Still, stamina could be a problem. Tyson evidently does not have the superhuman endurance of Marciano, who could fight a furious three minutes every round and still be as strong in the 15th as he was in the first. But Tyson has proved to be a quick study, and he has learned how to pace himself. It has been said by some observers that when an opponent ties him in a clinch, Tyson doesn't know how to break free. Not so. He's just refilling his tank. ("Oh, good, I'll just take a little 15-second rest.") Then he comes back firing as vigorously as ever.
The grueling schedule of fighting every other week has been a twofold boon to the 221-pound youngster. "The best thing he has going for him is that his people have him fighting so frequently," says Archie Moore, the former light heavyweight champion who had 234 professional bouts. "That means he stays in fighting trim. A good racehorse gets maximum performance because it runs all the time. Boxers are similar, and fighting trim makes up for a lot of deficiencies when you are in trouble, particularly against a more experienced fighter."
The late Cus D'Amato, who had been Tyson's manager-trainer-mentor since the fighter was 13, laid out this schedule of twice-a-month bouts shortly after Tyson turned pro on March 6, 1985. "Cus predicted that Mike would fight for the title before the end of 1986," says Jacobs. "And he anticipated the problems. Our contracts with ABC and HBO called for Tyson to meet rated fighters after a specific time. He fought three and beat them, and that made him the Number One contender. He has no choice but to fight for the title now. Cus said the only way to prepare Mike for this was to give him a speed education by a multiple of four. So there has been no R and R for Mike. There couldn't be. And he has held up under it all beautifully."
If he continues to hold up, and there is no reason why he shouldn't, starting in November there should be very little R and R for the rest of the heavyweight division. It is kind of hard to justify rest and relaxation when you know that someday you have to face a pure fighter like Mike Tyson.