View Full Version : Now that is over how will history remember Tyson?
06-12-2005, 10:43 AM
Well let me be the first. With Tyson's latest and hopefully final debacle how do you guys think History will remember him? Sadly I think he will be remembered as a great failure to live up to his talent and promise. I think he had all the talent in the world but never really did have the heart, and determination to match. It should be said that he really lost a lot when Cuss Demotto died. Then the leaches came out and really it was all down hill from there. Givins, King, and all the others really helped to pull him down in my opinion. I wonder where he would have gone if his original support system had stayed intact. We will never no but the real truth is that Tyson himself was the one who decided to allow all these hindrances destroy his potential. To me it is very sad as he could have been one of the greatest, now I think he will be remembered as a flash in the pan. Like the spark of a match that burns bright for a fleeting moment then burns out into a charred stick. He will be remembered as a second teer Heavyweight and for where we all though he would remembered in 1985 this is terribly sad for boxing. If you think of it Tyson's career more then any other is a macrocosm for boxing itself in the last 20 years.
06-12-2005, 02:30 PM
MICHAEL GERARD TYSON: A PUGILISTIC OBITUARY
By Adeyinka Makinde
Memphis, Tennessee is a city that is rich in culture and history. It is the home of Blues music deity W.C. Handy and Rock n'roll king Elvis Presley, both of whose legacies are preserved respectively in the garishly constructed tourist Meccas of Beale Street and Graceland. The "Bluff City", a strategically vital plateau that overlooks the River Mississippi, has over the centuries formed the backdrop to acts of subjugation: the Chickasaw Indians conquered by the Spanish; the Spanish outmanoeuvred by the French; the French deposed by the English; the English overthrown by the Americans and the secessionist confederate states of the South overrun by the North during the American civil war. Add to the list of vanquished that of Michael Gerard Tyson, in 1988 after his first round blow out of Michael Spinks, a candidate seemingly for boxing immortality and who in 2002 is the pathetically, washed up bum hammered into submission by the fists of Lennox Lewis.
Tyson, boxing's 'enfant terrible,' the iron wrecking Ghetto-Whopping Cyclops, Gog and Magog personified, arguably has managed to concoct an aura of such resounding negativity that has matched and oft times even eclipsed those periods of unpopularity that bedevilled figures like Jack Johnson (conduct challenging the social order of the time), Jack Dempsey (draft dodging allegations), Sonny Liston (mob associations) and Muhammad Ali (membership of a racial separatist organisation). June 8 represents the final stanza of what many have viewed as the inexorable decline of Tyson the fighter. The frankensteinian creation of the certifiable but venerable figure of Cus D'Amato; the magus' final bequest to the boxing world was supposed to be a composite of the accumulation of the qualities of sixty years heavyweight champions: the robeless, sockless black garbed entrance was supposed to convey the down-to-earth, no frills pragmatism of Jack Dempsey as indeed was the fighting style which was swift movement of head allied to full bloodied delivery of megaton packed punch combinations. D'Amato deliberately inculcated an awareness and indeed an almost scholastic knowledge of past fighters through hours of studying reels of fight movies. Tyson may have alluded to the influences of Louis, Marciano and Ali but he was mostly about emulating Dempsey. And in terms of viewer excitement and box office receipts generated he did appear to be the Dempsey of his age. But that is as far as it went. Tyson began to self destruct with increasingly erratic behaviour and somehow began to be sucked into a maelstrom of mishaps: street fights, allegations of persistently lewd conduct, financial overindulgence all culminating in a morale sapping divorce and later on a criminal conviction for rape. It did not help that he was left unprotected among a miscellany of predatory leeches grasping for pecuniary leverage and ill advised about the ways and means of navigating his way in life. He has, as the press conference to announce his bout with Lewis then scheduled for New York demonstrated, at times appeared thoroughly unrestrained in his behaviour and lacking in fundamental values of human deportment. Still the apparent projection of confidence within Tyson as he hurled a series of bombastic verbal taunts and curses at Lewis could not prepare many for what turned out to be an uncompetitive bout.
Tyson started the fight promisingly enough by stalking Lewis. He appeared to be up for it as purposefully, his eyes trained on the champion, he marched forward seeking to blast away at Lewis' suspect chin. Many who predicted a Tyson victory perhaps mistakenly harkened to the halcyon days of his defeats of the likes of Tyrell Biggs, Pinklon Thomas, Michael Spinks and Carl Williams. That Tyson was never seen post-Buster Douglas. When he beat Razor Ruddock on two occasions he did not utilize his D'Amatoan bob and weave skills and intelligently constructed body attack. Instead he appeared increasingly to rely on brute strength and notoriety. Arguably, his skills were already in serious decline before he was sent to gaol for the rape of Desiree Washington. Added to that is the fact that Tyson entered the ring reportedly having fought only eighteen rounds in five years, a distinct disadvantage when considering Lewis' appearances in title fights over the same period. Tyson was totally bereft of the skills that he so menacingly employed in the 1980s. Gone were the strategies of swift movement rolling the head from side to side followed by the swift instep and hip swivel that was the precursor to a thunderous barrage of hooks to the pit of his opponent's stomach. Instead we saw a Tyson who was a shell of his former self -robbed no doubt by years of ring inactivity and extra curricular over activity.
Never possessing a 'pleasing-to-the-eye' style of fighting, Lewis pushed out his straight left jab and unceremoniously clung on to Tyson using a python like method to constrict the former champion's movements. Lewis then backed this up by leaning in with the full weight of his seventeen stone frame a ploy, which must have contributed to the steadily weakening state of Tyson. If Tyson won the first round through his persistence in moving forward and clung onto a precarious state of parity in the next two, it can be safely asserted that from thence he was no longer in the reckoning as gradually his face became increasingly misshapen, as Lewis' jabs connected with monotonous regularity bloodying his nose and inflicting lumps on either side of the forehead. During the intermissions Tyson appeared to be in obvious pain from the work done by his seconds on his bleeding nostrils and lumped features. The ministrations from his corner men for him to summon up one last effort to deliver a knock out blow were met with the words: "I can't." It was clear that it was only a question of time before Lewis would bring to bear the force majeure to knock him out. Tyson plodded forward all the time receiving the most comprehensive beating administered to him in his professional career. The decisive blow that turned Tyson limp was followed by a shove from Lewis that deposited him onto the canvas.
What to make then of this tumultuous career of an orphaned, street hardened Brooklyn youth, ostensibly rescued by the efforts of an ageing trainer only to fall to the depths of personal and professional humiliation? Although Tyson achieved the distinction of being the youngest ever world heavyweight champion as well as being one of the most feared and entertaining, his eventual legacy will be one clouded in the mists of unfulfilled destiny. It will be tempting to see his early victories while dominating the heavyweight ranks as insignificant peaks and the losses suffered to Holyfield and Lewis as confirmation that he was average and overblown, seemingly thriving on an aura of invincibility that was thrashed first by James 'Buster' Douglas and then by Evander Holyfield and which now has been firmly dismantled by Lewis. The evidence appears compelling; Tyson never beat any of the talented luminaries of his generation Holyfield, Lewis or Bowe, He may be remembered as a bully, granted an above average fighter, but a bully none the less who got his comeuppance in the 'Bluff City.' Yet there will be those who will lament the defeat of Tyson the fighter if not Tyson the person. For the Mike Tyson of the early part of his career appeared to be a gift from the gods. A kid who fought like the heavyweight champion should fight: aggressively, powerfully and skillfully. Who battled with a coldly, calculating rage, provided knock out entertainment and who with his knowledge of boxing history projected an endearing sense of his continuing a noble tradition of the fighting man.
Sadly, he will be remembered more for notoriety and less for nobility
06-12-2005, 03:13 PM
Why 3 yrs? Every fighter bobs up and down on the winds of history. When I conducted a poll, limited to the 5 respondents, Tyson came up in the bottom ten all time. That's some damn good company to be in. As boxing continues to decline, I don't see future heavies having the same gravitus as Tyson's era even if they might appear to be more dominant.
At his best and while coming up, no heavy, and maybe no fighter was more dominant save possibly Robinson. The man exhibited zero defects in the ring. However, his original trainers and management team deserves a lot of credit for keeping him focused and providing the stability he needed. One he lost that his weakness both in and out of the ring really surfaced and he became more a dog and pony show than a great fighter.
Also, Tyson must be the most prominent mentally ill fighter in history. No telling what the effect of being either off his meds or on his meds had on his career. Certainly Don King and Robin Givens can be credited for a good portion of his fall from the top, especially King.
I doubt seriously Tyson will ever fall much outside the top 10 all time rankings. Hard to believe that many insiders in boxing thought he was the best ever. He sure did look like it before his ball unraveled. Howard Hughes was another great who suffered tremendous falls because of mental illness, though with less public fanfare.
I also suspect we will see him in the ring again. He has no other options, sadly.
06-12-2005, 03:20 PM
Top 10 all time?? Plluueezzee. So many who grew up in the Tyson era and lived through all of the hype and knockouts can't in retrospect grasp reality and see that "you know, Tyrell Biggs and Trevor Berbick really were not great wins". He was close to a great fighter who always had defects but against his usually talented but very flawed (and in a few instances drug-addicted) opposition they didn't seep through too much. Def. a top 20 HW of all time, but I can think of quite a few HWs who would have gone through the Thomases, Berbicks, and Brunos as well.
A tough kid but when the going got tough, in and out of the ring, he got out of there, one way or the other.
06-12-2005, 05:14 PM
The fact that his record will show he was stopped 6 times will work against him with the laymen as well as those who hate him as a person. However, they mean nothing to me.
Tyson was a meteror. His prime was Berbick to M. Spinks. In that two year period, he was one of the greatest heavyweights that ever lived. He dominated and easily defeated some extremely tough fighters...Berbick, Smith, Thomas, Tucker, Briggs, Holmes*, Tubbs and Spinks were all crushed by a terrific fighting machine. In his prime, his speed, power, his stamina, chin and mental toughness were unquestioned.
After Spinks, the prime Tyson was over. The distractions of life outside of the ring won out. He would never be the same.
06-12-2005, 05:51 PM
Personally, I think Mike will be shuffled off into the "significant flash in the pan wing" along with another talented burn-out we've been talking about on this board, Terrible Terry McGovern. At their very best, each guy was capable of performing like an all-time great, but due to various factors their primes were brief and their falls precipitous.
Even in this case, I think Tyson will rate behind McGovern. Terry emphatically defeated other all-timers while on his winning run, earning his the right to be included in their number. Mike doesn't have that much credit. Spinks didn't do enough to establish himself as a great heavy and Holmes (overall, probably Tyson's best win over a good opponent) was just too old to count for much.
Someone mentioned that Tyson showed mental toughness at his best: I can't recall when that might have been. In the Douglas and Holyfield 1 bouts, he did keep trying to the bitter end, but he never summoned up the resolve to force himself into a win (the one punch flooring of Buster was as much an accident as a "damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead" example of Tyson charging into withering fire). Berbick was gone long before mental toughness was required (ditto Spinks), and Smith and Tucker were in there mostly to survive once they felt Mike's power. Tyson certainly didn't exhibit mental toughness in the Holyfield rematch or when he was trying to break Botha's elbow, and he basically quit against Lewis once he tired of taking stick.
In my opinion, Mike might make it into the very low Top Ten in the minds of his fans, but the transitory nature of his very best game will prevent him from ever being listed among the elite who were great and able to come from behind to win, guys such as Ali (versus Foreman), Louis (Conn & Walcott), Foreman (Lyle & Moorer), Dempsey (Brennan, Firpo, & Sharkey), Tunney (Dempsey), Holmes (Weaver) etc. Tyson might have momentary chances of defeating any of these men, but if they withstood the early hell (as i think they would), Mike was dead meat.
Mike Tyson = Sonny Liston (minus the obvious dives Sonny took). PeteLeo.
06-12-2005, 06:02 PM
In my personal opinion Liston would have whupped Mike's ass . . .
06-12-2005, 06:03 PM
If Tyson would never have fought on past 1991, everyone, and I do mean everyone would have a vastly improved opinion of his career. The man has been past his prime for 15+ years, but he still managed to do fairly well among some decent heavyweights.
The last eight, or nine years have been very bad for Tyson, but then again, he was far from his prime, not to mention that he missed four years due to prison. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't as gifted as Ali and able to come back in the same manner that Ali did after three years. Very few atheletes have ever been able to come back after losing four years, actually none comes to mind, except Jack Blackburn when he was fighting, but that's all that I can think of.
I think that one of the problems now is that everyone thinks of all the things that Tyson did wrong without looking at the things he did right!
06-13-2005, 12:34 AM
I never liked Tyson even in his prime.I always liked the boxers more then the punchers.
that being said Tyson should be rated in the top 10 all time heavyweights.End of story.I remember a time where you would watch a Tyson bout and if the guy survived 1 round you were happy.Tyson's opponents were no worse then Larry Holmes opponents or a couple of others.He did not just win against his opponents-he crushed them.At his best Tyson would have been a threat to any heavyweight champion in any era.
06-13-2005, 02:31 AM
I agree with what a lot of you guys are saying about Tyson in his Prime, but a career has to be examined in it's complete whole. Plus Tyson's prime was much shorter then most of the great heavyweights in history.
06-13-2005, 02:31 AM
For every opponent Tyson bombed out in a round, there was a Bonecrusher Smith, Mitch Green, or even Jese Fergussan who clinched and did enough to extend him the distance or at least frustrate the hell out of him and force him to resort to fouling.
Tyson was always easy to grab, wrestle, and push around. This is often glossed over but he is completely inept at clinching and was in my estimation the worst inside fighter of any heavyweight champion under six feet tall. His best KO moments came when he exploded at his inferior opponents from the mid range. If you could get inside on him and stay there, you would survive. Holyfield proved this very well. Tyson just couldn't generate the same power when you smothered him and forced him to back up.
How people can continue to repeat over and over that he was a flawless fighter when in fact he couldn't even dominate mediocre opposition in the clinch and control the fight from the inside is beyond me. Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis made short, compact punching and inside bodywork into an artform. Mike Tyson was relatively crude in comparison in that field.
He was good and had insane talent (yet so was Max Baer), but for God's sake when you look at him with an unbiased eye, he had his weaknesses as well.
Let's not even get into his heart or lack thereof. I am talking strictly style and technique here.
06-13-2005, 05:11 AM
Mike had a very good -- if brief -- run, but for me one fight clearly invalidates any claims of Top Ten greatness for Tyson: Buster Douglas.
Buster was talented but not super-talented, and Tyson was as close to his physical peak as any time in his career. We can debate the distractions and other factors that might have affected his performance in that bout, but all we really have to go on is what occurred in the ring, and I can't come up with another all-time great heavy champ who suffered such an overwhelming and embarrassing defeat to such a lower-class (in the sense of accomplishments) opponent when he should have been at the apex of his reign.
Tyson simply could not come from behind, and for me this will lock him out of the upper reaches of the boxing pantheon. Blowouts of the likes of Carl Williams and Frank Bruno can't disguise these various inhibiting factors. PeteLeo.
06-13-2005, 07:35 AM
Agreed. You simply don't see the greats taken apart. Ever. They have too many tools and too much ringsmarts to prevent that type of result. And that's exactly what douglas did in there. Later on, an old holyfield got a rare ko on his ledger when he took him apart as well.
06-13-2005, 10:55 AM
Bomma, I believe Tyson still won the title after D'Amato's death. I'm not saying Cus wasn't an influence, he was...but Mike was devestating when he won the title and for two yrs after. Once Rooney left, Tyson went out of control, King took over along with Robin Givens. Rooney motivated Mike like no other, he was the guy with Mike in the Gym, where it really counts. He kept him on the straight and narrow. Tyson was naturally a great fighter, but he needed the right people around him to make sure he kept 100% focused. Rooney did exactly that. Once King got in, Rooney was forced out and Tyson was finished. His first victory over Bruno was the start of his downfall....You could even see then, that he wasn't as sharp as he had been...probably too little time in the gym, too much time partying. He will be remembered to me a s the GUY WHO BEAT HIMSELF. He could have been the greatest heavyweight ever. Could have I'm afraid doesn't cut it........:|
06-13-2005, 12:44 PM
I think he should be remembered as a very talented punk that completely wasted all of his talents. Even when he was at the top and scaring the shit out of so many fighters, I always said that any guy with a punch, chin, a heart, and good conditioning could stay with him by making him pay for going inside, especially when he was moving back out, just like Buster did. Each time Mike came in Buster hit him, and every time Mike moved back out or when Buster backed out of range, Buster hit him with something, usually a big right over the top, and Mike never had that happen to him. He started to wait for Buster to fall every time he landed, instead Buster just hit him back.
After that, the punk was exposed. If Bonecrusher had hit Mike in the first round like he did in the 15th, we may not have had to wait on Buster to do it. Bonecrusher was intent on surviving, and Buster was intent on beating the crap out of him..........
06-13-2005, 01:56 PM
I have to stand by my initial assessment. If anything,things have gotten worse for Tyson in terms of the manner in which he is likely to be rated in the distant future.
It is true to say that the estimates of fighters are not neccesarily accurate during their careers and in the immediate aftermath of their careers. A period of time is needed. Contemporary pundits tend to be hung up on what their generation percieve as the 'great' oldtimes.
Find so called expert surveys of journalists etc of the 1950s and you will find that the likes of Mickey Walker are ranked higher than Sugar Ray Robinson. In the 1970s you'll find that even after Ali's remarkable feat against Foreman (coming back from a three and a half year involuntary lay off as well as a defeats to Frazier and Norton) he was ranked below Demsey, Tunney and others. Utterly ridiculous in my humble opinion.
So an elapse of time is required to see things afresh and weigh up the relevant data and criteria. Defeats in the later part of a fighters career can act as a hinderance and obfuscate their earlier achievements -that is true.
Nevertheless, while Tyson's peaks of achievement in his earlier years would be able to be brought into focus at the expense of the recent memories of his defeats, I would still argue against the certainty of his featuring in the top ten all time heavyweight champions in the next 15 to 20 years.
This is a real shame. I hoped that Tyson would come back particularly with the current crop of sub-standard (according to popular opinion) heavyweights but he appears shot. There appears to be no way back.
In the scheme of history there is the possibility that Tyson's losses to Holyfield and Lewis would be excused or lessened due to his absense during his prison stay. Had they fought Tyson in the late eighties, the argument goes, Tyson would have beaten them easily? (The case can be made that Tyson peaked early while Lewis peaked later and that Holyfield was still in a transitory state from cruiserweight to heavyweight).
There are so many questions: When did Tyson reach his peak?When did he start going into decline? Was this before his prison stay? Think about the fights with 'Razor' Ruddock. Was Tyson in decline? Was he eschewing the use of his explosive bob and weaving tactic? Or was he merely relying on brute strength? What if Tyson did not go to prison? Would he have enjoyed an unbroken chain of development and achievement? Would he have beaten Bowe, Lewis and Holyfield? You can talk about boxing politics but Tyson did not register a single win over any of these luminaries of his generation. Would Ali be the greatest without going through Foreman, Frazier, Norton et al?
I wish Tyson all the best in life and I hope that history judges him fairly as a fighter but the omens do not look to be in his favour.
06-13-2005, 03:51 PM
Some say a fighter can only be judged in the ring. That's a good baseline since I notice some folks tend towards wild unsupported opinions over certain fighters.
Tyson has the 5th most consecutive title victories, 10, falling short only against Louis, Ali, and Holmes and Burns. He's tied for the 5th most overall title victories, 12, falling short of Louis, Ali, Holmes, and Lewis.
He was by a large margin the youngest heavy to win a title, and when he first lost his title he was still younger than most every heavy champ in history was when they first won the title. He was one of the few to consolidate the title, something damn near impossible in the modern age.
He made more $$$ than any fighter in history by a huge margin. In spite of compiling a very modest journeyman's record since signing with King and ditching his original management and training team 14 yrs ago, he still remained the best paid heavyweight out there.
He had 37 of the most dominant 1st consecutive victory streaks in history, knocking out most every opponent early or taking the few survivors to a lopsided points victory. Most every fighter in history save perhaps Willie Pep or SRRobinson had bouts they struggled in as they came up the ring ladder.
Was the only fighter to ever beat Michael Spinks and the only fighter to ever KO Holmes and Spinks.
Now, when you look at Tyson's accomplishments, they are always mentioned favorably in conjuction with HOF greats. If you want to focus on his career weaknesses, was he really any weaker than Henry Armstrong, Sam Langford, Jack Johnson, Sonny Liston, Holyfield? Even that's some pretty impressive company to keep.
Dominique Wilkens was dubbed the "Human Highlight Film." I think no boxer better fits that moniker than Mike Tyson. There use to be a tape available called Tyson's Greatest Hits. It's awe-inspiring displays of Tyson's speed and prodigious power and his opponents floundering around the ring. These are the scenes many of Tyson's fans and casual boxing fans remember and will always remember. These were the scenes that kept people coming back to see Tyson fight.
But maybe we were all a little fooled by the highlight films. Besides the undeniable speed and power, Tyson's career was also built on intimidation: the baddest man on the planet. Cus D'Amato and Mike Tyson used fear better than any other boxing team I can think of (Remember Tyson's line "I aim my punches at the tip of the nose to drive the bone into the brain."). Tyson became a monster in the ring, a minotaur. Perhaps this caused us all to overestimate what Tyson could have been in boxing history. Monsters are built on an illusion of fear. When good fighters entered the ring and weren't intimidated, they found Tyson beatable. For one fight, Buster Douglas fought like a great. He not only used his reach and hand speed to his advantage but also bullied Tyson throughout the fight. Holyfield definitely wasn't intimidated and used his superior skills to defeat Mike. After the first round, Lewis wasn't intimidated either and pounded Tyson into a has-been. When Tyson didn't intimidate and didn't take out an opponent early, he had no plan B. Can anyone recall a time when Tyson used superior boxing skills or a strategy to defeat an opponent?
For me, Tyson will be in the second tier of heavyweight champions. I'm not denying Tyson's tremendous speed and power as a heavyweight but I think the highlight films created an illusion of a fighter who was much greater than he actually was.
06-13-2005, 09:37 PM
Tyson's "title defenses" need to have an asterik next to them b/c he was the first dominant champ in the era of paper titles. He beat Berbick for a strap but is Berbick ever really considered a HW champion??
If we're going to go that route Ruiz is probably up there with pretty good company in terms of title defenses . . .also a "two-time" champion . . :lol
06-13-2005, 11:35 PM
You guys are being way to hard on Mike.Joe Louis got knocked out in his PRIME but nobody says anything about that.And you want to talk about second rate opposition you look at some of Louis's victims.They were called the bum of the month if I recall correctley.And Larry Holmes defended against nobodies but nobody denies his greatness.Trever Berbick went 15 rounds with Holmes.I'm not saying Tyson should be rated higher then Louis or Holmes because he shouldn't.But he was indeed a great champion.
2 years or 3 years it doesn't matter Tyson dominated in such a way his opposition that you cannot deny his greatness.He crushed them.Lennox Lewis didn't do that,Klischko brothers aren't doing it.The Tyson who fought after he came out of prison was no where near the fighter he once was.If you want to start including losses a boxer incurs past his prime then you can include Joe Louis's losses to Charles and Marcanio.Ali's losses to Holmes and Berbick.Holmes losses to Mccall and Holyfield.
When Tyson was at his best for however short it may have been you knew that you were watching something great that didn't come along often.And I ALWAYS ROOTED AGAINST TYSON!!!!!!
06-14-2005, 12:17 AM
If you want to start including losses a boxer incurs past his prime then you can include Joe Louis's losses to Charles and Marcanio.Ali's losses to Holmes and Berbick.Holmes losses to Mccall and Holyfield.
I see your point, although neither of those fellows are on the level of Danny Williams or Kevin McBride.
Louis's opposition was named bum of the month b/c he was beating them so easily and fighting on a regular basis . . Billy Conn, Lou Nova, and John Henry Lewis were far from bums.
06-14-2005, 02:00 AM
True Hagler04 but it really doesn't matter what level the opponenent is when a great champion is past his prime.
As far as bum of the month your point is well taken but check out some of the people that Louis defened against other then that group.They were no better then what Tyson fought.
06-16-2005, 03:58 AM
Mike Tyson had tremendous talent, but he didn't
have the dedication or desire to be an all-time
great. Evander Holyfield had alot less talent
than Tyson, but the former's tremendous
dedication and desire made him an all-time
great, especially when you take in account
what he did in the cruiserweight division.
The fact is that the intangibles ARE so
important in boxing.
- Chuck Johnston
06-20-2005, 11:22 AM
"Joe louis got knocked out in his prime but nobody says anything about that."
But Joe louis came back to avenge that loss in devestating fashion. Just as Ali came back to beat Norton and Fraizer twice each after losing the first bouts.
Tyson never fought Douglas again and in his rematch against Holyfield he bailed out and lost again. In ranking where he stands overall, years from now, that won't help his ratings.
Would be equivalent to Louis losing the rematch to Schmelling. Or Ali never fighting Fraizer or Norton again after losing to them. If that was the case, I doubt Louis or Ali would be rated as highly as they are now. I think when considering where to rank fighters after their careers are over a lot of emphasis should be given not just to their wins but also how they rebounded from losses. Unlike Ali or Louis, Tyson never once turned the tables on the guys who whipped him.
In my opinion, I think years from now when ranking the great heavyweights Tyson will be remembered similar to what Max Baer and Sonny Liston are now; guys who showed flashes of awesome talent but could have been so much better.
06-20-2005, 11:27 AM
Obviously there are some folks out there who positively shortcircuit when Tyson's name comes up.
Holy never once beat Tyson handily. The first fight was the freakin' fight of the year and the 2nd fight Tyson just whacked out when he got butted early in the fight. The three stooges using iced condoms in Tyson's corner for the Douglas fight is the perfect metaphor for Tyson's new training habits under King. His mental illness and prescribed drug usage is well documented from that time forward as well. King could've given Tyson a frontal lobatomy and his critics would be claiming they always knew Tyson was a bum's bum.
Tyson's accomplishments stand by themselves and all the nattering nabobs of bolivion can froth at the mouth like rabid dogs every time Tyson's name is mention til this world caves in for all they matter. Like every fighter Tyson had his strengths and like almost every fighter in history his weaknesses slowly did him in yet Tyson is still boxing #1 headline after 14 yrs of steady decline.
06-20-2005, 11:28 AM
[[[But a lot of heavyweights accomplished a lot more than Tyson did over a longer period in their careers.
I think the only heavyweights who Tyson fought that one can make a case for belonging in the top 20 ratings of all time are Holmes, Holyfield and Lewis. Tyson is 1-3 against them.]]]
The only heavies who come close or exceed Tyson's title victories are Louis, Ali, Holmes, Lewis and Burns. That's not a lot of heavies, it's a very short list.
Let's use Slade logic and ask how many top 20 heavies Dempsey fought and what his record would be? Willard and Tunney at best which makes Jack 1-2. Sharkey would make him 2-2.
Louis? Well, we could say Walcott, Charles, and Marciano for sure which gives him a 2-2 record. Include Sharkey and Schmeling and he's 4-3.
Patterson? Well, Liston, Ali, making him 0-4.
Liston? Well, Patterson and Ali making him 2-2.
Frazier? Ali and Foreman making him 1-4.
If we include Sharkey we have to include Micheal Spinks who beat Holmes twice and that would make Tyson 2-3.
..........AND.....where's the logic in the Slade system?
06-20-2005, 12:20 PM
Blaming Tyson for not rematching Douglas is like blaming Johnson for not rematching Willard or Braddock for not rematching Louis. Some rematches can't be made for logistical reasons of the moment. Douglas took big money to give his title to Holyfield and retire. That's not Tyson's fault though it was his fault that he signed with King to begin with.
A legit criticism of Tyson is that he never came back in a fight he was losing but the fact will always remain that he never started losing until he signed with King, started taking various drugs for his obvious mental illness, and stopped training properly. 14 yrs of steadily circling the big drain and Tyson remained the most compelling figure in boxing whose victors are still getting title shots on their Tyson victory alone. That is a testament to the formidable career of the real Iron Mike and his original team and the way he lit up boxing, very much like Dempsey did the same some 65 yrs earlier.
No heavy ever came close to starting as strong as Tyson or accomplished so much so early. No heavy ever wasted more natural talent than Tyson wasted is another way to look at it, but then few heavies were ever as whacked out mentally as Tyson and certainly no fighter ever was exploited more than Tyson. Absolutely one of the most riveting figures in sports and guaranteed to be a subject of many future movie projects. He will be remembered, trust me!
06-20-2005, 12:49 PM
No fighter was ever more exploited then Tyson? Mike got 1000 chances for redemption and to make money . . that's a disrespectful statement to the multitudes of fighters who have been manipulated and left with absolutely nothing, and never got second chances either. To say Mike magically lost all of his boxing skills and drive when he signed with Don King, and that Rooney was like this magical pill he took before bouts so he could look great, is bs in my opinion. Tyson looked as good as he ever did vs Williams, Stewart, Ruddock 11, and Bruno (hell Mercent was saying during the latter fight how much Tyson had evolved since the Bonecrusher Smith bout) . . . but none of those guys had the determination or followed the gameplan once they felt Tyson's speed and power . . .Douglas did . . he jabbed HARD, tied him up, and finished his combinations on the inside . . and Tyson didn't know what the hell to do. A dangerous, skilled fighter, but in the end a front runner who could and never did revert to a plan B or show nay adaptability in the ring when someone was outboxing him . . he just hoped he'd eventually catch them with a haymaker. Fat Tubbs got caught and folded . . .Douglas and Holyfield, who showed up in shape and ready to win, didn't fold and beat Tyson handidly.
06-20-2005, 01:41 PM
"No heavyweight ever came close to starting as strong as Tyson or accomplishing so much so early."
But a lot of heavyweights accomplished a lot more than Tyson did over a longer period in their careers.
I think the only heavyweights who Tyson fought that one can make a case for belonging in the top 20 ratings of all time are Holmes, Holyfield and Lewis. Tyson is 1-3 against them.
Mowing through guys like Berbick, Thomas and Biggs, means little. Nobody will even remember those guys in 30 years let alone rank them in any all-time best list.
One can make a case for a top 20 all-time ranking for Liston, Patterson, Fraizer, Foreman and Holmes. Ali is 7-2 against them. The same can be said for Sharkey, Schmelling, Baer, Wolcott, and Marciano. Louis is 5-2 against them.
Ali and Louis simply have more wins than losses against the few fighters of their era who can even be considered for a top 20 rank in the all time ratings. Tyson does not.
06-20-2005, 02:30 PM
While I agree that far too many cannot separate their personal hatred for Tyson from his actual ring performances, let's be straight on something. Holyfield kicked Tyson's ass big time in their first bout. He punched him into unconsciousness. What more can you do ? Granted this was not the Tyson of the Spinks fight but he was creamed in that fight.
06-20-2005, 02:37 PM
[[[Holyfield kicked Tyson's ass big time in their first bout. He punched him into unconsciousness.]]]
What? You mean HE never saw the fight? Tyson was covered up on the ropes when the ref stopped the fight. He was never unconcious. It was a thrilling back and forth fight until Tyson was butted and cut and Tyson freaked. It was fight of the year and likely Holy was on a major steroid cycle for the fight. Regardless it was not the one sided ass kicking you claim.
Where do these folks wander in from?
06-20-2005, 04:53 PM
Out on his feet Roberto. Completely on queer street. A much more decisive beating than a guy getting hit like Jones did to Tarver , goes down for ten and is fine. Tyson practically had to be carried to his corner the round before. He bravely came out and was pummeled, completely unable to defend himself. The ref stopped the fight to save his life. Is that your idea of a close, nail bitting ending ?
It was a very competitive fight until Evander kicked it into another gear that "that" Tyson was no longer able to make.
06-20-2005, 04:55 PM
"And....Where is the logic in the Slade system?"
Hahahaha. Okay, in hindsight there is not much logic in that particular system. You're correct, by that system Dempsey would be 0-2 (Tunney) against all-time top heavyweights. I wouldn't even include Willard. Like berbick, Biggs, and Thomas, I don't think he was a top 20 all-time HW.
But as for Tyson's number of succesful title defenses I think one can put an asterik next to all of them but two (Bruno and Williams) He won alphabit soup titles against Berbick and Smith. Spinks was the lineal champ. And it wasn't until he beat Spinks that he was recognized as undisputed champion.
My feeling remains that because Tyson lost to the best two fighters he ever faced that won't bode well for him years down the road as far as his spot amongst the greatest HWs in history.
And I'm not sold on the argument that he was just a shell of himself when he lost to Holyfield. Before that fight he had won 8 straight. 4 of them by first round kayo. And he was a heavy favorite going in. Nobody was saying he washed up BEFORE that fight.
As for the Lewis fight, yes, he was well past his best. But even then it's not like he was beaten by an up and coming young fighter. He was throuroughly pulverized by an older HW who was also on the downslide of his career.
No doubt he looked awesome in the early part of his carreer but unlike the great HWs before him, when he finally was tested and things weren't going his way, he was never able to reach deep into the well and turn it around and win. A great offensive fighter but he lacked that mental element that Ali, Holmes, Louis, Marciano and Dempsey had when they got off the canvas to win fights that weren't going their way. He never overcame adversity in the ring on the occasions he was in trouble thus I don't think he can be rated as the complete fighter the afore listed were.
Like Liston, an awesome physical force who was considered unbeatable during his reighn but eventually exposed as lacking true mental toughness when the chips were down. And in my opinion, that's where I would rank Tyson. Close behind Liston but outside the top 10 of the all-time greatest HWs.
06-20-2005, 10:02 PM
"And I'm not sold on the argument that he was just a shell of himself when he lost to Holyfield. Before that fight he had won 8 straight. 4 of them by first round kayo. And he was a heavy favorite going in. Nobody was saying he washed up BEFORE that fight."
Tyson had fought parts of 8 rounds in the previous 5.5 years before fighting Holyfield. He had been incarcerated for about 4 years of that time. As for Tyson being the heavy favorite, Tyson looked so good in the 80s that he could come back now, train a little harder, lose al little more weight and he would probably be made the betting favorite over almost anyone and we all know he is shot.
When Ali came back, he fought 18 rounds in the 5-6 months before the first Frazier fight and his fans say he was not sharp for the fight. He had not been off for as long as Tyson nor had he been as inactive.
06-20-2005, 10:39 PM
Slade: I'd rate Spinks, Briggs, Thomas, Berbick and Tucker (who stopped him) as all better than Douglas. Smith might have outlasted him as well. by the time he lost to Douglas Tyson was already through as a great fighter. He was mentally out of the game.
06-20-2005, 11:24 PM
I'd rate Spinks, Briggs, Thomas, Berbick and Tucker (who stopped him) as all better than Douglas. Smith might have outlasted him as well. by the time he lost to Douglas Tyson was already through as a great fighter. He was mentally out of the game.
I have to stand up for Buster Douglas here. I lived near Columbus at the time and I remember following that fight. For one night, Douglas was a badass heavyweight and that Douglas could have beaten any of the fighters you mentioned. He had the determination to fight from losing his mother shortly before the fight. He trained hard and worked hard. It was a Villanova/Georgetown situation, and Douglas was super that night. He had the jab working, he mixed in combinations, he did not take off rounds like heavyweights do, and he even got up from a vicious vintage Tyson uppercut when he got careless for a moment. What more do you want from a fighter? After the fight, he soaked in the victory parades and talk show appearances and lost all of his hunger. He did not lose the Holyfield fight in the ring, he lost it in training and with the hideous blubber he put on after the Tyson fight. Any fight fan in the area could have told you before the fight that he had no chance against Holyfield or any top heavyweight for that matter.
06-21-2005, 12:57 AM
Gotta stick up for Buster. The man had good natural talent, size and strength. He lacked dedication, probably because of a prediabetic condition. He almost died a couple of years after the Tyson fight, yet for that one night he put everything together and likely could have beat any heavy in history save some greats.
That Buster did not show up for the Holy fight. Can you imagine the conundrum had a well trained Buster beat Holy before retiring?
Buster had already gained my admiration for his job on Tyson, but then he came back as a full blown diabetic and forced Roy Jones to quit their scheduled fight and flee to the safety of the lightswatter division. Now that was simply Priceless!
06-21-2005, 01:46 AM
I agree with Roberto. Douglas that night was a complete fighter. Size, movement, stiff jab, power and heart. Only a handful of greats could have beaten him that night.
06-21-2005, 05:25 AM
>>>Buster had already gained my admiration for his job on Tyson, but then he came back as a full blown diabetic and forced Roy Jones to quit their scheduled fight and flee to the safety of the lightswatter division. Now that was simply Priceless!<<<
A super heavyweight who intimidated an actual middleweight...what's so great and admiring about that...that the much smaller man had second thoughts about going in against a very big man?
06-21-2005, 09:04 AM
]]]A super heavyweight who intimidated an actual middleweight...what's so great and admiring about that...that the much smaller man had second thoughts about going in against a very big man? [[[[
No, wait, I thought Roy was a natural JrMiddle who had to gain 50 lbs of rockhard muscle just to step in the ring with doughboy Ruiz. Ain't that how it goes?
Let's see, according to RoyWorld, Johnson/Tarver 2 was just an elimination bout to fight him and Vitali is just a stiff Roy could KO with ease. Why on earth would the LightHeavy Legend of the World freak over a fight contract he designed and signed to fight a fatty, jiggly, late 30ish, 6 yr retired, deathbed ridden diabetic?
Oh, wait, never mind, I forgot the RoyRefrain: Savarse KOed Buster which just shows you what Roy would've done to Buster if he wanted!
06-21-2005, 10:09 AM
I don't attribute the Douglas victory to Tyson being shot as a fighter. I think it was just a case of Douglas fighting a very inspired, confident, and intelligent fight. Like Schmelling, in the first Louis fight, Douglas found the blue-print to beat Tyson and he executed it effectively. He was simply a very good fighter that one night.
Tyson was a young man then and he had kayoed Bruno and Williams within a year before the Douglas fight. And after that fight, before his incarceration, he kayoed Tillman and Stewart in 1 round each and beat Ruddock twice. But because Douglas beat him between that period we're supposed to believe he was suddenly washed up?
I don't think so. I think he was just beaten by a guy who figured out how to beat him and fought a great fight that one night.
06-21-2005, 11:47 AM
Good points. Without question BUster fought the fight of his life while Tyson fought like he was in a coma....however, he did beat tough guys before and after so you can't say he was shot. However, he was no longer the fighter he was at his best even in those victories.
The only way to answer this is to ask if anyone thinks the Buster of Tokyo beats the Tyson of Berbick ? I do not.
06-21-2005, 12:49 PM
I actually do feel Buster beats that Tyson . . I actually think the Berbick fight is one of Mike's least impressive wins . . he's pretty wild and Berbick, who's style was tailor-made for Mike, predictably showed nothing at all.
It's kind of an endless cycle if we speak of a fighter from one fight for example "The Bowe that beat Holyfield" "The Louis who beat Schmeling" "the Lewis who beat Rahman (jeez look at that opponent)" Fighters like any other athlete have hot and cold nights. The truly great fighters, even on their off nights, found ways to pull out the win (Holmes vs Snipes and Witherspoon, Louis vs Conn and Farr, Ali vs Bonavena) Was Tyson at his ABSOLUTE best coming into the Douglas bout. No, he was over-confident like many champs get and probably trained a little less then he should have. My answer is . . .so what? Douglas fought a great fight, but he was beatable that night. Tyson just couldn't switch gears and turn on the gas. That uppercut in the 8th was a pure reactionary shot and not like the combinations that Louis ended Conn's song and dance with.
He never came from behind and that says a lot more about him then his # of title KOs or the fact that he was a sports icon.
06-21-2005, 01:16 PM
He came from behind against Botha.
06-21-2005, 01:29 PM
Roberto---In case you never noticed before, a lot of fighters talk about how they will move up in weight and beat so and so only to change their mind and stay in the division that they are fighting in...only difference for Jones is that he actually did move up in weight...three times...real cowardice behavior there and instead of testing the waters at heavyweight with a Buster Douglas like, he went on ahead and beat one of the top heavyweights instead of playing around...now that is priceless!
06-22-2005, 09:03 AM
"However, he was no longer the fighter that he was at his best even in thos victories."
I always felt that Tyson never appeared quite the same fighter after Douglas simply because Douglas shattered that aura of invincibility that was around him up to that point. Thus I believe it's not so much a case of Tyson fighting worse after Douglas but a case of some of his opponents fighting better.
I also believe that Douglas was the first guy who was authentically convinced he would beat Tyson. Before the Douglas fight he seemed invincible. After the Douglas fight other fighters knew his punches could be weathered, he could be hurt, and he could be knocked out. And I think that not only raised the confidence level of his post Douglas opponents but also put a monkey wrench in Tyson's phsyce. That aura of invincibility was gone and I think that was 50% of Tyson's game.
06-22-2005, 11:58 AM
>>>That aura of invincibility was gone and I think that was 50% of Tyson's game.<<<<
No doubt that was a big part of Tyson's game, but I would'nt say 50%. He did have very good boxing skills, but the fact that Tyson scared the bejesus out of just about everyone he fought up to and even after the Douglas bout pretty much all he had to do was just land a shot and fighters would fold, ala Seldon. Personally, I think the four years that he was out of the ring did him more harm than losing to Douglas did!
06-22-2005, 01:29 PM
Too many are missing the boat on this thread. All of Tyson's problems are mental in origin which led to a steady deterioration of physical abilities in the ring.
He was focused, disciplined, and well trained by his original team of D'amato, Jacobs, Cayton, and Rooney. They provided all the structure, trust, and guidance in and out of the ring.
By age 23 the major cogs, D'amato and Jacobs had passed away and King and Givens got their hook into him which led to the dumpage of Cayton and Rooney, the last original team members. This is when his mental problems began manifesting themselves in highly public ways.
His style and training habits changed dramatically. Tyson had been a defensive fighter first and foremost. His offense was predicated on his defense, balance, and footwork. Instead, he was hit with more big shots against Douglas than he had been in all his previous combined bouts. Was Douglas bigger, stronger or more powerful than Smith, Tucker or Thomas. Not appreciably if at all. Did Douglas have a better jab than Tucker or Thomas? No, he did not. Did Douglas know that Tyson was poorly trained. Yes he did. I knew it before the fight so Douglas most certainly knew it. Did Smith, Tucker or Thomas know Tyson was poorly trained before their bouts. Heck no, they knew he was extremely well trained.
36-0-0 in the 5 yrs pre King and Givens.
From Givens and King forward, 14-6-0, 2 NCs in 14 yrs, prescription drug use for his mental illness, 2 stretches in the pen, bankruptcy. All losses recorded from King and Givens forward.
I feel like I'm trying to point out the Grand Canyon to a tour bus of blind passengers. I can describe the point of the drop off, but I cannot make them see it nor can I make them understand the scale of the drop off.
The only thing that is arguable is how much responsibility Tyson bears for his obvious problems. Hardliners would say 100%. Some don't believe in mental illness. Well, fine, but like I pointed out, very few in boxing history have put together a better heavy career and Tyson does hold a record that is not likely to be broken.
I tend towards a 60/40 breakdown of responsibility for his problems. The post prison Tyson should have been able to salvage his career better. Instead, he hooked up with King again. Jacobs and D'amato always warned him about King. Tyson had 2nd, 3rd, 4th chances and always blew them. However, Tyson had plenty of help blowing his career by lawyers and boxing insiders just like Ken Lay and Andy Fastow had plenty of help from bankers, lawyers, accountants and other corporate professionals in pulling off the Enron scam.
06-22-2005, 03:29 PM
From Berbeck thru M.Spinks, Tyson's 8 championship opponents while he was with Rooney/Cayton/Jacobs had a combined record of 235-13-2, 7 of the 8 opponents were past or present Heavyweight champions, 3 were undefeated, one was an undefeated Olympic heavyweight champion. Their average size was 6-3.25 and 224.5 pounds. Tyson went throught these guys between 11-22-86 and 06-27-88, a time span of about 19 months.
I can't think of any other heavyweight in history who fought that many good opponents in a 19 month period, and Tyson dominated them. Tyson stopped 6 of them, 2 went to decisions. In the decision wins, the closest margin of victory on any judge's scorecard was in Tyson's favor by 5 rounds.
Tyson's opposition was excellent, Tyson just made them look ordinary. Would anyone today remember Ken Norton if he had been one of Tyson's opponents? Someone might ask, "who was that Marine from San Diego that lasted about 30 seconds with Tyson back in '88?"
06-22-2005, 07:21 PM
Roberto, you nailed it....Tyson on his best day would have wiped the floor with Douglas in 2-3 rds, simple as that. The guy Douglas beat in Tokyo was 40% what he should have been. Rooney was the straw that broke the camels back. He went, Tyson was finished....I'm not saying Douglas was Crap, he fought a great fight, but against a really really poor Tyson. Did Tyson really train for the fight, he looked so ponderous and slow. Mike would also have been too much for Evander had they met at their peaks, Tyson's peak was probably anywhere between Berbick and the fight just before Bruno 1......Holyfield hadn't the power at heavy to beat that Tyson. He did beat Mike when Mike was well past it and Tyson still went 11rds, he was TKO'd not KO'd. Does anyone think that the 86-88 Tyson would have faired better....100% he would have....no doubt
I also have to disagree that Tyson V Berbick wasn't a great performance. Tyson was menacing, controlled, fast and lethal at the finish. He may have been a little wild, but against Holmes he was very similar, looping punches from all angles. It may look wild to those watching outside, but to Tyson and especially Berbick, they were perfect shots
06-22-2005, 10:50 PM
Sure he looked terrible, just ask Berbick, who was never rocked like that before or since.
06-23-2005, 01:46 AM
Did Douglas have a better jab then Thomas? No, but he was more versatile, and unlike Thomas didn't fight with an injured shoulder.
Did Douglas have a better jab then Tucker . . . yes, actually. He also sat down on his jab and threw it with his body, while Tucker threw flickering arm jabs that wern't gonna work vs Mike Tyson. That was a major problem with pre-Douglas opponents . . they were too intimidated to sit down on their punches (or if they did, they forget to move after they punched) Douglas did it. Show me one Tyson opponent who executed the Douglas plan against Mike and lost . . .yep, there wasn't one. Some tried different things but they always were missing a piece of the puzzle.
When Tyson had the D'Amato team behind him he was still a thug and still had problems with discipline in the gym. Rooney was a better trainer for Tyson then the new King crew he got but I'm not goint to believe some hogwash that Tyson suddenly slipped in his skills when he lost Rooney - - you don't "lose" boxing skills when you switch a trainer . . other things may be emphasized, but Tyson had been doing this stuff for years (and in both the Bruno and Douglas fights the corner is actually giving him perfect advice), and he showed it all in post Rooney bouts a la Stewart, both Bruno bouts, and Ruddock. Against Douglas, he started out fast like he always did and was actually jabbing a lot more then in the Bruno fight, which was a criticism made after that Mike wasn't jabbing like he did before. So he goes out against Douglas jabbing and now he's eroded and lost his skills? This is pure revisionist history for people who just don't like to believe that Tyson in his prime got his ass handed to him.
06-23-2005, 12:40 PM
Hagler, I don't think anyone is saying he lost his skills. What happened was that Tyson neglected his training and no amount of skill will get you through 12rds if you haven't put in the hard work in the gym. It's simple, King took over, Rooney was ousted and Mike partied hard. I'm certain of That. The Tyson that fought Buster was not the same animal that beat Thomas, Holmes, Spinks, Bonecrusher etc. If you are trying to say that it was, you are so so far off he mark.....All you need to dismiss it is good eyesight and a boxing brain.
06-23-2005, 01:57 PM
"Tyson in his prime got his ass handed to him."
He absolutely did, and if he hadn't trained properly (and I don't believe that he did train properly because he was paying too much attention to his own press and simply took Buster lightly) then that was his poor choice and therefore diminishes (for one example) his claim to greatness and revered status. As another example, he was never the same after that; 19 months of excellenct performances doesn't qualify for greatness...it qualifies him to be looked at as another fighter who wasted his talents, period. Greatness is earned over the long haul. To mention him with likes of Ali, Tunney, Louis, etc. is ludicrous.
He coulda been, but the fact is, he didn't, and excuses won't change it.
06-23-2005, 02:22 PM
[[[Greatness is earned over the long haul. To mention him with likes of Ali, Tunney, Louis, etc. is ludicrous.]]]
Funny how Leon Spinks and Henry Cooper are often mentioned with Ali, yet you say Tyson doesn't qualify for mention?
You do realize that Tyson won approximately 45 more heavy fights than did Tunney, right, and that Tyson won 9 more title fights than did Tunney, and that Tyson never lost to a middleweight once much less twice like Tunney did, right? Yet somehow you feel Tunney was such a better heavy that Tyson should not be mention with him?
Are you serious or just fashionably "provocative?"
06-23-2005, 02:57 PM
"19 months of excellent performance doesn't qualify for greatness..."
I agree with that view 100%.
Just 7 months before the Douglas fight, Tyson dispatched Williams in typical Tyson fashion. I didn't hear anybody saying he had slipped as a fighter after THAT fight.
And I don't believe that he had deteriorated phsycologically nor physically in that 7 month period to explain away his loss to Douglas as his being past his prime. And again, he scored two 1 round kayoes within 10 months following the Douglas fight against tough Alex Stewart and gold medalist Tillman. So he suddenly became unwashed up for those two fights?
Like Ali, who executed the blue print to stop an in prime and lethal Foreman; Douglas found the way to beat a young, still primed, and still lethal, Tyson.
When young Joe louis was methodically beaten by Schmelling excuses were made for him too. He ate too much cake, played too much golf,... his trunks were too loose. The truth is that sometimes good fighters do raise their game on a given night and thouroughly beat great fighters even while they are in their prime.
06-23-2005, 03:35 PM
"You do realize that Tyson won approximatley 45 more heavy fights than Tunney, right......?"
So did Duane Bobick? Does that mean we have to rate him with Tunney?
06-23-2005, 03:35 PM
No way am I trying to be fashionably provocative, in fact you'll find that I agree with your assesment of Tyson's mental difficulties. However, at the risk of being repetitive, Buster's ass kicking also took the shine off of Mike's armour by showing that not only could he be countered, but he also could be intimidated by simply not folding up, i.e. hit him back.
As for the Tunney reference, etc.:
I never mentioned Cooper or Spinks, and I certainly never considered them greats, so I'm not sure where that comes from...
I mention Tunney as one of the greats because of not only his great record, but also his obvious dedication to his trade and his comportment as a champion.
I've never denied Tyson's great talents, accomplishments, or the potential he had to be one of the greats if not even the greatest......like many others, he just didn't live up to it, Tunney did.
06-23-2005, 04:50 PM
Bobick never held a title. Tyson did. I hear posters lending credence to longevity, but Tunney held the title less than 2 years, had only 3 title fights and only 5 heavy bouts at best.
Are we talking about heavyweights here or p4p greats? I was under the impression we are supposed to be looking at Tyson's all time heavy ranking as I don't see any references to Robinson, Pep, Armstrong, ect on this thread.
Speaking of Armstrong, he briefly held the feather title, but is he remembered as one of the top ten feathers? I've never seen him included and there is a reason.
06-23-2005, 05:13 PM
Let's divide Tyson's career into 5yr segments which gives us 4 segments with the last being only 4 yrs.
Age 19-23: 37-1-0, 33KO, 11 title fights, 10-1 title record. Note, the only loss was shortly after losing his entire original corner and management.
Age 23-24: 4-0-0, 3 KO, no title fights. Spent the last 4 yrs of this seg in court or in prison.
Age 29-33: 6-2-0, 5 KO, 1 NC, 4 title fights, 2-2 title record. Spent one year in prison during this seg.
Age 33-38, 3-3-0, 3 KO, 1NC, 1 title fight, 0-1 title record.
06-24-2005, 01:37 AM
If there were 3 major HW titles floating around in the late 1920s, I'm sure Tunney would have had a few more title defenses himself . . . .
06-24-2005, 11:19 AM
Plain and simple...Tyson at his ultimate best 86-88 would have beat any heavy in History, except possibly a peak Ali....and I'm not 100% confident that even Ali would win....Roberto is right when arguing that Tyson should be mentioned alongside Tunney. It is Tunney that maybe doesn't deserve to be mentioned alongside Tyson. We all know about Tyson's mental and discipline problems...that prevented him from eclipsing the 3-4 really great heavies...Ali, Louis, Marciano, Dempsey and also Foreman. It's a shame that he was ruined by the likes of Givens and King abd a few more. Had Mike half the character or discipline of an Ali, or Louis...he could have been so much better. But on his day and for the 2-3 yrs of the late 80's, he was close to if not the finest fighting machine of all time. Remember Mike had a very good defense record, was it 10 straight defenses??, and against some very formidable opponents. To try say that Douglas beat a peak Tyson is ludicrous.....Mike didn't train half as hard for that fight as his previous defenses.
06-24-2005, 11:24 AM
If he didn't train half as hard he wouldn't have been fighting at 221 . . .
He was having even more personal problems before the Spinks fight, and that was in the eyes of many his best win . . .
None of this fits fellas . . .
06-24-2005, 12:18 PM
Actually, the thread subject is how will history remember Tyson......not where he ranks with the other heavyweight champions, although it may be a natural offshoot. When I mention Tunney, I could have also mentioned several non heavies......I'm not trying to turn it into a How great was Tunney? thread
I guess with what's being said re: Mike vs Buster, then among many other things, history will remember he showed up out of shape because he took Buster lightly. Why? He thought he was the baddest man on the planet and had already acheived "Ali-like" status. Ali only trained hard for the really big fights as his age advanced, saying he couldn't keep the same regimens for the Lubbers and Blue Lewis' as he did for the Fraziers, Foremans, etc. The difference was Ali could usually get away with it, Norton upset him, but he didn't hand his ass to him as Buster did "Iron" Mike.
I also don't think history will forget just how good Mike was early in his career....he was truly awesome then...that's waht makes him such a tragic figure...and that is his real legacy.
06-24-2005, 05:58 PM
Hagler, answer me simply...did the Tyson that fought Douglas look as fast, hard, fit and prepared as the Tyson that beat Holmes,Spinks, Tubbs, Thomas, Bonecrusher Bruno 1, Biggs...???.....I'm not trying to make excuses for that loss....it's just that I am 100% sure that he wasn't fighting at the level he was against those guys....
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