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Mike Tyson has 'same speed, same power as guys 21, 22 years old,' trainer says

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Trainer Rafael Cordeiro raves about Mike Tyson's hands at 53 (2:07)

MMA trainer Rafael Cordeiro says he was impressed by Mike Tyson's speed and power after hitting the mitts for the first time in a decade. (2:07)

A short training clip of Mike Tyson recently went viral, and according to the man who was catching the former champ's punches, the iconic heavyweight still has some fight left in him at age 53.

"I didn't know what to expect," trainer Rafael Cordeiro told ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday. "He hasn't hit mitts for almost 10 years. So I didn't expect to see what I saw. I saw a guy with the same speed, same power as guys 21, 22 years old."

Cordeiro, best known for his work in mixed martial arts, added that anyone who gets in the ring with this 2020 version of Tyson ''has to be a good guy to spar with Mike."

Cordeiro said he got the opportunity to work with Tyson, the undisputed heavyweight champion in the late 1980s who also held heavyweight titles in 1996, through associates who contacted him about working with "Iron Mike."

He said he has been working with Tyson for ''three weeks in a row, cardio, mitts, bags. Like I said before, 53 years old but when he puts his mind to it, his body inside the ring -- he changes."

Their sessions range between 60 and 90 minutes, with Tyson doing his physical conditioning with another coach. At this stage they are between five and seven rounds on the mitts, with Tyson starting off slowly then building momentum as he gets revved up.

Cordeiro said he believes that within six months Tyson could make a successful comeback as a boxer.

"It's not a joke," he insisted, adding there is more footage that will be released that shows ''more power, more speed, everything."

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Mike Tyson still has it at 53

Mike Tyson shows that even at the age of 53 he can still step inside the ring.

Tyson might look impressive hitting objects that can't strike back, but he was stopped in five rounds by the lightly regarded Kevin McBride in his last professional outing in 2005.

"I believe Mike fought against himself for a long, long time," Cordeiro said. ''He's proud to be the Mike Tyson he is today."

Still, even if he could realistically make a return to the ring, does Tyson even want to?

"I don't know," Cordeiro said, "but what I can tell you is that if he wants to do something in the future, we'll be ready to do that, 100%."

Their next session is scheduled for Tuesday. Where this goes, nobody except Tyson has any idea.

"Could you imagine a third fight with Evander Holyfield?" Cordeiro said.