By Wilmar Patino:
Ever since Mike Tyson (50-6 44 KO’s) captured titles in the heavyweight division people began to wonder just how good Mike Tyson was. They also started having discussions of a fantasy fight between Muhammed Ali (56-5 37 KO’s) and Iron Mike Tyson. This was at a time where Mike Tyson looked unstoppable. He was the baddest man on the planet, and one of the most feared fighters in Boxing History. As Tyson fought on, he was upset by Buster Douglas before having his career dramatically change after getting into legal problems and serving time. Still, many wondered what would of happened if a prime Ali and Tyson fought. What would it look like? Most importantly, who would win?
We can begin by talking about the tale of the tape between these two boxing greats. Ali had all the physical advantages when it came to height and reach. Standing at 6’3” with a long reach of 78” Muhammad Ali would have a great advantage in controlling distance on Mike Tyson. Iron Mike is a full 5 inches shorter than Ali at 5’10” and would be giving up a 7 inch reach advantage as Tyson had short arms for the division measuring 71 inches. As far as weight is considered, there was not much of an advantage for either man as Ali in his prime weighed around 215 lbs and Tyson weighed about 220lbs. Both were athletic, but Ali had that extra pep to his step. Both can pack a punch, but it was Tyson who was known for his power and terrorized the heavyweight division in his era.
Ultimately this would come down to style, athleticism, boxing iq and mental fortitude. If we went by the standard 12 rounds of today we can have some idea about their conditioning. Being that Tyson never went 15 rounds even though he had been scheduled to do so in the early part of his career. Tyson would always end the fights early and Ali had no problems extending the fight and executing a game plan. So I would give Ali a good edge on stamina and conditioning. The power and mean streak of Tyson would always present a danger for Ali. Could Mike Tyson catch Ali with a devastating left hook the way Frazier did? Would it be enough to Knock the G.O.A.T. out? Possibly, but it would have been hard to deal with Ali’s jab all night for the smaller Mike Tyson. Could Ali keep Tyson away and avoid taking serious punishment early? Most likely, but Tyson in his prime cut the ring off well and placed his punches accurately. Those are all questions we can try to debate and answer based on some facts and opinions. I for one find it a very intriguing fantasy match up, but my mind tells me that Ali would have found a way with his jab and wonderful foot movement as long as he avoided the big knockout punch from Tyson. Posted along with the article is a fantasy promo of what would have been if these 2 legends would’ve ever faced in the ring. Enjoy, and let your imagination run wild!