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Mike Tyson Is Still the Biggest Name That Boxing Has To Offer

The 54-year-old fighter will take on the 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday night. No one really knows what to expect.

Mike Tyson celebrates after defeating James Tillis in a heavyweight fight on May 3, 1986, at the Civic Center in Glens Falls, N.Y. Tyson won the bout on a unanimous decision in 10 rounds. 

Mike Tyson celebrates after defeating James Tillis in a heavyweight fight on May 3, 1986, at the Civic Center in Glens Falls, N.Y. Tyson won the bout on a unanimous decision in 10 rounds. 

Photographer: Focus On Sport/Getty Images North America

Novelty boxing matches have a long and colorful history. Fifty years ago, The Super Fight depicted the results of a fictional contest between Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano, at that time the only two undefeated heavyweight champions in history. Released in 1970 at 1,500 movie theaters around the world for one night only, the film generated close to $35 million in today’s adjusted dollars. 

Marciano was 45 years old at the time, had not fought professionally for 13 years, suffered from obesity and serious back problems, and did not feel camera-ready after losing his hair. But a cash-strapped 27-year-old Ali, caught in the middle of his exile from boxing after refusing to be drafted to the Vietnam War, signed on to participate after being offered $10,000.