Tyson set to prove mettle

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

Is Mike Tyson still a feared boxer or just a name who draws attention because of his past exploits in the ring?

Tyson set to prove mettle

New York:

Fifteen years ago Mike Tyson was the most feared boxer in the sport, overpowering opponents on his way to becoming the youngest heavyweight World champion ever. His current coach Freddie Roach knows that's not the Mike Tyson he's currently training. Roach says today's Tyson still has the knockout power and speed to become one of the world's top heavyweights. But his focus now is to make the 38-year-old more of a tactical fighter. Roach says Tyson won't depend on one big punch to take out 31-year-old British fighter Danny Williams when they meet July 30th, in Louisville. Roach has been training Tyson to use his jab and combinations to break Williams down. Then he'll look for the knockout. No bravadoBut Tyson himself did not offer any of the bravado he was once known for. Danny Williams may not be a well known fighter outside Britain - but Tyson hopes this fight will help him join the elite group of top heavyweight boxers, and prepare him for fights with boxing's best. "I'm sure I'll do well, I know I'll probably be a little rusty, but I will be able to handle them," said Tyson. Roach believes Tyson can still compete with the world's top heavyweights. He says Tyson may be only 50 per cent of the fighter he once was, but that still may be good enough to win a title. Win or lose, Tyson is certainly looking forward to the payday, which he hopes is one step toward taking care of his much-publicised financial troubles. He has an ambitious seven-fight schedule planned in the next two years to get him out of debt. Williams positiveMeanwhile, Danny Williams is pleased with his preparations ahead of his bout with Mike Tyson next week. The 31-year-old from Brixton, South London is training at the world-famous Gleason's Boxing Gym in New York ahead of the July 30 bout in Louisville, Kentucky. In a bid to make the best preparations for the fight, Williams believes he will be best served at an American base such as Gleason's, where Muhammad Ali trained before fighting Sonny Liston in 1964. And the former British and Commonwealth champion declared on Thursday that he is confident and relaxed ahead of the biggest bout of his career. Williams says he first saw Tyson fight on T-V as a youngster growing up in England. And while he praised Tyson's skills, even now, Williams says he won't enter the ring afraid of 'Iron Mike,' like so many of Tyson's opponents. "Yes, I've seen it many times, I saw it, one of my favourite fights Michael Spinks he got in the ring with Mike Tyson, he was absolutely petrified, but the difference with me, I've got nothing to lose, you know everyone's expecting me to get knocked out in one round," said Williams. Williams said that while he doesn't like to make predictions, he's very confident he can stop Mike Tyson between the fifth and eighth rounds. (AP)



Topics : Boxing
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