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Mike Tyson sparring, looking fast and powerful at 54

Mike Tyson

By Max Seitelman: Mike Tyson posted a new video of him working out and appearing to spar. The video was a mix of flashes of Tyson sparring and hitting the pads, so it’s difficult to say for sure that the 54-year-old was sparring or if he was going through the motions.

Also, the speed of the video looks like he’s been sped up slightly, as makes Tyson look blinding fast. If this is the former IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson’s actual speed, then that’s impressive. However, that still won’t help him if he gets in there with an elite heavyweight like Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua.

Will Mike Tyson be making a comeback?

Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) is keeping boxing fans on pins and needles, wondering whether his goal is to come back for big money in exhibition bouts or to use the video clips to bring in the dough with endorsement deals.

The fact that Tyson hasn’t been talking about his charity matches lately seems to suggest that he might not return to the ring. That would mean that the purpose for Tyson showing off brief glimpses of his workout videos is to receive from fans and possibly to get product endorsement offers.

“Nobody ever had the combination of power and speed,” said Teddy Atlas to DAZN on Tyson. “If you have to make a comparison, it’s kind of like a large Pacquiao. Pacquiao had unbelievable speed and power. What great genetics of speed and power. Tyson had that as a big guy.

“When this silly video came out [of Tyson’s workout clips], he’s got the DNA of an athlete. This doesn’t go to bed. He’s got those genes. So when he decides to hit the pads even at 53 or whatever he is, it’s going to be pretty good, especially when no one is hitting back,” said Teddy Atlas on Tyson hitting the pads.

People are curious about Mike Tyson

“It’s going to be pretty good. If you take Hank Aaron, the great Hank Aaron, the great Willie Mays and you put them in a batting cage they’d be hitting line drives,” continued Atlas. They’d be hitting long balls. But you wouldn’t be saying you want to see him up against Verlander.

“You wouldn’t be saying that, but boxing is a little bit different. With Tyson, it’s a little bit different and people’s imagination. Tyson was a great catalyst for the imagination,” said Atlas.

“I think a lot of people will be curious to see because they remember when he was knocking guys out. They remember all the craziness, and they want to take a peek. If you heard something was coming to town in a particular show, you probably want to take a look to see.

“That’ what it is. People want to take a peek at is. Even the ones that didn’t see him, they heard about it. Let me take a peek at him and see what he looks like. I think we have a Frankenstein syndrome in this country,” said Atlas on the interest fans still have in Mike Tyson.

Teddy uses an excellent example in comparing Mike Tyson to Hank Arron and Willie Mays. It’s probably right. If you took Aaron and Mays at age 54 and put them in a batting cage, they would still show a glimpse of the players they were in their youth.

You might not see Mays and Aaron hit it out of the park, but you’d see their swings and some of the talents they once had. Tyson had so much hand speed in his prime; he was able to keep a lot of it. The fact that this era’s heavyweights are on the slow side makes Tyson stand out among them.

Tyson struggled when fighters stood up to him

“We like to see monsters made. We might not want them in our living room unless they’re on television, but we do want to say we were around when they walked t the earth,” said Teddy on Mike Tyson. “‘I was around when Tyson [fought].’ Tyson knew precisely what he was doing.

“He knew he could win this fight without throwing a punch because he understood that. And he had physicality and DNA that very few people get. He suffered when somebody stood up to him.

“It was like, ‘The gig is up.’ The greatest weakness of Tyson is he depends on other people to be weak for him to be strong. We should never do that in life.

“So when he could cover what he didn’t have mentally with his physical ability, you never knew there was a weakness there. But when somebody stood up to him, you could see it,” said Atlas.

Tyson did well when he was fighting guys that looked like they were afraid of him, but he fell apart when he took on Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, James ‘Buster’ Douglas, Kevin McBride, and Danny Williams.

Mike Tyson didn’t train hard enough at the end

You can’t count McBride and Williams, though, as having beaten Tyson due to their courageousness. They took advantage of Tyson being old and not in the best of shape when they fought them. When Tyson gassed out after three rounds, they’re able to capitalize on the situation.

When Tyson lost to Lewis, he was a shadow of his former self by that point in his career. This wasn’t the same Tyson that had obliterated Trevor Berbick and Michael Spinks.

Lewis wasn’t the same fighter he once was either, but he had a lot more in the tank. He trained hard for the Tyson fight, and he was ready to beat him. Tyson looked like he hadn’t taken the match seriously against Lewis, and he not surprisingly fell apart in the 8th round.

It would have been interesting to see how well Lewis would have done against a prime Tyson in 1986. Would Lewis have been able to stand up against Tyson when he was at his very best? I have my doubts. Tyson would have been a big favorite back then when he was still firing on all eight cylinders.


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