Published: December 7, 2008
Former Boxer Mike Tyson attended the Oscar De La Hoya v Manny Pacquiao welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 6, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Two days before the fight, Mike Tyson dropped by by the IBA Gym in Las Vegas to catch the Filipinos last training session before the fight.
As if words were not enough to drive his point across, former undisputed heavyweight champion ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson stepped back, bobbed, weaved and then ducked a phantom left hook.
This is how you do it against Oscar De La Hoya, Tyson told Manny Pacquiaos assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez.
He (Tyson) said Manny must keep moving the head,? Fernandez said.
Tyson also noted that De La Hoyas background as an amateur fighter makes him a deadly tactician.
He wants Manny to move in and not to back away too far because thats where Oscars jab-straight-hook (combination) comes to play,? Fernandez said.
He also quoted Tyson as saying it would be best for the Filipino ring hero to keep attacking De La Hoyas body because sooner or later the Golden Boys guard would start to lower.
Tyson came in a pink long-sleeved shirt, gray pants and black leather shoes, and accompanied by a lone friend. He sat quietly in the gym’s weights section, obliging to some photo-ops and only rose when Pacquiao got up the ring.
Tyson watched with great interest as the world’s pound-for-pound champion from the Philippines pounded the mitts with Freddie Roach, who also trained the boxer that was also known as “the baddest man on this planet” late in his career.
He applauded when Pacquiao was done with the mitts, then started to share his thoughts with Roach and co-trainer Buboy Fernandez, showing them how to move the head and body or dock and weave against the taller and heftier Dela Hoya.
More quotes and a video available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More’ below).
Pacquiao just won’t stop training, and Roach had to hold him back a few times.
“Come on champ! Come on! Let’s go home,” said Tyson, catching Pacquiao’s attention and motioning with his hands to “cut it” and call it a day, and prepare himself for Friday’s official weigh-in at the MGM fight venue.
Pacquiao and Tyson talked very briefly, and patted each other on the shoulder.
Tyson and Roach often whispered to each other as the rest focused on Pacquiao.
It was nice for Mike Tyson to come,? said trainer Freddie Roach, who once handled the boxer formerly known as ‘the baddest man on the planet’.
Mike gave me a little advice,? Roach added. He said be careful with moving back in straight lines because Oscar has a long reach. Sensible stuff. He wants Manny to make sure he doesnt come in with the head first, but instead come in behind his punches.?
“It’s nice to see Mike. I’m a big fan of Tyson. He’s a nice guy,” said Roach.
Tyson, who had watched Pacquiao’s recent fights, declined to be interviewed.
“He gets a little embarrassed when he’s around fight people and he’s not fighting anymore. And he doesn’t want to get the limelight away from Manny Pacquiao. He doesn’t like to have pictures taken and talk to a lot of people,” Roach said.
When Pacquiao first fought Erik Morales in March 2005, Tyson was there, and the night before the fight said he knew how “fast” Pacquiao was and that he “just throws a lot of punches.”
Roach said he couldn’t believe it when Tyson told him he couldn’t get tickets to Saturday’s fight, and assured the youngest fighter to become heavyweight champion of the world that he’d get four tickets courtesy of Pacquiao.
“Unfortunately he told me they won’t give him tickets to the fight. I told him ‘Are you kidding me?’ But he’ll get ‘em. Manny said he’ll give Mike four tickets,” said Freddie.
A video of the visit to the gym can be seen below (thanks to FB):