Former trainer Teddy Atlas likens prime Mike Tyson to Manny Pacquiao
(Mike Tyson Photo: AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File , Manny Pacquiao photo: AP Photo/John Locher)
Legendary heavyweight boxer “Iron” Mike Tyson was the talk of the combat sports world a few weeks back after videos of him training surfaced online.
Those videos showed Tyson, now 54 years of age, hitting the pads and looking devastatingly strong and unbelievably quick for a man his age.
The videos sparked discussions of a possible return to the ring for Tyson, who fought his last professional bout back in 2005.
Tyson, for his part, admitted that he was looking to get back to the ring for some exhibition bouts for charity.
Since then, numerous possible names have been brought up as possible tyson opponents, from former rival Evander Holyfield, to fellow legend Tito Ortiz.
While Tyson’s return to fitness is nothing short of impressive, a return to the ring now will likely be nothing more than a nostalgia act.
Back in his prime however, Tyson was undoubtedly revolutionary.
On an episode of his The Fight podcast via World Boxing News, former Tyson trainer Teddy Atlas spoke about Tyson’s rise to stardom back in the late-80s, when he was an unbeaten heavyweight wrecking ball.
Atlas compared Tyson to heavy hitters like today’s Deontay Wilder, as well as previous greats like Ernie Shavers, Max Bear, and Joe Frazier.
The difference that Tyson had however, according to Atlas, was his deadly mix of power and speed, making him somewhat a heavyweight version of eight-division champion and Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao.
“Tyson was that. Then you mix it with speed, he was a large version of Pacquiao, where you have speed and power in a big guy,” Atlas explained. “It was incredible.”
Pacquiao, albeit a much smaller fighter than Tyson, was also known for his blinding speed and his punching power. It was that lethal combination that helped Pacquiao stop notable opponents like Erik Morales (twice), Marco Antonio Barrera, David Diaz, Oscar Dela Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and most notably, Ricky Hatton – who Pacquiao knocked out in just two rounds.
“Tyson was an unbelievable mix of physical ability,” Atlas continued. “His technique was the right technique to peek-a-boo and exploit. To really take advantage of his speed and to make a guy miss.”
“Tyson could slip and weave and punch. He could be in a position to Bang! Bang! – Explode a bomb with power and speed,” he added.
While Tyson was indeed a one-of-a-kind physical specimen, Atlas noted that Tyson’s biggest weakness was the mental aspect.
“He was tremendous but he came up short on the mental side,” he concluded.