A Neutral Breakdown of the Tyson of Today
By Aaron Imholte (June 7, 2005) 
Photo © HoganPhotos.com
When Mike Tyson the legend, the man, and the myth takes on Kevin McBride June 11th there will be two types of people who pay to watch it. There will be those who want to see him recapture some glory and dignity, and those who want to see Tyson taken out for the sixth and final time.

Both sides have compelling arguments on why Mike can or cannot be successful in today’s heavyweight division, but it is all caught up in exaggeration and the argument often degenerates into one of shouting and cursing out those who disagree with you. Truth is, whether you love Tyson or hate him, you are both a little bit off on what the former champ still can and cannot do.

Tyson cannot dart around the ring and display sizzling hand speed, nor can he rip off potent combinations for 12 rounds like he could in the 1980’s; he cannot bully opponents around since the aura of an invincible Mike Tyson disappeared in the late 90’s thanks to Evander Holyfield.

He does however still possess earth shattering power in both hands and can fight like a 22 year-old for 3 or 4 rounds. The only problem is he is completely gassed and often left helpless to defend himself after the opening stanzas. The stamina, speed, and a lot of the reflexes that made Tyson undefeatable are gone and never will come back.

Although Tyson has lost a step or two he is still very much a contender today. If you’ll recall when Deion Sanders was signed by Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins, people said that Prime Time had lost a step. The only thing was Deion possessed so much god given talent that he could lose a step or two and still be one of the premier corners in the league.

Same goes for Mike Tyson in boxing. The ex-champ has fallen far from grace and if there were a Larry Holmes, Earnie Shavers, or even Pinkolon Thomas around today we wouldn’t be seeing Mike in the boxing ring. You see Mike was so gifted to begin with that even a washed up Tyson possessing earth shattering power, a good brain for boxing, and very limited stamina, still has enough gas left in the tank that he could KO any heavyweight on any given night. Here is where the argument gets clouded – notice I said ‘could’, not ‘would’. Tyson has the one punch equalizer that keeps him one split second away from recapturing glory, but nowadays the planets have to align and some luck needs to swing Tyson’s way for a championship winning KO to fall into place.

While Tyson is shot, bankrupt, fighting desperately for money, and prone to injuries at this age, he still maintains the god given strength and power that can make him a belt holder one more time if all falls into place. The only thing this time around is that he actually will have to work for it. The fact is even guys like Danny Williams and Kevin McBride don’t defecate themselves at the sight of Iron Mike anymore. If Tyson can notch a tally mark in the win column next Saturday night, the division will be wide open for the biggest draw in boxing to see if he can pull out one more miracle before Father Time pulls him away from the ring.

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