Mike Tyson has vowed to knockout Roy Jones Jr if the opportunity presents itself and claimed he is treating their exhibition fight like a ‘search and destroy’ mission.
The former world heavyweight champion is making a sensational return to the ring in California against fellow boxing legend Jones Jr on September 12 in an eight-round exhibition 15 years after his last fight.
The California State Athletic Commission, who sanctioned the fight, warned both Tyson and Jones Jr last month that their fight is more of a glorified sparring session than anything else and that they should not be looking to inflict damage upon each other.
Commission executive director Andy Foster told Boxing Scene: ‘We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.
‘It’s an exhibition. They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other.
‘They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout.’
However, a bullish Tyson appeared to ignore those warnings by insisting he would try to knockout Jones Jr.
‘This is search and destroy and I’m looking forward to recapturing my glory,’ he told TMZ.
‘If the opportunity comes [for a knockout], I’m always looking for it. We’re both professionals. We know how to handle ourselves and whatever happens, happens.
‘The fighting game is what I’m about and hurting people is what I’m about.’
It comes after Tyson, 54, opened up on the internal psychological battle he is fighting ahead of returning to the ring again against Jones Jr, who has been sparring Chris Eubank Jr for preparation.
‘My ego’s f***ing with me and I’m saying, “N***a, you think you fly? You ain’t s**”,’ Tyson told Triller, who will show the pay-per-view fight at an astronomical cost of £39.
‘An amateur can get in here and kick your ass, you better get on top of your game.
‘You want to get embarrassed in front of these f***ing people?’ Then the other ego says, “F*** you n***a, watch what I’m gonna do.”
‘You don’t know what goes on up here.’