By: Hans Themistode
At one point in time, former Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson did not need to be referred to by name. Simply say “the baddest man on the planet” and everyone knew exactly who you were talking about. Before James “Buster” Douglas pulled off the biggest upset in boxing history in 1990, no one ever thought he could lose.
It wasn’t just that he was winning, but how he was doing it. Once Tyson stepped foot inside of the ring, it didn’t make sense to leave your seat for a bathroom break. The match wasn’t going to last very long.
It’s been 15 years since Tyson last entered the ring, and 24 years since he looked like the man who could take down a Rhino. But even as his grey hairs have mellowed him out, Tyson has the fight itch again.
“I’ve been hitting the mitts for the last week,” Tyson said recently on Instagram Live with rapper T.I.
At 53 years of age, Tyson doesn’t have his eye on fighting for a world title. Instead, he’s getting himself in respectable shape to compete in a charity matchup. But the former world champ is finding out that getting himself even halfway ready for a fight isn’t as easy as it used to be.
“That’s been tough, my body is really jacked up and really sore from hitting the mitts. I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring. I think I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape. I want to go to the gym and get in shape to be able to box three or four-round exhibitions for some charities and stuff. Some charity exhibitions, make some money, help some homeless and drug-affected motherf***ers like me.”
Matchups against your normal average Joe is the only agenda for Tyson. In his prime, he would love to jump into the ring against names such as unified champion Anthony Joshua or WBC belt holder Tyson Fury. But this isn’t the mid 90s.
While Tyson doesn’t have unrealistic championship expectations, his former trainer believes there’s nothing unrealistic about it at all.
“Boxing’s not the same now. I’d guarantee that if Mike Tyson trained for six weeks, he’d knock Deontay Wilder out in a minute,” Fenech told The Sporting News
“He would hit them. If these guys are getting knocked out by Tyson Fury – who’s a great fighter, but not a huge puncher – Tyson would kill these guys. They’re not on the same level today. Mike today, I reckon if he trained he could still beat these guys. Fury’s got these other skills, but Deontay Wilder’s got a punch and nothing else. If you punch him, it’s over. And Mike don’t miss.”
Fenech may have all of the confidence in the world in his former fighter but at the moment, Tyson is just simply trying to whip himself into decent shape.
“I do two hours on cardio. I do the bike and the treadmill for an hour, then I do some light weights, 250 to 300 reps,” said Tyson. “Then I start my day with the boxing thing. I go in there and hit the mitts, 30 minutes, 25 minutes, start getting in better condition.”