Serena Williams: Boxing with Mike Tyson wows fans amid epic preseason

Serena Williams has a huge year ahead in 2020, but her preseason exploits, which have included training with Mike Tyson, suggest she will be ready.

Mike Tyson says he would not like to share a ring with the great Serena Williams after being extremely impressed with her boxing exploits.

As he played a part in Serena’s preseason training with a session on the punching bag, Tyson was immediately heard admiring her power as he shouted encouragement.

Serena’s boxing skills became a viral sensation as she trained with the former world heavyweight champion as part of her preseason work at the academy of coach Patrick Mouratoglou in Boca Raton, Florida.

Coco Gauff has also been involved and, as well as the usual tennis practise, it has been an epic week involving dancing, karaoke and intense fitness sessions with famed fitness instructor Shaun T and DJ Bob Sinclair joining Tyson in helping Mouratoglou.

Victoria Azarenka, Holger Rune and Christopher Eubanks have been among the other players involved, but it is Serena’s boxing efforts with Tyson that may have stolen the show.

Tyson posted a 44-second clip which showed him giving Serena some pointers.

The 23-time Grand Slam then went on to show some impressive power and intense hitting, delighting her fans on various social platforms.

The former boxer wrote on Instragram: “I don’t want to get in the ring with this GOAT Serena Williams. Much love and respect.”

He later added: “Hitting the bag with Serena Williams at bocaresort. She has some power.”

Her fans were relishing the footage and promptly posting their support, with Serena and Tyson’s training session immediately trending and the video racking up over 1 million views inside 12 hours on Twitter, with a similar rate on Instagram.

An excited Mouratoglou posted: “Hit the punching bag like you wanna hit that ball!”

Serena, 38, has played a full part in the unique ‘Mouratoglou Preseason’, with Gauff also throwing herself straight into the action.

Mouratoglou and his academy’s social media accounts have regularly been giving fans a glimpse of the unique schedule, with the players seeming to enjoy the extracurricular activities.

Serena and Gauff are both back in action when the 2020 WTA Tour season begins next month.

They are playing in the same event, the ASB Classic in Auckland, a tournament that will also include US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

That will form part of their preparation for the Australian Open on January 20. Serena has won the first Grand Slam of the year seven times before and will see it as one of her top chances for the year in her attempt to equal Margaret Court’s major record of 24.

Earlier this week, Naomi Osaka defended Serena, who has lost her last four finals at Grand Slam events, describing anyone doubting the American as “silly” ahead of the 2020 season.

Next: More majors are within Osaka's grasp

Gauff, still only 15, will play the Australian Open for the first time, having burst onto the scene midway through 2019 at Wimbledon.

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