It may be little more than a glorified sparring session, but the betting on Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones Jr has commenced and online bookmakers are siding with ‘Iron Mike’.
Two of the biggest names in boxing history will meet in an eight-round ‘exhibition fight’ on November 28 in Los Angeles, and SportNation were the first to open a book, siding with Tyson at 5/7.
That made Jones Jr – the younger man but also the smaller – a 21/20 slight underdog in a fight many appear to be looking forward to despite the two fighters’ advancing years.
The odds have since moved further in Tyson's favour, with VBet going 4/9 on the heavyweight legend, making Jones Jr a 15/8 chance.
Tyson is 54 and has not fought since losing to Irishman Kevin McBride in 2005, while 51-year old Jones has kept himself busy at a low level over the years without properly retiring, last fighting in 2018.
The California State Athletic Commission have stressed that this is not a real, sanctioned fight, and its status as an exhibition means both fighters will be encouraged not to attempt to knock each other out.
However, boxers do get knocked out in sparring all the time and once gloves start to land, instinct could take over and big blows could start to land.
There is an element of doubt over how bookmakers plan to settle bets though, since knockouts will be discouraged and no judges will be present to score the bout. There will be no referee in the ring either, meaning the bookies will likely have to rely on whatever decision the WBC come to.
As if the novelty of the main attraction wasn’t enough, former New York Nicks guard Nate Robinson and YouTube star Jake Paul will fight on the undercard.
The card is taking place in Los Angeles’ Staples Centre, California, meaning UK fight fans can expect the main event to take place some time between 4am and 5am.
The undercard will begin around 1am GMT and BT Sport have the broadcasting rights in the UK, with the first hour of the show available for all subscribers. However, the main event is behind a £19.99 box office pay-wall.
It is the latest in a series of much-maligned exhibition boxing fights. In December 2018, former five-weight champion Floyd Mayweather beat Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa inside the first of three scheduled rounds of boxing.
Despite being an exhibition, the fight generated $9million and now seemingly serves as a blueprint for aging fighters to prolong their career earnings.