The boxing world has been buzzing recently after video emerged of Mike Tyson donning the gloves again and looking a bit like the fearsome fighter of years ago during a pad session. Of course, there are many divided opinions on whether it would be sensible for a 53-year-old, even with Tyson’s back story, to ever compete again competitively. The former undisputed world heavyweight king ruled the division from 1986 through to 1990, before losing his titles to James ‘Buster’ Douglas in a famous Tokyo upset. Eventually, ‘Iron’ Mike ended up with a 50-6 (44) record after retiring in 2005, but fought many of the best heavyweights around including Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, whose ear he once notoriously chewed on!
Another heavyweight making his way in the game is Rotherham’s Kash Ali. The 28-year-old is currently 17-1 (8), with that sole defeat also coming in controversial circumstances, similar to Tyson’s 1997 disqualification loss to Holyfield. In March of last year, in a huge televised fight with Liverpool’s David Price and despite the contest being even, Kash inexplicably bit the big Scouser leading to a fifth round ejection from the contest, and a subsequent six month ban from the sport.
With that episode firmly behind him, and with a new team in place – including trainer Richard Towers and promoter Dennis Hobson – Kash says he rates Tyson as one of history’s best heavyweights, and believes it would have been an honour to have had the chance to face the legend in his heyday.
“Tyson was one of my favourite fighters, and he’s actually one of the reasons I first got into boxing,” explained the Yorkshireman. “I really looked up to him as a fighter, he’s definitely one of the greatest heavyweights. People just think he had ferocious power, but he also had very good technique, and could finish people off. During his time, he boxed whoever they put in front of him and that’s all he could do. He was definitely the best in his day, but it went downhill after the Buster Douglas fight.
“I’ve actually seen some of the recent video of him on the pads, and he looks good, but hitting the pads is one thing, and going into a competitive fight is another. For his age though, he still looks fast, has power and speed. He looks in good shape, but 20 years ago he didn’t look the best Tyson, so don’t think he’s going to be any better now.
“It makes me laugh to think of getting in with him now, but it would be a great experience. You could bill it as ‘The Bite of the Night’! If it was me or Evander Holyfield, I think people would definitely take interest. If he tees off on someone then he’ll look good, but after three or four rounds it would be difficult for him. As a fighter, my mindset is that I can beat anyone, but I would love to have got in there back in the day to see how ferocious he was and feel his power. It would be getting in with one of the boxing legends, and I respect him completely.”