Published: April 24, 2005
By Grantlee Kieza
April 25, 2005
Mike Tyson and Jeff Fenech were discussing the threadbare state of
heavyweight boxing yesterday as Tyson eyes a return to the title picture.
Tyson begins sparring massive American Corey “T-Rex” Sanders in
Phoenix, Arizona today in preparation for his $6.7 million payday
against Irishman Kevin McBride before a crowd of 20,000 in Washington
DC on June 11.
But he is already talking about his prospects against what he
regards as a motley crew on top of the heavyweight thrones. “(WBC
champ) Vitali Klitschko, (WBO champ) Lamon Brewster and (WBA champ)
“Mike knows that if he’s in shape he can beat all those guys,”
said Fenech, who is supervising Tyson’s training in his greatest test
as a conditioner. “We’ve even talked about a third fight with Evander
Holyfield because I would love to see Mike get some redemption for the
defeats he suffered.
“I know it would be a different story if they fought again.
Holyfield scored a huge upset by stopping Tyson in 11 rounds in 1996
and the following year had part of his ear bitten off in defeating
Tyson by disqualification,” Fenech said.
Tyson had his first day off training in a month yesterday, a
reward for his dedication in the gym. “Mike is doing a lot of cardio
work, running, walking and the stationary bike,” Fenech said. “People
close to him say that he’s the fittest he’s been for a long time and a
lot more motivated.
“I’ve told Mike that I don’t want him wiping out sparring
partners like he did in the old days. I want the sparring to be good
solid work for a few weeks so we can continue to build Mike’s fitness
and to give him the confidence that he can keep going in a long fight
if he has to.
“I’ve been slowly building up his stamina. We didn’t even start
with three-minute rounds, like most trainers do. “I started putting him
through two minute rounds and every so often get him to put together a
burst of punches for 30 seconds non-stop.”
Tyson, $40million in debt, says
he has mellowed in the twilight of a career that saw him become
history’s youngest heavyweight champ 19 years ago.
He said yesterday the greatest moment in his career was the
birth of his kids. Reacting to criticism of his infamous comment that
he wanted to tear out the heart of Lennox Lewis and eat his children,
Tyson said: “It was just a figure of speech – I’ve known Lennox for
more than 20 years.
“We sparred together as kids when he lived in Canada. He doesn’t even have any children.