing.
Right before the world ground to a halt, plenty of buzz had been building around boxing. That was in large part thanks to the February match up between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, which saw Fury win via a seventh-round technical knockout.
But all that hype and momentum for boxing was lost when the sport went on hold.
Since boxing came back, promoters have been doing their best to bring it to the masses in a safe yet exciting way, but it has been tough to generate the same levels of interest again.
And then – just when you thought 2020 could not get any more strange or any less predictable – up popped two icons of boxing history to change all that and recapture the public’s imagination.
Step into the ring, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
When Tyson released a short training clip of him looking amazing in May, rumours started flying and fans began getting fired up.
After the exhibition bout against Jones was announced, more people were talking about boxing again than had been in years.
But with Tyson aged 54 and having been in his prime in the late 1980s – and Jones aged 51 with his best years coming in the late 1990s and early 2000s – what can they really bring to the ring?
Well, it may be an exhibition fight, but with these two living legends it is becoming the most hotly anticipated exhibition fight in the history of boxing.
And anyway, it is not ‘just’ an exhibition fight. This is a chance for boxing to reel fans back in, especially those who dip in and out of the sport rather than being fully dedicated to it.
The fight itself is also full of intrigue, with two amazing athletes set to clash fists and styles with their different approaches.
And that is exactly what the sport of boxing – and indeed the rest of the world – needs right now. Some entertainment. Some fun. Some escape.
Tyson and Jones will meet on Saturday 28 November at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, USA.
Here is a round-up of the rest of this month’s boxing schedule.
Saturday 7 November at Seminole Hard Rock, Holywood, USA
- Devin Haney vs Yuriorkis Gamboa (WBC Lightweight Title)
- Filip Hrgovic vs Rydell Booker (Heavyweight)
Saturday 7 November at Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, USA
- Luis Ortiz vs Alexander Flores (Heavyweight)
Friday 13 November at Venue TBC, UK
- Mark Heffron vs Denzel Bentley II (British Middleweight Title)
Saturday 14 November at Wembley Arena, London, UK
- Katie Taylor vs Miriam Gutierrez (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO Lightweight Titles)
- Terri Harper vs Katharina Thanderz (WBC Super-Featherweight Title)
- Rachel Ball vs Jorgelina Guanini (WBA Bantamweight Title)
Saturday 14 November at MGM Grand Ballroom, Las Vegas, USA
- Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook (WBO Welterweight Title)
- Joshua Franco vs Andrew Moloney II (WBA ‘Regular’ Super-Flyweight Title)
Saturday 21 November at Wembley Arena, London, UK
- Conor Benn vs Sebastian Formella (Welterweight)
- Deion Jumah vs Chris Billam-Smith (British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight Titles)
Friday 27 November at H Arena, Nantes, France
- Tony Yoka vs Christian Hammer (Heavyweight)
Friday November 27, Seminole Hard Rock, Holywood, USA
- Daniel Jacobs vs Gabriel Rosado (Super-Middleweight)
- Demetrius Andrade vs Dusty Hernandez Harrison (Super-Middleweight)
Saturday 28 November, Venue TBC, UK
- Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce (European, British & Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles)
Saturday 28 November at Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, USA
- Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr (Heavyweight Exhibition Bout)
- Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson (Cruiserweight)
- Badou Jack vs Blake McKernan (Light-Heavyweight)
- Viddal Riley vs Rashad Coulter (Cruiserweight)
Saturday 28 November at Mohegan Sun, Connecticut, USA
- Chris Colbert vs Jaime Arboleda (WBA ‘Interim’ Super-Featherweight Title)