Iron Mike Tyson: The return of the Grand champ
MIKE TYSON proved he hasn’t lost his unbelievable speed and power as the heavyweight legend prepared for a sensational boxing return.
The iconic puncher, now 53, has revealed he will make a comeback – 15 years after retiring – to compete in exhibition bouts for charity.
Proving he has still got it, Tyson uploaded a video on his Instagram showing off his trademark speed and power.
Tyson soon established himself as the most fearsome fighter in the world after thrashing Trevor Berbick in 1986 to become the youngest heavyweight champion of all time, aged 20.
But his destructive run came to an end in 1990 as James ‘Buster’ Douglas scored a famous upset, knocking out Iron Mike in Tokyo, Japan.
Tyson went on to spend three years in prison after being convicted of rape in 1992, before returning to the ring in 1995.
He won the WBC and WBA titles in 1996 but in the same year lost to Evander Holyfield and infamously bit his ear off in their rematch a year later.
The knockout artist, who also lost to Lennox Lewis, retired in 2005 after losing to Kevin McBride and left the sport with a record of 50–6.
He remains one of the most celebrated heavyweights of all time.
Speaking on an Instagram Live with American rapper T.I., Tyson said: “I’ve been hitting the mitts for the last week.
“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****** like me.
“I do two hours on cardio, I do the bike and the treadmill for an hour, then I do some light weights, 300, 250 reps.
“Then I start my day with the boxing thing, I go in there and hit the mits, 30 minutes, 25 minutes, start getting in better condition.
“I’m start to put those combinations together. I’m in pain, I feel like three guys kicked the s*** out of me.”
The reformed Baddest Man on the Planet has been using lockdown time to get in shape, as he wants to lace up the gloves once again.
He added: “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.”
Tyson boxed Corey Sanders in a 2006 exhibition as part of his 2006 World Tour, which was organised to help relieve some of his well-documented money troubles.
Who should Mike Tyson face in his boxing return ?
Like it or not, Mike Tyson, 53, appears to be headed back to a boxing ring soon.
Maybe the world isn’t ready for such an astonishing spectacle, but something tells me that some of the group of consumers who made Floyd Mayweather’s 2017 crossover megafight against Conor McGregor one of the best selling pay-per-view events in history will be interested enough in Tyson’s next move to make it worth his while.
But who should Tyson, aka The Baddest Man on the Planet, take on in his boxing return?
Here are several ideas for Iron Mike to consider.
The most obvious opponent choice for Tyson’s return to boxing would be Evander Holyfield. Like Tyson, Holyfield, 57, also announced he was planning a comeback fight in recent weeks and that he would love for it to be a charity exhibition against his old rival, Tyson.
Holyfield twice defeated Tyson during the 1990s. The Real Deal stopped Tyson in the eighth round back in 1996 in one of the most shocking upsets in boxing history, and he won again via disqualification a year later in the infamous “Bite Fight” rematch.
Still, the two men enjoy a solid relationship with each other these days, and it would make some sense for them to seek fights against each other as both are in their 50s, especially if it’s a charity exhibition match like both have separately suggested it would be.
Besides, Tyson and Holyfield will forever be linked together through the annals of history. Why not just lean into that and give fight fans one more show?
While Tyson and Holyfield were incredibly popular during their heydays, Lennox Lewis probably bests them both in terms of where he actually ranks among the other all-time great heavyweight champions in history.
On top of that, Lennox bested both Tyson and Holyfield when he fought them.
The 54-year-old stopped Tyson in the eighth round back in 2002 in a savagely one-sided affair. Lewis also went 1-0-1 against Holyfield, though most observers thought that draw in 1998 should have also gone his way.
Like Tyson vs. Holyfield 3, Tyson facing Lewis in a rematch would be the ultimate nostalgia move, and it would probably draw a lot of interest from fight fans around the world. Unlike Holyfield, Lewis doesn’t seem to be actively gunning for the gig, but he did at least tweet about training again when the news first broke about Tyson’s plan.
Moreover, if Tyson is interested in charity work like he told rapper T.I. a couple of weeks ago on Instagram Live, Lewis would be another prime partner to consider.
Anybody he wants ?
While everyone is sure to have an opinion about what the 53-year-old former heavyweight champion should and shouldn’t do in terms of his boxing comeback, the truth of the matter is that Tyson should be able to choose his own destiny so long as he can pass the battery of medical tests professional fighters are subjected to for licensing.
After all, Tyson was one of the best boxing champions in the history of the sport. That means he knows how to take care of himself once the bell rings, and judging by the first and second training videos he posted to social media, Tyson would at least be a formidable enough offensive force for short bursts of time.
Tyson said via Facebook Live last week, “I feel unstoppable now. The gods of war have reawakened me, ignited my ego, and want me to go to war again. I feel like I’m [young] again.”
That’s easier said than done, but sometimes the only way a fighter truly knows whether the “gods of war” are on his side again is by stepping back inside the ropes and testing the theory out.
If Tyson chooses to do that, he should be able to pick his opponent, too.