PHOENIX, Arizona – Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, like some eternally recurring eternal recurrence, former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson is back in the gym. Hitting the mitts, working the speed and heavy bags, getting in a few rounds of sparring at the Central Boxing Club in Phoenix, all under the wise tutelage of Jeff Fenech, Iron Mike has resumed training for his next bout in early July against someone named TBA.
A couple of names have been thrown around as possible opponents. Kevin McBride (32-4-1 27 KOs), who performed so inelegantly on ESPN2’s St. Paddy’s Day special a few weeks ago, might get his chance of a lifetime to fight the legend. Or maybe Australian heavyweight Bob Mirovic (25-14-2 16 KOs) gets to cash in that lucky lottery ticket this summer.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum has expressed an interest in promoting Tyson, which is a good thing, because Mike cannot promote himself. Arum is a natural at this point in the game. He promoted Butterbean and Mia St. John.
"We'll see," Arum said last month. "First of all, it's important for him to get his confidence back. Put him in two or three fights to restore confidence that he can beat anybody. Take him abroad. Put him on free TV. Don't ask people to pay big money the first few times out. That just would make everybody mad."
Jeff Fenech said "Without doubt, (training Tyson) is my greatest challenge.” Fenech has had other challenges in life, among them fights with Daniel Zaragoza, Carlos Zarate and Azumah Nelson. “I love Mike Tyson, he's my friend, and I want to try to help him."
While Fenech wants to help, he knows tough love is the answer and the way.
"I'm the boss,” Fenech said. “If it's not that way, I won't be there.”
Freddie Roach offered similar words not long ago, just before Mike got that Maori tattoo on his face.
July is an eternity away.