the view on mike tyson , pre and post rooney:
"Mike Tyson changed his boxing style after Kevin Rooney left as his trainer. Tyson was more than a puncher as the youngest heavyweight champion ever. He was a boxer-puncher of appalling speed, hand-speed, constant movement and power, who threw "punches in bunches" with bad intentions while maintaining superb defense. People who never saw him fight, or who never understood boxing in the first place, like Never Was a coach, cannot tell the difference between a volume boxer-puncher, and a single shot headhunter.
Kevin Rooney himself has been very candid about what happened with Mike, and the differences before and after. While he worked with Tyson, from the start of his career up to the Spinks fight, Tyson was trained to be, and was, a volume combination boxer-puncher. Rooney says " he punched fast and hard. That’s a difficult combination to deal with. Especially when those fast punches come in bunches, in good, solid, combinations,"
Rooney goes on to talk about Mike's defense in those days, saying, "he was elusive. The best thing about it was these guys couldn’t hit him. When you can’t hit somebody, that becomes very frustrating. In boxing, I’m trying to hit you, you’re moving your head and I can’t hit you. And I’m like, what the ****. That’s what happened in a lot of Mike’s fights. They couldn’t hit him."
So what changed? Don King and Robin Givens came into Mike Tyson's life, and it all was gone with the wind. Rooney tells what it was like up to Spinks, pre-King, with Mike: "we’d go to a health club at night. Then we’d go do bed. When he was with me there was no partying. There was no, well I worked hard, I’m gonna go have a few drinks and try to pick up a girl. That never happened. Hey Mike, guess what? We got a title to defend and you gotta be in tip-top shape. So that Mike Tyson, if he didn’t cross channels and went with Don King, he would have gone down as the greatest heavyweight in history."
And Robin Givens? Bill Cayton described what her influence was: "Mike was taken to the cleaners by a woman who never loved him, who saw in him an opportunity to become famous – which she did; to make a lot of money – which she did; and to use him. I don’t think she ever loved him for a minute, but he fell for her. I’ve never seen anything like Robin. She got Mike to fire Steve Lott, who had been like a close brother to Mike, but she decided she wanted rid of him so Steve had to go." Between Givens and King, they cleaned out Mike's life of anyone who had worked with him on the way up, and who emphasized that life at the top takes constant work and sacrifice.
King and Givens changed literally everything. Instead of working hard every day, sparring, running, watching film, Mike changed to drugs, drinking, and partying. His boxing style changed with his life style.
Mike, a short, lightning fast boxer with enormous power and incredible handspeed, was always vulnerable to taller rangy fighters who could rotate out and away, and control the fight with a jab. Under Rooney, he neutralized those fighters by being in good enough shape to go the distance, with constant movement, bobbing and weaving, to slip punches, and great defense. After King began and Rooney left, Tyson changed completely. Under Rooney Mike had landed 56 percent of his power punches, which is 15 percentage points higher than the heavyweight average. For instance, against Trevor Berbick, Tyson landed more power punches (46) than the total punches that Berbick threw (43), according to CompuBox. After Rooney, Mike's punch stats showed a complete change, with lesser totals, and lesser accuracy.
Defense also stopped as the party began. Mike went from a boxer-puncher with superb defense to a single shot headhunter, his generations version of Earnie Shavers, looking to put opponents asleep with one shot and go home.
Cayton described in 1992 what happened to Mike after King took over: " With Kevin it was not just the fact that he was a great puncher – it was those great boxing moves he made to get into position to deliver those devastating combinations...but then after Kevin was gone, a completely different fighter, he was not elusive, he didn’t slip punches, he didn’t bob and weave – he lost the skills that had been instilled in him under Kevin Rooney."
Hall of Fame Trainer Eddie Futch assessed the before and after Tyson bluntly: "Under Cus and Rooney Tyson was well conditioned and ready to go all night, lots of gas, great combinations, great defense. Under that parade of clowns King brought in, well, no defense, no conditioning, no combinations, if the knockout doesn't come by six, out of gas."
So yes, Mike Tyson's whole life, and his boxing style, changed after Kevin Rooney.
And those are the real facts!"