Mike Tyson is one of the most physically gifted boxers of all time.
If there was any question about that, the latest video of the 53-year-old former heavyweight champion training confirms it. He was delivering combination punches and a right hook that looked like it could bend an iron pipe at a 90-degree angle. It was similar to the speed and power combination that led to 44 of Tyson’s opponents getting knocked out.
You just don’t see 53-year-olds moving like this. And the scariest part? It was Tyson’s first time hitting mitts in nearly 10 years, according to his trainer, Rafael Cordeiro.
“As soon as we started training, I said ‘my lord,’ ” Cordeiro said to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “I didn’t expect what I saw. I saw a guy with the same speed and power as guys 21, 22 years old.”
The video and Cordeiro’s comments beg the question: Could Tyson win a heavyweight fight today?
Let’s rewind to the end of Tyson’s career.
Iron Mike had three losses in his last four fights. There was no shame in losing to Lennox Lewis, but a knockout at the hands of Danny Williams and quitting after six rounds against Kevin McBride was a sour ending to Tyson’s career, but it’s clear he wasn’t as motivated.
Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003. He got $5.5 million in the loss to Williams. In his final fight against McBride, Tyson weighed in at a heavy 233 pounds. “He hovered around 220 pounds in his prime.
Cordeiro made it clear that Tyson would not return if he wasn’t motivated. That’s the key because if he’s motivated, Iron Mike could still drop most opponents with one devastating hook.
The speed and power are still there, so there’s little doubt the former heavyweight champion could step in a ring today. Durability would be a big concern. It’s hard to see Tyson lasting more than four or five rounds, but then again, not many of his fights did anyway.
Sign me up for Tyson-Holyfield III.
Offseason chit-chat is the best. Workout videos make every player look like future Hall of Famers, and comments about being better than ever roll off the tongue and become salivating for fans to hear.
The latest example is Odell Beckham Jr.
“I would honestly say this is probably going to be one of my best seasons,” Beckham said in a YouTube video. “Bigger, stronger, faster -- this my time."
Beckham may be right, but while he doesn’t drop passes often, this decision is out of his hands. Only Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield and the offensive line can make that statement.
Beckham topped 90 catches and 1,300 yards in his first three seasons with the Giants, but he has failed to do so since. That’s not because he has lost a step; it has more to do with injuries and subpar quarterback play.
In the YouTube video, Beckham discussed how he has fully healed from all of the injuries he played through last season. Even with the hip and groin pain, he was getting open, but either Mayfield couldn’t deliver an accurate pass, or the offensive line couldn’t hold up long enough for his numbers to show it.
Mayfield is entering his third season as a starter, which should lead to better numbers. The Browns also drafted Alabama tackle Jedrick Willis in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.