You can almost feel the punches just by watching Mike Tyson’s recent training videos on Instagram – and that’s at 53.
Imagine being in the ring with Tyson in his early twenties, back when he truly was the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’.
It’s why he’s so heavily glorified, and also why fans are so excited about the prospect of him potentially coming back.
‘Iron Mike’ was one of sport’s most unpredicatable and volatile characters, both inside and outside the ring.
Over the years, his livewire personality has turned him into more of a celebrity than a former sports star, but he still remains the youngest heavyweight world champion in boxing history.
Holyfield was like a ‘walking tiger’ in the ring, lauded by Mike Tyson and other legends as the best they ever faced
For most of the 1980s, Tyson was the most feared man on the planet, and in his prime he was one of the greatest boxers to ever live.
His intimidating and ferocious style saw him become world champion aged 20, and the American remains one of the most celebrated fighters of all time.
Here’s what those in the boxing world have said about him down the years…
Tyson pretty much fought everyone during his illustrious career, but he never met ‘Big George’ in the ring.
And Foreman explains that he ‘wanted no part’ of the unpredicatable Tyson.
“That guy was a nightmare in the ring.
“If he missed you with his left, then missed you with his right, he’d bite you.
“I didn’t want anything to do with that guy.
“He was scared and I was glad of that.
“I didn’t want a part of Mike Tyson.”
Holyfield, 57, sparked a frenzy among boxing fans recently by revealing he wants a third fight with 53-year-old Tyson.
The two legends shared one ofthe fiercest rivalries in sports history in the nineties, with Tyson infamously biting Holyfield’s ear in their second fight.
And Holyfield has previously revealed he was able to beat Tyson twice because he wasn’t scared of him like everyone else.
“Mike Tyson wasn’t a big guy. He was a good puncher, he had a style and this mentality that he would tend to get people intimidated pretty much like the Sonny Liston attitude.
“Tyson people brought into it and he was winning – people like knockouts.
“When it all came down, the harder the game, the person who knew the game tended to win. I’m one of the guys who knew how to box but I could fight as well. So, it lined up to eventually fight against the very best.”
Mayweather, one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers in history, was inspired by Tyson as an amateur.
“Mike Tyson was one of the fighters who motivated me. How? We both used to train at the Golden Gloves boxing gym.
“I used to see his Rolls-Royce, his diamond Rolex on, and I said, ‘You know what? Those are the things that I want.’
“I’m not here to judge Mike Tyson. I’m not here to judge nobody. I’m not here to monitor no other fighters. I respect him for what he did in the sport of boxing. He was an entertainer.”
Tyson’s intimidation tactics, both before and during fights, played a huge part in his success.
Former cruiserweight Bellew admits he was scared just watching at home.
“I loved watching the old Mike Tyson, the ’89 Mike Tyson.
“The Tyson who walked to the ring with a white towel on and looked ferocious.
“He frightened me just watching him.”
Joshua, the current WBO, WBA and IBF world champion, admits that Tyson is up there with Muhammad Ali when it comes to boxing idols.
“There’s so much pressure on becoming the next Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, and if you don’t achieve that in boxing, you’re nothing.
“What makes a champion great is how he dethrones the guy before him.
“Look at Mike Tyson against Trevor Berbick and how he crushed him. You have to rip the title away from him.”
Here’s a cool story: Tyson Fury was actually named after Tyson.
The ‘Gyspy King’ joined his hero on his ‘Hotboxin” podcast recently to reveal why.
“My dad was a professional boxer in the late ‘80’s early ‘90’s – a heavyweight and his hero was you [Mike Tyson].
“So when I was born August 12, 1988, I came into the world and I was eight weeks premature. I was dying, I wasn’t supposed to live.
“But when I lived my dad said I’m going to call you after my favourite heavyweight Tyson.
“The doctor said no that’s not going to be a good name, he’s not going to be very big this guy.
“When I was born, I only weighed one-pound in weight. I was tiny, but I grew up to be 6ft 9in and 265-pounds. It’s crazy.”
McCrory went 96 rounds in the ring with a prime Tyson back in the late eighties as a sparring partner.
And the former cruiserweight champion was just stunned by how good Tyson was.
“He was amazing. He was Iron Mike Tyson. He was absolutely astonishing.
“At that point, he was going to be the greatest heavyweight of all time. And then the world kicked in.
“Tyson was potentially the greatest heavyweight of all time – and then the wheels came off. Then he’s just a normal man.”
With all this talk of an exhibition fight with Holyfield, cruiserweight legend Nelson finds it hard to picture Tyson in that environment, given how ferocious he was in the ring.
“What made him so intriguing and enticing was his unpredictability – that edge and that fight. You never knew what was going to happen next.
“I could never imagine Tyson tipping and tapping, I just can’t. It’s not in his DNA.”