February 4, 1997 in Sports

Question, Holyfield Await Mike Tyson

New York Times
 
Tags:boxing

When Mike Tyson slips into the ring May 3 against Evander Holyfield, he will bring a new trainer, one less title belt and, for the first time in his career, the question posed by a Boxing Digest headline: “Is Tyson Finished?”

“If (Holyfield) beats me this time, I’d have to say he’s the best I’ve ever seen,” Tyson said. “If I don’t beat him this time, I’ll never beat him.”

He added, “I’ll join him in the (history) books,” as a three-time champion.

Tyson feels he took Holyfield lightly the first fight. He expected to fight the worn boxer who looked uninspired against Bobby Czyz, not the one who crushed James “Buster” Douglas. His new trainer, Richie Giachetti, will get him to throw more jabs, throw punches in bunches instead of loading up for single shots.

But Don Turner, Holyfield’s trainer, said it’s inevitable that Tyson will slip back into bad habits. “When he’s got nobody in front of him (in training), he’ll (stick to strategy),” Turner said. “But not in the heat of the battle. I expect him to come out faster this time. I expect him to knock out more sparring partners. But I don’t expect him to knock out Evander.

“He might think he can change. But I know it can’t be done.”

Tyson manager John Horne insists Tyson is more focused.

“Mike thought he was fighting (a worn out) Holyfield,” Horne said. “I’m not worried about what he’s thinking this fight. I’m not worried about him getting up in the morning. I’m not worried about him only half-training when he’s training. If Holyfield beats this Mike Tyson, there’s nothing you can say.”

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