Published: October 6, 2006
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Three time world champion Jeff Fenech is training Mike Tyson for his return to the ring on October 20 when he meets former sparring partner Corey Sanders who is weighing in at 360 pounds. Fenech talks to Fightnews and tells of when he first met Tyson and how he rates the former world heavyweight champion as the best of all time and why he thinks Evander Holyfield would be an excellent opponent for Mike in his comeback.
Did you first meet Mike Tyson when you boxed Azumah Nelson on the undercard of the Mike Tyson vs Razor Ruddock?
No – I met Mike about 12 months before that fight at an award ceromony.
He recognised who I was and he was very generous giving me praise for some of my fights. Obviously I was happy that the heavyweight champion of the world would give that praise.
Mike is rated one of the best heavyweights of all time – where do you rate him among other greats Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano.
I honestly believe in his prime and training well he could have beaten all of them. He had great power and upper body movement. He could generate a lot of power. Mike has been dynamic puncher
How long have you been in the USA training Mike?
I have been here for six weeks now – doing public exhibitions with Mike at the Aladdin Hotel Casino – who have just been bought out by Planet Hollywood. We have the ring set up and have been doing the public work outs that have attracted big crowds. There have been many Australians there – they have come up and had photos taken with Mike. Top Australian Rugby League football player Jarred McCracken came up to Mike’s room and met him. Also Adam MacDougall who plays for the Newcastle Knights met Mike.
Mike Tyson is still a very popular celebrity. What are your thoughts about this?
It is unbelievable the crowds that have been there to watch him. You cannot move when Mike is there. Just unbelievable.
He has been travelling the world since his last fight against Kevin McBride 15 months ago – he seems to be in demand where ever he goes. Is that the case?
I just did not think he would be that big in America. I have been to London and Scotland with him and the crowds that followed him around was amazing. But in America they have been enormous crowds to watch him train.
Tyson first fight on the tour is against a tough heavyweight Corey Sanders who holds a KO win over current WBC champion Oleg Maskaev. Will he be a difficult opponent for Mike?
Corey is the only guy to knock out Maskaev. I have watched Corey train – he is very determined to give his best against Mike. Sanders has been just been offered a fight in the Virgin Islands. He is a big heavyweight weighing around 360 pounds. There fight will be over four rounds – so there is going to be a lot of action.
More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More‘ below).
Tyson has used Sanders as a sparring partner previously for fights.
Have you seen them spar?
Yes – it is a war everytime they get into the ring together.They are like
two big monsters going at each other. Corey honestly dwarfs Mike Tyson.
Mike is big and wide and weighs around 240 pounds and Corey is 360 pounds.
Corey is a big man who can punch.
How far is Mike above his best fighting weight?
Mike is a Muslim and he is in Ramadan at the moment. Corey is a Muslim
as well so they are both watching what they eat. Mike is about 245 pounds
at the moment. When he takes his shirt off – he looks great.
Can Mike Tyson fight in top gear for four rounds
That what I am trying to make sure of. I want the fans to get a great
four rounds of fighting. I think it will be very exciting.
Do you know who they plan to fight in Mike second appearance?
Is Evander Holyfield on the radar?
I want to use the Australian heavyweight Bob Mirovic at some stage. I
think it would be good for Australian boxing and Bob Mirovic. Bob could
make a little bit of money as well.There have been whispers that Mike
could meet Holyfield. There has also been talk of Mike fighting Rid****
Is Tyson only getting back in the ring for the money?
Obviously the money is important. When we talk – I never bring up about
fighting anybody. The last day we trained at Top Rank was the best day
Mike has trained. I do not push the envelope with Mike — he is my friend.
I am just here to help him. If it was up to me, a fight with Evander Holyfield
would be a good fight for Mike. I honestly believe that Evander is finished.Mike
would beat Holyfield. I am also trying to get Australian world rated flyweight
Hussein Hussein and former world rated Nader Hamdan on undercard fights
on Mike’s show’s – it will be great exposure for them.