Roach: Tyson already in shape!


Published: June 4, 2004

After several weeks of doing road work and conditioning on his own in Phoenix
Arizona, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson is in his third week of gym training with trainer Freddie Roach and shows no sign of slowing down. Tyson (50-4; 44 KO’s) is preparing himself for a July 31st bout against Kevin McBride (31-4-1; 26 KO’s) and it appears that the former two-time heavyweight champ has regained his hunger to rule the heavyweight
division once again. McBride will be Tyson’s first opponent since his
49 second annihilation of Clifford Etienne sixteen months ago.

Roach told Fightnews: “We still have two months before the fight and
right now, Mike is in better shape than he was when he walked into the
ring against Etienne. In fact, his whole outlook is completely
different and he’s really focused. Before I arrived in Phoenix, Mike
showed a lot of dedication by working out on his own. And on the first
day of gym training, we went 12 rounds on the mitts. The last time, it
took us a month to get that point. I’m not pushing Mike hard right now,
but he is definitely in shape to be pushed harder. But the thing is, we
still got eight weeks to go and I don’t want to over train him.”

Regarding Tyson’s training regimen, Roach describes: “Mike works out
six days a week and he’s been consistent in getting up at 5 a.m. to do
his road work. We do a lot of interval work on the track like 100 and
50 meter sprints. From there, Mike goes to the weight-lifting gym and
afterwards, he gets stretched so he doesn’t lose flexibility. Then we
go to the boxing gym where we do regular boxing work. Right now, it’s
too soon to begin sparring, so we’ll start that in about two weeks.”
Being that McBride (a 31 year old journeyman) stands 6’6″ and has an 82
inch reach, Roach plans to use some of the sparring partners that his
other fighter, James Toney used in anticipation of facing Jameel
McCline (who also stands 6’6″ and has an 82 inch reach), early this

Roach, who is featured in this weeks Sports Illustrated magazine
assesses, “After McBride, I’d like to see Mike get right back in the
ring and fight again. After that, he’ll be ready for a title shot. We
feel Mike can definitely beat any of the heavyweight champions out
there right now. He can make some serious noise in the division.”

Fightnews also spoke to Tyson’s manager, Shelly Finkel about future
prospects for ‘Iron’ Mike and he states, “We are looking to fight twice
more this year. And, we would welcome fights with Lamon Brewster or
Antonio Tarver.”

More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More‘ below).

With Don King promoting the WBO champ Brewster, it would seem unlikely
that the two fighters would ever meet in the ring – given the fact that
Tyson is currently involved in a 100 million dollar lawsuit against the
promoter. Yet, the likeliness of King promoting Tyson once again
doesn’t appear to be that farfetched. Finkel adds, “If Don wants to
make the fight, then we can do it. Under the right circumstances, we
would have no problem with King being the promoter of that fight.”
Additionally, Tyson signed a one-fight deal last August with Fight
Entertainment Group (a subsidiary company of K-1, a mixed martial art
sport), to promote his July 31st fight with McBride. After that fight,
Tyson is a free agent.

Tarver, who is coming off a 2nd round knockout over Roy Jones Jr. last
month, has told Fightnews that he would be eager to move up to
heavyweight and face Tyson – provided that Jones declines to face him
in a three-peat. “It would be Holyfield all over again for Tyson,”
states the light heavy champ.

Responding to Finkel’s suggestion of Tarver as a possible opponent,
Roach offers: “I would love that fight for Mike. Tarver is a good light
heavyweight. But… Mike would destroy him. Mike is serious about
regaining the heavyweight championship and he’s become entirely focused
and dedicated towards his training. He wants to become champ again.”

As boxing aficionados well know, a motivated and in-shape Tyson is a very scary thing.