Mike Tyson may be 53 but the former ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ is in the gym working out hard ahead of a planned return to boxing with a set of exhibition fights to raise money for charity.
Tyson was always famed for his terrifying speed and power in the ring, which helped him become the youngest world heavyweight champion ever at the age of just 20.
And more than three decades later, Tyson still possesses astonishing punching ability that would put him on a par with any current heavyweight, according to his new trainer Rafael Cordeiro.
Cordeiro has been left amazed at Tyson’s physical prowess since taking him on three weeks ago, and has revealed the fear he felt when he first sparred with the legendary fighter.
“As soon as we started training I said, ‘my lord,’” Cordeiro told ESPN. “I didn’t know what to expect. He hadn’t hit mitts for I think almost 10 years, I didn’t expect to see what I saw. I saw a guy with the same speed, same power as guys who are 21, 22 years old.
“The power is on a different level. I’ve trained a lot of heavyweights in my career. When you talk about his power… his right hook I can feel it, you can tell, it could kill somebody.”
Cordeiro, 46, hails from Brazil and has been putting Tyson through his paces for the past month, working on cardio and conditioning before working on technique using punching bags and mitts.
Tyson himself posted footage from one of the sessions to Instagram, where a long list of celebrities including The Rock, Lindsay Lohan and Kelly Slater reacted with excitement at the sight of the former world champ’s punching display – and the prospect of once again seeing him in the ring.
But spare a thought for his new trainer, who evidently didn’t enjoy the experience quite as much.
“When I hold mitts I like to put them close to my face with all my fighters,” he said.
“The first time I saw his right hook [come close to my face] I saw all my life [flash before my eyes]. My wife, my daughters, my dog, I saw everything, it was like I was gonna die… it was the fear.”