Former two-division champion Conor McGregor is excited ahead of Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. and agrees with ‘Iron Mike’s’ self-assessment ahead of his return to boxing after more than 15 years retired from the sport.
McGregor was responding to an interview that the heavyweight boxing legend had with ESPN Ringside. Ariel Helwani asked Tyson what his former trainer Cus D’Amato would have said about him returning to the ring at 54 years-old. “The Baddest Man on the Planet” was surprisingly frank and up-front about he believes his longtime mentor would say.
“He would have said, ‘Why did you take so damn long? God damn,” Tyson answered. “He would have said, ‘Look, you lose one fight against this guy, you get discouraged and throw everything away? You should have been doing this, you should have continued doing this’. He would have told me that I allowed my feelings to get the best of me and that I gave up. He would have said that. Because my feelings are high focused about myself, and it prevented me from making a living for my family, people I love, even myself.”
McGregor took to Twitter to largely agree with Tyson. It should come as no surprise, given that McGregor has long been a proponent of a mind-over-matter mentality.
D’Amato was a legendary boxing manager who helped guide fights such as Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres to world championships on their way to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He also tutored some of the most successful trainers in Teddy atlas and Kevin Rooney. He was most noted for popularizing the “Peek-A-Boo” boxing style.
Tyson met D’Amato shortly after his mother died, and the manager quickly become a father figure for the aspiring boxer. D’Amato was in Tyson’s corner when he became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history – surpassing D’Amato’s old protégé, Patterson. He passed away a little over a year afterwards.
The long anticipated match between Tyson and Jones Jr. takes place November 28. The bout will actually be an exhibition fight, with the promoter selling it as more of a hard-sparring session with no knockouts or scorecards involved. The rules of the fight have raised some eyebrows and drawn some criticism – even from Dana White – but the bout is still trending to be highly successful.