KEY POINTS

  • Mike Tyson's trainer, Billy White, talks about the late Cus D'Amato
  • White explains why Tyson's style of fighting is the same as Kobe Bryant's "Mamba Mentality"
  • Evander Holyfield challenges "Iron Mike" to a trilogy fight

Mike Tyson’s trainer for his Roy Jones fight, Billy White, explained how the “Baddest Man on the Planet” has been channeling Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” through the late Cus D’Amato.

At 54, Tyson managed to make a successful boxing comeback. Prior to his ring return, the former world heavyweight champ convinced fight fans that he still had it. However, White, who was one of the coaches in Tyson’s training camp, said the boxer just picked up where he left off with his late mentor, D’Amato.

In an interview with Elie Seckbach of EsNews ahead of the Tyson vs. Jones exhibition match, White revealed that D’Amato had infused Tyson with a unique approach very similar to Bryant’s world-renowned “Mamba Mentality.”

“Kobe’s Mentality (is like) Cus’ strategy – day by day in every way, get better and better, different wording, same powerful message,” White revealed. “Bottom line is you take that Mamba Mentality.”

“What does a mamba do?” he continued. “He simply has head movements to avoid strikes which is exactly what Mike does. And then he strikes with speed, power and precision, and if you do that, and use that Kobe mentality, in honor of Kobe, God bless Kobe, here we are at Staples Centre. It’s a perfect fit.”

The death of Kobe Bryant shocked fans and players around the world The death of Kobe Bryant shocked fans and players around the world Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Harry How

As for how D’Amato would have reacted to Tyson’s epic boxing return at 54, White said the late boxing coach would’ve been thrilled to see his pupil defy the laws of time.

“[D’Amato] would think that it would be an amazing accomplishment,” the veteran trainer said. “Cus always said age is nothing but a number and because of that it’s all the power of the mind, the power of subconscious mind and that’s exactly what Mike’s going through as we speak.”

Bryant and Tyson are both icons of their respective sport. And like the late Los Angeles Lakers legend, Tyson competed at his best during his prime, utilizing everything he has learned from D’Amato.

Meanwhile, following the draw against Jones last week, Tyson is now being challenged by his former heavyweight nemesis, Evander Holyfield.

"My side tried to make the fight happen and we got nothing but excuses," Holyfield told reporters Tuesday. "No more excuses. This is the fight that must happen for both our legacies. Saturday night you said you were ready to fight me, so sign the contract and get in the ring, Tyson. The world is waiting and it's on you now. I'm ready."

Mike Tyson returns to boxing at age 54 on saturday with an eight-round fight against 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr. at Los Angeles Mike Tyson revealed that he has been vaccinated from COVID-19 despite being unwilling to get the jab. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / James Gilbert