KEY POINTS

  • Mike Tyson's former trainer Teddy Atlas likened him to Manny Pacquiao
  • Atlas said Tyson came up short in one aspect of his game
  • Tyson credited Atlas for making him one of all-time greats

Mike Tyson’s ex-trainer has described him as a heavyweight version of Manny Pacquiao but said the former lacks one aspect in his game.

Tyson’s highly-anticipated boxing return has urged other Hall of Famers to seriously consider a comeback as well. Together with the buzz surrounding Tyson’s possible opponent, some people he has worked with in the past have also come out to discuss his legacy.

Teddy Atlas was credited by many for being Tyson’s trainer during his formatting years in the sport. However, the pair ended up parting ways due to controversies outside of boxing. But after years of not talking about each other in interviews, Atlas and Tyson seemed to have settled their feud and are now somewhat comfortable mentioning each other’s names.

In a recent episode of “The Fight with Teddy Atlas” (via World Boxing News), the renowned trainer looked back at his relationship with prime Tyson. According to Atlas, he has witnessed an array of power punchers in the past, but one thing that put Tyson above everybody else was his speed.



“We’ve had great punchers who can punch like Wilder with the right hand. (We had) unbelievable Ernie Shavers, (the) unbelievable Max Bear back in the 30s. Unbelievable with the right hand. Joe Frazier with the left hook was devastating, but to be able to punch from both sides of the plate (something) like Mickey Mantle, the great switch hitter. He hit with power on either side. Tyson was that. Then you mix it with speed,” Atlas pointed out.

Atlas then likened a prime Tyson’s speed to eight-division titlist Pacquiao. He even noted that “Iron Mike’s” technique was perfect for the peek-a-boo style of fighting, a technique which Tyson utilized in most of his fights.

“He was a large version of Pacquiao, where you have speed and power in a big guy. It was incredible.

His technique was the right technique to peekaboo and exploit. To really take advantage of his speed and to make a guy miss,” he added.

Mike Tyson A young Mike Tyson inside the ring Photo: Getty Images/Focus On Sport

But just like any other athlete, Tyson also had a weakness. Based on Atlas’ assessment, his former pupil lacked mental skills inside the ring.

“He was tremendous but he came up short on the mental side,” Atlas concluded.

Meanwhile, Tyson recently cleared the air between him and Atlas. In fact, he even lauded his former trainer for making him one of the all-time greats in the sport, saying, “I love Teddy. I don’t care how mad he gets because if it wasn’t for Teddy I wouldn’t be who I am basically. I can’t get angry at him.”

Manny Pacquiao WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao looks on during a news conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on January 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao will defend his title against Adrien Broner on January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Photo: Getty Images/Ethan Miller