Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Picks: Expert Predictions for Tyson's Boxing Return

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Picks: Expert Predictions for Tyson's Boxing Return

UPDATE 11/26/2020: After details about the exhibition fight rules were circulated on November 24th, many sportsbooks canceled their Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. markets. Knockouts won’t be allowed, and there will not be a winner announced after the fight. Some proposition bets may still be available. If you have already made a bet, and the sportsbook in question canceled the event, your stake will be paid back to your betting account. 

Remember when we were wondering whether Mike Tyson would actually come out of retirement? Well, we now have our answer. And while he isn’t squaring off against initially selected names like fellow boxer Evander Holyfield or MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, he’s still getting set to battle another legend between the ropes in Roy Jones Jr.

What should you expect from this highly anticipated meeting? Loads. But before we take you through our expert tips and picks, take a look at the latest Tyson vs. Jones betting odds, courtesy of BetOnline. The odds were last updated on November 23, 2020:

Favorite betonline betonline Underdog
Mike Tyson -200 +160 Roy Jones Jr. 

Mike Tyson
To beat Roy Jones Jr


Be sure to double-check these lines prior to placing any wagers, as the odds will shift between now and the opening bell. If you need any help, visit our page on how to bet and pick boxing matches. But now, it’s time for our Tyson vs. Jones preview

Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Fight Preview

Mike Tyson 1

It’s finally happening. After 15 years away from the ring, Mike Tyson is returning to boxing, at the age of 54. 

Though his matchup with Roy Jones Jr. is being called an exhibition, it’s actually so much more. The fight is scheduled to go eight rounds instead of the originally proposed four. There will be three judges. The winner will receive a belt.

There are actual stakes.

Tyson, of course, has been deemed the odds-on favorite, but bettors have cause for skepticism. He has been away from boxing for the better part of two decades.

Jones, while only about three years younger, fought competitively into his late 40s. His last fight came in 2018, less than three years ago, and it went down as a victory. He lasted 10 rounds with Scott Sigmon and won in a unanimous decision, earning himself the vacant World Boxer Union cruiser title.

Spending even a couple of years away from the ring is a big deal. Your conditioning isn’t the same. Jones has gone through the same motions as Tyson in preparation for their November 28 matchup, no doubt experiencing a shock to his body as he ramps up his activity.

Still, the difference in retirement timelines matters. And not for nothing, but Jones is often considered the greatest fighter in the history of boxing. That might be a stretch—a big one—but his longevity speaks for itself.

So does Jones’ technique. He succeeded in the ring for so long on the back of his versatility. He led with left hooks when most would go with right. And his actual right hook was devastating. Opponents were also caught off guard by his style of defense. He evaded combinations with head and body movement rather than relying on his hand and arm position like most other boxers. And don’t get us started on Jones’ lightning-quick hands. He is a speed demon, with some of the most innovative combinations the sport has ever seen.

And yet…his opponent is still Tyson. That matters, too. Tyson is the proclaimed Baddest Man on the Planet. More than that, he was the youngest heavyweight champion in the history of boxing.

Younger fans might not remember how effective his peek-a-boo boxing style was in fights. His expertly crafted crouching stance allowed him to capably duck opponent punches and then come over the top with his own annihilatory hooks that left so many foes motionless. Forty-four of his 50 career victories were knockouts. That’s 88 percent of all his wins. And that’s absurd.

Sure, it would be foolish to expect the same version of Tyson all these years later. But he has talked endlessly about working his way into shape, and there’s no way he accepts a faceoff with Jones if he’s looking for a gimme opportunity. 

In fact, Tyson has hinted at this being the first of a multiple-fight return. He’s clearly taking his training seriously. That he plans to continue boxing, perhaps, after this matchup makes it easier to understand why he enters as the favorite.

Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Props

Mike Tyson Odds

In addition to the moneyline, the folks over at Bovada are offering a few props. Below are our two favorites.

Method of Victory

  • Tyson by KO, TKO, or DQ: +135
  • Tyson by Decision or Technical Decision: +350
  • Jones by KO, TKO, or DQ: +225
  • Jones by Decision or Technical Decision: +250
  • Draw: +1400

The first thing that stands out about these numbers is Jones laying shorter odds as a knockout winner than Tyson offers as a decision option. This can mean only one thing: Linemakers do not expect Tyson to go the distance if he wins.

That is not an unfair assumption. Tyson was not the win-by-decision type even in his prime. He clobbered opponents into knockouts. It’s a stretch to imagine him going eight rounds now after he’s been away from boxing for 15 years.

Mike Tyson
To win by technical decision


Total Rounds

  • Under 7.5 Rounds: -140
  • Over 7.5 Rounds: +140

Based on the under being set at 7.5 and given favorite odds, the expectation is clearly that this match will go to eight rounds. That doesn’t portend well for Tyson if this ends up being the case.

Related: It might be the case. The California State Athletic Commissioner has practically begged Tyson and Jones to avoid pursuing knockouts and instead aim to highlight their talents over the duration of an entire match. 

Oddsmakers clearly think they’ll heed his word. Well that, or they believe neither Jones nor Tyson will be close enough to top form to know the other out.

7.5 Rounds


Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Prediction

roy jones picks

Making our choice here is tough. If you could guarantee this fight would end in a knockout, our pick would be Tyson. But it feels more likely to end in a decision or technical decision.

We have no choice other than to pick Roy Jones.

It’s nothing against Tyson. He just hasn’t been in the ring for—once again—15 years. Jones has at least fought competitively in the semi-recent past.

On top of that, this matchup figures to favor decision outcomes. Peak Tyson or Jones might be hunting a knockout. The older versions of both probably don’t have the juice or they will go for the quick win.

If we operate under the assumption this fight goes the distance, Jones is our favorite, even though he’s laying underdog odds. Using this logic, you also have the chance to try driving up your return with the method of victory—and even a three-bet parlay. A bet slip of Jones’ moneyline (+160), by decision (+250), in over 7.5 rounds (+110) pays out better than 19-to-1.

Risky? For sure. You’re free to just take Jones’ moneyline. But we like the chances of that parlay panning out.

OSB Prediction: Roy Jones (+160)

Roy Jones Jr
To beat Mike Tyson


Check out the below list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which to use for all of your boxing bets:

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