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Tyson to Return to Ring Against Nielsen - 2001-10-11

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson tries to get back on the comeback trail Saturday in Copenhagen, where he will battle Danish boxer Brian Nielsen.

Tyson is claiming to be in the best shape of his life. At the age of 35, Tyson says he is ready to put his troubled past behind him and make another serious run at the heavyweight title. For the past four months, he has undergone a rigorous conditioning program with California strength coach Gunnar Peterson, who specializes in training professional basketball players.

Peterson says Tyson is at the top of his game. "I do not know if Mike could go 48 minutes in the NBA, that is a lot of running. But he is certainly fit. His body fat is down. He is strong," Peterson said.

Skeptics say Tyson may be rusty. He has only fought 11 rounds since returning from suspension nearly three years ago. Nielson, by contrast, has fought 82 rounds in that time. He has compiled an impressive 62-1 record, with 43 knockouts.

But Tyson's trainer Tommy Brooks says Nielsen has never been up against anything like Mike. "Brian has never fought a guy who can blast like Mike. He can tear down a wall with either hand," Brooks said.

A sellout crowd of 47,000 mostly Nielsen supporters is expected at Denmark's main soccer stadium to witness the fight.