Rafael Cordeiro details viral pad sessions with Mike Tyson: ‘If I don’t move back, oh lord’

Former Chute Boxe head coach and Kings MMA founder Rafael Cordeiro has held pads for Mike Tyson for four years now. He doesn’t need to be told the foam and leather standing between him and oblivion is not enough.

“After first seeing him, it messed with my shoulder,” Cordeiro said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I couldn’t hold mitts for at least six, seven months with my boys in the gym. My right shoulder was a big, big mess, and I stopped for a while to take care of my shoulder and do physical therapy.”

Cordeiro expects he’ll be back to the doctor after July 20, when Tyson faces Jake Paul at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That’s just the price of a training camp that started as soon as talks of a comeback fight picked up, leading to a booking against one of the most polarizing figures in combat sports.

You can almost see Cordeiro’s life flash before his eyes as Tyson closes distance, darting his head from side to side before unleashing a series of fearsome punches. On June 30, Tyson will turn 58.

All numbers are not created equal, according to Cordeiro.

“Holding mitts for Mike is different,” he said. “It’s different. The way he reacts…it’s one second from long distance to short distance. Sometimes, I say 1-2-3, and he’s already inside. If I don’t move back, oh lord. It’s impossible. I have to move back.”

The latest videos of Tyson’s pad sessions, which have racked up millions of views on social media, were produced just this past week. Cordeiro said the ex-heavyweight champ’s team is aligned to help him get in peak condition for the July 20 fight, and he expects an even better performance than Tyson’s exhibition clash with Roy Jones Jr. four years earlier.

There’s been plenty of concern about the wisdom of pairing a 58-year-old with a fighter 31 years his junior, YouTuber or not. Cordeiro brushes off that talk as surface-level anxiety that discredits the experience of Tyson.

“I believe people don’t have to be concerned,” he said. “We’re talking about a guy who was a two-time champ. The guy didn’t have 20 fights in two years. He knows how to fight. He fought against the best guys in the world. When he steps inside the ring, he knows what to do. It’s not something new for Mike, and this fight is no different.

“He works hard every single day to go there and try his best to knock Jake out. This is simply his style. Nobody has to teach Mike Tyson how to fight, and he’s going to prove in July, he’s still the same. … Mike is going to step in the ring as the old Mike Tyson, and he’s going to try to knock Jake out from the beginning to the end.”

Cordeiro still isn’t sure whether Tyson’s second fight in 19 years will go on his permanent boxing record, how long the rounds will be and other details that could make a huge difference for both fighters. All he knows is that Tyson is taking Paul very seriously.

“He’s already in shape,” Cordeiro said of Tyson. “We already started doing rounds in training, so it’s amazing to see the way he hits mitts. He’s a monster. … The only thing I can guarantee: Mike is going to touch Jake. It’s going to be impossible that Mike doesn’t touch Jake. Let’s see how Jake reacts after that.”

Cordeiro said he and Tyson respect Paul and don’t use his YouTube past to discredit his current work in boxing. That being said, the longtime coach said he’s worked with a lot of fighters, and what he sees from Tyson brings him back to the days where the ex-champ was feared by the world.

Fans can see that on video – Cordeiro can feel it in person when Tyson’s glove meets his pad.

“First-round KO,” Cordeiro said of his prediction for the fight. “This is Mike Tyson. This is the way he fights.”

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