Published: January 15, 2005
Foreman Did It, Tyson Can Too
by Stephen G. Terzian
01/15/05 – There is no reason why Mike Tyson cannot modify his style and really make it work well. Tyson has an excellent jab, but doesn’t know it. He gets great extension on it for a short man with a short reach, and has been known to double and even triple jab with great effectiveness. When Mike jabs his way in his body is at a perfect angle vis a vis his opponent so that Tyson has the option of either ripping a left hook or left uppercut underneath, or throwing the straight right. He is also in a very good defensive position when jabbing.
George Foreman blew away his opponents with wrecking ball shots, and to tell you the truth I never saw him throw a jab from 1970 until 1974, when he threw a few pawing jabs at Ali’s rope-a-dope nonsense. I then saw Foreman begin to use the jab more, with excellent effect, especially against Ron Lyle, and in the rematch with Joe Frazier. But it wasn’t until 1986 that Foreman re-engineered himself from a sheer power punching monster to a boxer/puncher. And we all know what great success he had with this new style from 1987 and beyond: he practically knocked people out with that jab!
Mike Tyson–much slower now, much less head movement now, and certainly not needing to take too many more punches to the head, especially after the Holyfield and Lewis fights–needs to re-invent himself a bit. Don’t tell me what an old dog can or cannot do: George Foreman had an even more successful career going from a pure slugger to a boxer/puncher, by learning to pace himself, by really developing a damaging jab, and by fighting smarter. Mike Tyson is the same age as Foreman was more or less when he began his second career in ’86. He is also not 400+ pounds as Foreman weighed when he started training again.
Tyson’s knockout power will always be there, and ultimately win the fight for him, but he just needs to learn to set those power shots up more wisely now, since he is past the point now of using his sheer youthful speed to dart inside and unleash them like he used to. Some trainer (or maybe I’ll write to Tyson myself!) has to do a George Foreman-styled re-engineering number on Mike Tyson, and I believe he will be successful for a few more years to come, even winning a title along the way.