Even now, at age 53, heavily grey-bearded and retired for almost 15 years, former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson would be too much for the best big men of today. This is the view of Jeff Fenech, the Australian great who, after having won world titles at bantamweight, super-bantam, and featherweight, became Tyson’s trainer. Fenech worked with Tyson at the tail-end of “Iron Mike’s” career, a time when the former champion was no longer putting his heart into it.
Fenech was there at the very end when Tyson was shockingly hammered to a sixth-round corner defeat by the big but not too much else Kevin McBride; Tyson being all done and noting like the superb fighting machine he had once been. But today, Fenech argues how his former charge would be able to take out Deontay Wilder “in a minute” if Tyson put in the work and trained hard for six weeks.
“Boxing’s not the same now. I guarantee you that if Mike Tyson trained for six weeks, he’d knock Wilder out in a round,” Fenech told 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. 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.”
Is Fenech correct, or is his simply guilty of being biased due to his fondness of Tyson and due to the fact that he once worked with “The Baddest Man On The Planet?” Is Fenech thinking of the peak version of Mike Tyson? Plenty of Tyson fans agree wholeheartedly how the 1980s version of Tyson would indeed have taken out today’s best. But now, at age 53? Tyson is still fast, as he has shown when uploading the odd video of him working over the heavy bag. But could the Tyson of today put in a full training camp?
It’s an interesting notion from Fenech, perhaps more so during these strange days of lockdown conditions, with no actual boxing to watch. How many of us yearn for the electric nights Tyson gave us way back when. One other thing though – if Tyson did decide to fight again here in 2020, would he flunk the post-fight drugs tests, what with all the weed the former champ enjoys these days!
Mike Tyson’s record is 50-6 with 44 knockouts.