Mike Tyson Still Has It

53 years old. 53. Not 43. Not 33. Not 23.

Jim Rome
May 05, 2020 - 9:41 am
Mike Tyson

USA Today

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A clip recently went viral. A clip involving Mike Tyson. I’m going to play it for you right now. Are you ready? Probably not. Trust me. But I’m playing it anyway. Roll it.

That is Mike Tyson hitting the mitts and then the body pads of a trainer. You don’t have to be watching on tv to know just how freaky that is. Because that isn’t Mike Tyson in his prime. That is Mike Tyson now. Mike Tyson at 53 years old and he still has crazy speed, power, and control.

53 years old. 53. Not 43. Not 33. Not 23. 53. And he’s still doing that.

I’m not going to get into some sort of dumb argument that Mike Tyson could or should get back in the ring now. No he should not. His last fight, 15 years ago against Kevin McBride was a truly embarrassing loss to a pretty unremarkable fighter.

But this isn’t about whether Tyson should get into the ring again with another boxer. This is about the fact that boxers are just different.

I’m sure at some point, maybe after a few pops with your friends, you’ve had that conversation about how much money you’d have to be paid to step in the ring with Mike Tyson. And you’ve probably come up with a number. And whatever that number is, it’s too low.

Any normal person who says they could hang with Mike Tyson that they could last a couple rounds, or even a round, or even a minute, is a liar.

That’s Mike Tyson at 53. You hear that and to quote the great Pete McMeat, you’ve got a big dump in your pants.

And Pete would be would be right. And that’s Tyson at 53.

Imagine him 30 years ago. Never mind how long could a lay person survive in Mike’s world. Most world class fighters looked like they were about to cry and had a big dump in their pants when they stepped between the ropes. And no, you couldn’t last a minute with this guy even today. One punch and it’s over. And I’m not even talking about a punch to the head or a kidney shot. Wherever this guy hits you, you’re down. For good.

They are just cut from a different cloth. They are built differently from normal folks. It’s like saying that you could run with Usain Bolt or play one-on-one with LeBron, except Bolt and LeBron aren’t going to punch you in the face.

Mike may not possess the same lateral movement and the ability to duck and weave like he did in his prime: but you DO NOT want to be standing in front of him right now. Which makes it even more terrifying that he admitted to me on my ShowTime show once he wanted TO KILL ME.

We weren’t even in the same studio. He was on a satellite link-up and I was still scared. And that’s without seeing him training like that clip.

And as Rafael Cordeiro, the trainer who was catching those punches, told Ariel Helwani: "I didn't know what to expect. He hasn't hit mitts for almost 10 years. So I didn't expect to see what I saw. I saw a guy with the same speed, same power as guys 21, 22 years old."

Look, I didn’t expect to see that either. And it sure seems like he still has crazy speed and power. Maybe not the speed and power he once had, but damn that is impressive.

Especially considering Cordeiro told Ariel that he’s only been working with Tyson for ''three weeks in a row, cardio, mitts, bags. Like I said before, 53 years old but when he puts his mind to it, his body inside the ring -- he changes."

Having said all that, let me know say this: do not take that clip and start momentum for a Tyson return. I get it. We all want to turn back time and see the best in their primes again, but that’s not going to happen. As good as Mike Tyson is right now, getting into a ring feels like a very bad idea.

Of course, I’m not going to be the guy to tell him that. We’ve already had our issues, whatever they were, and they’re patched up now. I’m not looking for him to be looking for me right now.

But the last thing we need right now is some sort of senior tour of boxing. We don’t need a 53-year-old Tyson and a 57-year-old Evander Holyfield with 71-year-old George Foreman getting the winner.  No one, anywhere wants or needs that.

That clip of Tyson is awesome. 12 rounds of him against another 50 year old would not be. Please do not ruin this for us. That clip was great.

That five seconds was incredible. If I want more, I’ll just loop it. Don’t try to take that 5 seconds of awesomeness and turn it into 36 minutes of crap. Because it will be really painful and really sad. Let us just enjoy this clip and move on. You want to get behind mike, and support Mike, buy his weed. You get baked, Mike gets paid, win win. Just leave it at that.

 

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