01 Jan Triller issues statement in response to rules for upcoming Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition
The upcoming showdown between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. has received a lot of attention, but much of the talk surrounding the matchup has been about its rules and regulations.
The California State Athletic Commission is sanctioning the bout, which takes place just outside Los Angeles, as an exhibition with no official winner, CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster explained in an interview with MMA Fighting earlier this week. The exhibition will be contested under eight, two-minute rounds, and the boxers will wear 12-ounce gloves.
No official winner will be declared, Foster said, because unlike a sanctioned fight, there are no judges in an exhibition bout.
In the wake of Foster’s comments, the social media platform Triller — which promotes this weekend’s event — issued a statement appearing to contradict that information, saying a winner will indeed be announced for the bout and scoring will be done by judges from the WBC.
In a statement sent to MMA Fighting, Triller co-owner Ryan Kavanaugh said the company isn’t flouting the rules and regulations set forth by the California commission.
“We at Triller have no issues with the commission or Mr. Foster and did not mean to contradict anything that may have been said by them,” Kavanaugh wrote in an email to MMA Fighting. “We enjoy a strong almost two-decade relationship with the Governor and mayor’s office and the state of California and would appreciate if the record could be set straight.
“Specifically, we never meant to imply that CSAC was scoring this or deciding on a winner. We are 100 percent clear that is not correct. CSAC has provided a referee, and that ref is there to make sure the fighters are safe and to make sure they fight under the rules. He will not be scoring the fight nor deciding a winner. Rather the WBC has been engaged to both score and elect a winner. They have three judges who will judge remotely (due to COVID and like other fights have been provided recently) on behalf of the WBC, and not on behalf of CSAC, who will be deciding the winner and judging the fight.”
In a separate statement, Triller said WBC judges are “scoring and a winner will be determined using those scores as a basis.”
So while the WBC will declare a winner, the California commission has not sanctioned any judges and will not recognize the result.
“There’s no winner going to be announced,” Foster said on Tuesday. “I do think that’s very important to get out there. The unofficial scores are for entertainment only and that’s done by the WBC remotely. Not by the commission cause the commission didn’t credential those judges because of COVID. It’s for entertainment purposes only. There’s no official winner at the end of this.”
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman deferred to the CSAC in a statement sent to Yahoo Sports.
“The only authority is the California State Athletic Commission,” Sulaiman wrote. “The WBC is celebrating this great event and providing a special award of honor to both Tyson and Jones Jr. with a unique WBC belt.
“For added entertainment and technology demonstration, there will be three celebrity judges in an unofficial capacity.”
As Foster previously stated and Sulaiman confirmed, both Tyson and Jones Jr. will receive a title belt after their bout is finished. The event can be purchased on pay-per-view for $49.95 and carries a full undercard that features fully sanctioned fights.
For his part, Foster previously stated that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the matchup between Tyson and Jones Jr. But the rules are in place for a reason because this bout is being contested as an exhibition.
“It’s going to be fun,” Foster said. “It is what it is and it’s not more than it is but it’s going to be fun. They’re both wonderful champions. These are legends of the sport.”
In Kavanaugh’s initial statement about the rules, he stated the exhibition was more than just fun. Bets could be taken on the outcome via official partner DraftKings in three states: New Jersey, New Hampshire and Illinois.