Mike Tyson: How hard does the legendary boxer really punch?

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As the days ebb away from what has been a truly remarkable year - for all the wrong reasons - one of 2020's final sporting acts will see the return to the ring of a modern great.

Whilst the heavyweight division continues to enjoy something of a golden age, perhaps the biggest name in the lifetime of many a fan returns to boxing, as Mike Tyson faces Roy Jones Jr. on November 28.

With just a fortnight until the two meet in an exhibition bout at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, hype continues to build, and some of his former opponents have been having their say.

Having notched 44 KOs to his name, 'Iron Mike' has molded some of the most ferocious rivalries in boxing history against the likes of Lennox Lewis and infamously Evander Holyfield.

Holyfield's two fights with Tyson in 1996 and 1997 were embroiled in controversy, and in the rematch, Tyson was infamously DQ'd after biting both of his opponent's ears.

Coming out on top by default on both occasions, Holyfield has never been Tyson's biggest fan, naturally, but as he told Ring Magazine, as per talkSPORT, Tyson always had 'the heart'.

"He was a good fighter, a very talented fighter and he had some skills that other people didn’t have.

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“I hit him with some good shots at the end. He never did go down and I hit him with a lot of shots that had put a lot of people down.

"He showed that he did have the heart."

Lewis, meanwhile, was embroiled in a bitter feud with Tyson in the build-up to their own 2002 clash.

After Tyson made inflammatory comments after beating Lou Savarese, that he wanted Lewis' heart, he then exclaimed a desire to 'eat his children'.

Lewis went on to KO the American in round eight, but still refutes claims he beat a weakened fighter, as he told Boxing News: "Everyone makes the argument that I didn’t beat a young Mike Tyson.

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"That argument is wrong because he wasn’t fighting a young Lennox Lewis either. Tyson’s fighting style hadn’t changed, I felt his power in the beginning of the fight."

In one of Tyson's later fights of his career, the American met heavyweight journeyman Danny Williams in Louisville in 2004.

Despite dominating the first two rounds, the Briton stunned his opponent with a fourth-round KO in Louisville.

Williams' victory shocked the boxing fraternity, and as he told Ring Magazine also, Tyson's raw power was unlike anything he had felt before.

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“The first thing that shocked me was his punching power. He was so fast as well, it was scary.

"When he first hit me, it was a weird feeling. It was easily the hardest I’ve ever been punched. I was expecting it, but it still came as a shock."

These three aren't the only one to feel the power and wrath of Tyson, however, as these following quotes can testify.

Jesse Ferguson: “Tyson was unstoppable when we fought. He caught me with a great shot. He hit me with an uppercut that made my eyes water.

“I held on until I heard the bell, but after that my corner couldn’t stop my nose from bleeding."

Marvis Fraizer: “I threw a jab and I don’t remember anything else.”

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Larry Holmes: “Tyson’s a good puncher, he’s down low. He was good, he was short and he had to get up to get to you.

“I should have had a tune-up. No excuses, Mike Tyson whupped me fair and square.”

Michael Spinks: “He had good hand speed. That was one of his biggest assets. He had power and hand speed and that was hard to beat.

“He knew how to get in real fast. That was one of his strengths too. He’d slide up on you real quick and get in the punches.

“He was very strong. I don’t know what made him so strong. Mike Tyson was most definitely the biggest puncher I ever fought.”

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Peter McNeeley: “He was all speed, he had blinding fast speed, it surprised me how fast.

“I don’t care what fighter you are – any fighter over 200lbs can punch – but with him, the power and that speed? Deadly combination.”

Lou Savarese: “The thing about him that’s amazing is there are guys that are strong and there are guys that are fast. He’s strong and fast.

“It’s so deceiving how quick he is. That’s what makes him so different. You don’t realise how quick he is until you get in there with him.”

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