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GorDoom
03-16-2012, 01:18 PM
Muhammad Ali vs Mike Tyson: Who Wins? (Part I)
Written by Lee Wylie/Sweet Science


Everybody loves a debate.

There are few debates in boxing that can evoke opinion from the general public, the way Ali versus Tyson can. It is the fistic equivelant to Elvis or The Beatles? Coca Cola or Pepsi? Dogs or Cats?

At one time or another, boxing fans, both casual and hardcore alike, will have pondered as to who would have came out on top in a fantasy matchup between boxing's biggest ever attractions. Imagine the hype surrounding a Mayweather versus Pacquiao fight [if ever it comes off]. Ali versus Tyson would reduce that fight to an undercard attraction.

It is no exaggeration to say Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson are pop cultural phenomenoms.

This is why non-boxing fans are drawn to them as well. Just ask any passerby to give the names of any two boxers, past or present. There's a strong chance their answer will correspond to the subjects of this article. Ali and Tyson's popularity transcended the sport of boxing.

Now, we know who was greater. If this were a debate as to who has the superior legacy, it's a mismatch. Regardless of what some people may think, Muhammad Ali is THE greatest heavyweight of all time [sorry Joe Louis fans] period. Ali dominated the STRONGEST era in heavyweight history when he was PAST his prime while defeating other great heavyweights, who were still in their prime. Tyson on the other hand, is a questionable top ten heavyweight. Tyson was IN his prime when he dominated one of the WEAKEST eras in heavyweight history. Tyson defeated only one great heavyweight in Larry Holmes, who was past his prime at the time.

As a result then, it seems to follow that because Ali was indeed " The Greatest " he would have been able to master Tyson?

In the history books, on paper, yes. Head to head, maybe not.

During his prime, which unusually for a fighter came before his 23rd birthday, Mike Tyson was one of the most feared fighters of his or any generation. There are few fighters in boxing history who have truly looked unbeatable. Roy Jones looked it in the nineties, Ray Robinson looked it in the fourties and Mike Tyson looked it in the eighties.

While dominating the latter part of the decade, Mike Tyson was not only the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, but he was also considered the best fighter, pound for pound in boxing. This was very unusual for a heavyweight. With Eder Jofre being around in the sixties and Carlos Monzon in the seventies, the pound for pound title was never held by Ali.

Such was Iron Mike's dominance during his prime, the question was not who can beat him, but more like, who can even take him more than a few rounds? Many thought Michael Spinks - the undefeated former light-heavyweight and lineal world heavyweight champion - would be the ultimate litmus test for the young phenom. In the performance of his career, Tyson passed the test before the end of the first frame. With his utter destruction over his toughest opponent to date, and youth on his side, it was looking like Mike Tyson was the heir to Ali's throne.

And then the wheels came off.

The second Michael Spinks' head bounced of the canvas, for the second time, Mike Tyson's prime was over. Immediately following the Spinks fight, Tyson's problems outside of the ring started to emerge. Yes, there were other wins, but there was something missing. At the time nobody seemed to notice, we were hypnotised by Tyson's aura, but on reflection, he had lost a step. A defeat to Buster Douglas [in what remains the biggest upset in sporting history] soon followed.

Disturbingly, at 23 years-old, Tyson's best years were behind him. Gone was the aura of invincibility, gone was his trainer, Kevin Rooney [Tyson never lost a fight under the guidance of Rooney], gone were the assets that made him great.

Ali never experienced the same rise and decline Tyson did. From the time of his first title win against Sonny Liston, up until his last against Leon Spinks, Ali had established himself as one of boxing's greats. Even a defeat at the hands of Trevor Berbick, who Tyson steamrolled, could not tarnish Muhammad's legacy.

That's their story... How about their styles?

Much has been written about Ali's social impact and behaviour outside of the ring, but not much in terms of his behaviour inside the ring. Despite how highly he is regarded, Ali was basically a two punch fighter. Heavyweights like Joe Louis and Ezzard Charles were far more layered than Ali. He never went to the body, could not fight on the inside and had no use for technical defense. His attack consisted of a jab and a straight right hand. Muhammad occasionaly selected other punches, but those two were his bread and butter. It's actually amazing how much he accomplished with such a limited offensive arsenal.

So how was it that Ali went on to become one of the greatest fighters of all time?

There were two phases to Ali's career.

During the first phase, Ali's speed and reflexes were almost supernatural compared to other heavyweights competing at the time. With his blinding hands and dazzling footwork, Ali was so much faster than his opponents. Add to this the fact that Ali was generally a lot taller than most of his opponents, and it's easy to see why he made world class opposition look second rate.

Because of his superb footwork and longer reach, Ali was able to keep his shorter, less athletically gifted opponents on the end of his jab. Such was his unique talent for a heavyweight, Ali got away with doing things the wrong way. Ali lacked an inside game and he leaned away from punches instead of blocking or parrying them. Ali's gifts such as speed, reflexes and punch anticipation, masked out any flaws within his craft.

We all knew how GOOD Ali was during the first phase. We found out how GREAT he was in the second.

In this phase, with his physical gifts fading, Ali utilised an improvised style to dominate the now younger opposition. Ali was no longer the dancing master of old. Instead, he learned how to stand his ground and sit down on his punches. While he still neglected the body and could not mount offense on the inside, Ali became a master at tying the opposition up in close. Because of his fading physical gifts, we learned that Ali had a great chin. He was never knocked out, despite facing serious punchers like Earnie Shavers throughout his career. Ali's brain over- took his athleticism as his greatest asset during this time.

Mike Tyson was often misinterpreted as a one dimensional knockout artist - a plodding fighter, looking to load up his right hand.

Following his knockout of Spinks, Tyson started believing in his own hype. Seeking the knockout by just loading up with the right hand, Tyson began neglecting the traits that allowed him to score the knockout up in the first place.

Prior to the Spinks fight, Tyson was the epitome of a boxer-puncher. He came foward, moving side to side behind his peek a boo defense, closing the distance on his opponents. Once there, Tyson would unleash a two fisted attack, to the body and head.

Technically, Tyson was more than proficient. A sensational body puncher, Tyson could jab, feint his way inside and utilise intelligent footwork. Defensively, Tyson was very underrated. His head movement, combined with his parrying skills, made him very tough to tag during his peak.

At his best, Tyson was probably the most impressive blend of speed and power ever seen in the heavyweight division. He threw combinations with the speed and rate of a welterweight. Only Joe Louis could rival him in that department.

But Ali was the greatest!

It's about now,where Ali's followers are probably thinking aloud that Tyson would not be able to lay a glove on Ali. Because of his speed, height and reach advantage, frustration would take over at the mid-way stage, and Ali would retire him late in the fight.

When dissecting fights and the styles of fighters, we have to use logic and evidence, as opposed to heart and folklore. With regards to Ali versus Tyson, there are some myths that need addressing.

* Ali could "rope a dope" Tyson like he did to George Foreman.

Against George Foreman in Zaire, Ali spent most of the fight with his back to the ropes, allowing George to rain down on him with blow after blow after blow. Eventually, with George punching himself out, Ali scored an eighth round knockout.

This strategy would be suicide against Tyson. Take a look at Foreman's attack in that fight. With his feet stationary and shoulders square on, he is throwing nothing but wide punches in close. Ali's guard is wide open, he is not like Floyd Mayweather in there, he is not using shoulder rolls. Because Foreman is throwing nothing but body shots and the occasional wide looping and easily telegraphed head shot, Ali could afford to stand there with his hands by his ears, and his elbows wide apart.

Ask yourself this....Why did Foreman not throw uppercuts?

Replace Foreman with Tyson, and it's an entirely different fight in that situation. Tyson was superb on the inside, wheras Foreman was better fighting at a distance. Tyson's signature attack, with a fighter's back to the ropes was his right hook to the body, followed by a direct right uppercut upstairs. Tyson could also perform this combination with his left hand too. The speed and power in which Tyson delivered his combinations made him very difficult to defend against in close. With his elbows wide apart, Ali would have been available for Tyson's signature combination straight up the middle.

Ali does deserve a lot of credit for how he managed to tie up and maneuver George at close range. However, because Tyson was shorter than Foreman, had faster hands than Foreman and was a much more advanced in the grill than Foreman, it's hard to envision Ali allowing himself to use the same tactics and surviving eight rounds up against the ropes with Tyson, like he did with Foreman.

* Ali could keep Tyson at a safe distance by moving and dancing.

Floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.

Many believe that was Ali against Cleveland Williams. In what was probably the most iconic and visually stunning display of his career, Ali perfectly demonstrated the superior athleticism that made him untouchable during the first half of his career.

Look at the film, Ali must have covered every inch of the ring, as his lateral movement and footwork completley befuddled the slowly advancing Williams. (Williams apparently had a bullet lodged inside his leg).

Now, take a look at Ali's fights with Doug Jones in 1963 and Joe Frazier in 1971. Because of their footwork, Jones and Frazier were successful in forcing Ali to the ropes by cutting the ring off. Many thought Jones should have been awarded the decision in '63. Meanwhile Frazier was awarded the decision in '71.

As well as being the owner of very fast hands, Tyson also had very fast feet. Against James Tillis, who's style was a lot like that of Ali in his early days, Tyson closed him down using his excellent footwork.Tillis, in survival mode, could not mount any serious offense. Looking at the styles of both fighters, you get an idea of what Ali would have been up against. Granted, Ali was quicker than Tillis, but Tyson was quicker than Jones and Frazier.

* Ali defeated Frazier, therefore...

One of the biggest assumptions people make when talking about Ali versus Tyson, is that Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier are near enough the same fighter. Yes, they were both short, stocky pressure fighters and while there are obvious similarities, they are clearly not the same fighter.

- Frazier came foward bobbing and weaving behind a crossed armed defense. Tyson closed the distance behind a high guard, moving side to side, not up and down as Joe did. This allowed Tyson to always remain in perfect punching position.

- Mike could slip a punch whilst advancing. Joe remained more flat footed when slipping punches.

- Offensively, Frazier was a straight line attacker wheras Mike came in at angles by stepping around and moving to the side of his opponents. Tyson's footspeed was far superior to Frazier's.

- Primarily a one handed fighter, Joe's left hook was one of the best single punches in boxing history. He could rip an opponent to the body or to the head as Ali found out over the span of forty-four rounds with him. In contrast, Mike was naturally a two handed attacker. He could hurt an opponent to the body or head, with either hand. The speed and variation of Tyson's attack made him a lot less predictable than Frazier.

* Muhammad Ali defeated Floyd Patterson, who used the same peek a boo defense as Tyson.

Cus d' Amato, the original mentor of Mike Tyson, also happened to train former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. Agreed, both fighters employed the same peek-a-boo style, but it is the fighters BEHIND that style that make the difference. Floyd Patterson's hand speed may have been on equal terms to Tyson's, but his power and footspeed on the other hand,were not. Patterson also lacked Tyson's killer instinct.

Patterson may have employed the same side to side head movement as Tyson, but he could not combine the motion with his footwork, as Tyson could.

Ali, standing flat footed after the second round, was able to hit the stationary Patterson as often as he liked with jabs and straight right hands. Ali would be awarded no such luxury against Tyson. Advancing at a furious pace, Tyson would be closing the distance a lot quicker than Patterson would. Unless Ali wanted an inside fight, he would have to be on his toes and moving away.

*Tyson collapsed mentally against Douglas and Holyfield.

This is not accurate. Douglas and Holyfield fought a very aggressive fight against Tyson. By moving foward, they were able to back Mike Tyson up. Buster Douglas and Evander Holyfield bullied Tyson onto the back foot. Forced into retreat mode, Tyson was defeated stylistically, not mentally.

Holyfield combined boxing skills with a very rough and physical inside game against Tyson. He was an entirely different fighter than Ali.

Physically, there are similaraties between Douglas and Ali. But again, their styles differ.

Some may point to Douglas' jab as something Ali could replicate. Sure, Ali was the owner of a great jab, but Douglas' jab on that night was an authoritive ram rod-like jab, wheras Ali's was a flicker jab. Yes, Douglas defeated Tyson by using his height and length. Douglas also backed and beat Tyson up, by widening his legs, planting his feet and throwing power shots. It's hard to imagine Ali standing flat footed with Tyson and forcing the action.

Besides, would anyone consider the version of Tyson that succumbed to James Douglas and Evander Holyfield to have been the best version?

Its's a style thing:

Regardless of how much mystique and hype surrounds Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, the truth is they were both essentially one dimensional fighters. Mike could not fight backing up and Ali could not fight going foward.

Against Jimmy Young in 1976, Ali looked lost going foward as Young forced Ali to take the lead. There are moments in the fight,where Ali appears to be begging Young to advance on him. Again, it's a fight many felt Ali lost.

KOJOE90
03-16-2012, 01:39 PM
Regardless of how much mystique and hype surrounds Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, the truth is they were both essentially one dimensional fighters.

Ali a one dimensional fighter?

GorDoom
03-16-2012, 02:30 PM
If so it was a dimension no other heavyweight has ever approached...

GorDoom

walshb
03-16-2012, 03:31 PM
I think it's a razor close fight at peak.

No man outboxed a focused and committed and determined peak Mike Tyson. Now, Ali sure could, but he has to land leather, and Mike will be on him all night.

From the piece I feel the bit below is very accurate:

*Tyson collapsed mentally against Douglas and Holyfield.

This is not accurate. Douglas and Holyfield fought a very aggressive fight against Tyson. By moving foward, they were able to back Mike Tyson up. Buster Douglas and Evander Holyfield bullied Tyson onto the back foot. Forced into retreat mode, Tyson was defeated stylistically, not mentally.

Holyfield combined boxing skills with a very rough and physical inside game against Tyson. He was an entirely different fighter than Ali.

Physically, there are similaraties between Douglas and Ali. But again, their styles differ.

Some may point to Douglas' jab as something Ali could replicate. Sure, Ali was the owner of a great jab, but Douglas' jab on that night was an authoritive ram rod-like jab, wheras Ali's was a flicker jab. Yes, Douglas defeated Tyson by using his height and length. Douglas also backed and beat Tyson up, by widening his legs, planting his feet and throwing power shots. It's hard to imagine Ali standing flat footed with Tyson and forcing the action.

Besides, would anyone consider the version of Tyson that succumbed to James Douglas and Evander Holyfield to have been the best version?

Its's a style thing:

Overhand_Right
03-16-2012, 04:33 PM
Ali a one dimensional fighter. Un freaking believable. I might finally have heard EVERYTHING.

This tops 'James Toney TKOs Joe Frazier' from the fantasy board afew years back.

don1234
03-16-2012, 07:39 PM
Tyson's explosiveness was compressed into the early rounds of a fight. Once past that albeit dangerous ground, opponents Tillis, Green (nearly) Ribalta, Bonecrusher, Tucker and Ruddock had a somewhat predictable Mike on their hands. Both Douglas and Holyfield took control through aggressive fighting - Buster made a point of dissing Tyson by hitting him on every break.

Ali could fight a dangerous puncher aggressively - he came out gunning in all three Frazier encounters and in the second Liston fight as well. He would not need to do that with Tyson. Somewhere in the middle rounds, when Mike's now-mechanical attack could be timed, Ali could land that Foley right, unseen. The next one would drop a stunned Tyson, signaling the beginning of the end.

hagler04
03-16-2012, 09:38 PM
This author is a moron.

I'll take a peak Ali's jab ANYDAY over the jab of Buster Douglas. Hell, Ali was a harder puncher than Douglas . .

The fact that the author had to point to a bloated, post-Manilla Ali vs Young as an example of Ali "looking lost going forward . ." says it all. Tell Joe Bugner and Al Blue Lewis Ali couldn't fight going forward . .

Hard to imagine Ali standing his ground and trading with Tyson . . you mean, like he did Sonny Liston, Earnie Shavers, and other monsters?

Joe Frazier fought more flat-footed than Tyson . . huh? That was a peak Frazier's strength . .watch his feet . .he wasn't dancing around but he kept his heels off the floor, always ready to quickly close the distance. Then watch Tyson IN ANY FIGHT after the 2nd-3rd round . . flat-footed stalker; maybe a jump and pounce every now and then but he did not have the movement a peak Frazier did . . not even mentioning the far inferior head movement.

I hate how Tyson backers always point to the Douglas fight as being that of an "unmotivated" Tyson . .you think Monzon, Louis, Ali had nights when they struggled to get motivated? Sure . .but they still didn't lose to a fringe contender in the peak of their careers . . .

Elwill7847
03-16-2012, 10:13 PM
The Ali of 1964-1967 dominates Tyson and stops Mike late in the fight. The Ali of 1970-1975 has a tougher time of it but still beats Tyson. Tyson's best chance is the fading Ali of 1976-1978.

walshb
03-17-2012, 09:00 AM
This author is a moron.

I'll take a peak Ali's jab ANYDAY over the jab of Buster Douglas. Hell, Ali was a harder puncher than Douglas . .

.

Overall Ali's jab was better. But, the author speaks for that one night in Tokyo. And, on that night Buster's jab was as the author describes it, a ram rod jab. Ali tended to be more a snapper, flicker jab. Also, not sure at all that Ali hits harder than Buster. Buster planted heavy shots non stop that night. He stood toe to toe right from the start. He was a big man, and had decent power. He hurt Tyson, and got Tyson's respect right from the start.

Ali to me is the greates p4p fighter in history, but a peak Mike Tyson is a very very dangerous foe for any man that ever lived. That simple. He was that dangerous. Only after he had let Rooney go, and only after he spent three years inside, did we begin to see cracks. Never at his peak did he show real weakness, and never ever did he fight less that 100 percent. Probably Mike's greatest asset of all at peak was his always fighting with confidence, and always coming to fight. He never ever fought scraed or timid.

Michael Frank
03-17-2012, 10:57 AM
The Ali of 1964-1967 dominates Tyson and stops Mike late in the fight. The Ali of 1970-1975 has a tougher time of it but still beats Tyson. Tyson's best chance is the fading Ali of 1976-1978.
This reflects my view.

I don't take anything away from a prime Tyson as some do. Problem is, in his prime, he only beat also-rans and never-was's, and that includes the great Michael Spinks, who was no great Heavyweight. Yes, he destroyed them, all due credit for that, but the first time he came up against a guy who fought back (Douglas), he lost. Interestingly, a guy with a good jab, good hand speed, and good foot movement. Sound familiar?

Ali's career record was against SO MANY better fighters than Tyson's competition, both in the 1960s and 1970s, that one immediately has to wonder: could this ultimately be a terrible mismatch, with Tyson being led to the slaughter against a peak Ali? We KNOW how Ali performs against great fighters . . . we DON'T know this about Mike at all until the first Holyfield fight (and we know what happened then).

In any case, I can't see Tyson (or anybody) KOing Ali . . . which means Ali wins, likely by KO11 or so in my view, but by clear decision if not.

What bugs me about these types of articles, besides the fact that the authors usually are idiots, is that THIS HAS ALL BEEN GONE OVER MANY TIMES BEFORE, MANY YEARS AGO. "Gee, an Ali-Tyson fantasy fight-- who'da ever thought of that?"

Michael Frank
03-17-2012, 11:04 AM
. . . only after he spent three years inside, did we begin to see cracks. Never at his peak did he show real weakness, . . .
I think Tyson showed two egregious weaknesses in his prime. #1, he was a lazy-to-the-max inside fighter. With his lesser height and short arms, and powerful uppercuts, he nonetheless nearly always, when inside, allowed himself to be held. A clear exception was vs. Douglas late in the fight, when he dropped Buster with an uppercut. He should have done this much more in his previous fights, but almost always allowed himself to be held.

#2, Tyson, a fundamentally excellent fighter, had at least one fundamental fault: he kept both feet together frequently, not one more forward than the other, as is proper, and particularly when inside (and not throwing blows, as per above). This is a position of tenuous balance. Ali would have exploited an off-balance Tyson.

walshb
03-17-2012, 12:03 PM
I have no issue with Ali on points. But, I see nothing over 12 rds to say that the best Tyson gets stopped. How? Ali isn't going to clean KO an iron chinned Tyson. We are talking a peak Tyson here. Even the past it one that Holyfield stopped was still on his feet, and had taken many many heavy Holyfield shots. Ali doesn't fight like that, and will not paste a peak Tyson like Holyfield pasted a past it Tyson. Ali would need to be really nailing Tyson cleanly and consistently. And, also fending Tyson off. It's not like Mike will be just there to be hit for the night. Styles make fights as they say, and Tyson has enough quality, speed, tougness and vicious power to make this a very dangerous fight for Ali.

Elwill7847
03-17-2012, 03:39 PM
Ali was an underrated puncher, actually a very sharp puncher, whose sharp punching and high connect ratio stopped some pretty good fighters. As I said in my previous post, a peak Ali would dominate Tyson and stop him late, somewhere the 10th and 12th round. Possible Tyson lasts the distance in a 12 round fight, no way he goes the distance in a 15 round fight.

walshb
03-17-2012, 04:44 PM
Ali was an underrated puncher, actually a very sharp puncher, whose sharp punching and high connect ratio stopped some pretty good fighters. As I said in my previous post, a peak Ali would dominate Tyson and stop him late, somewhere the 10th and 12th round. Possible Tyson lasts the distance in a 12 round fight, no way he goes the distance in a 15 round fight.

You saying it is one thing, but Tyson never showed in 1986 or 1987 or 1988 that anyone could come close to stopping him. Big men, small men, heavy hitting or otherwise. He was that good. So, what do you see that I do not in the years' I mention? He was fit, tough, iron chinned, and a hell of a hitter. What makes you think Ali stops him over 12, when others went 12 with Ali that were not as rounded as Tyson, as steel chinned either, and even as defensively sound.

mrbig1
03-17-2012, 09:04 PM
In this fight there will be a gut check moment. I think we can all agree that will belong to Ali. Ali had a great chin and hard to hit. Most of all was Ali heart and ring smarts. Lightyears ahead of Tyson. good fight for the first 8 rounds. Then Tyson folds like a lawn chair.

Elwill7847
03-17-2012, 11:31 PM
You saying it is one thing, but Tyson never showed in 1986 or 1987 or 1988 that anyone could come close to stopping him. Big men, small men, heavy hitting or otherwise. He was that good. So, what do you see that I do not in the years' I mention? He was fit, tough, iron chinned, and a hell of a hitter. What makes you think Ali stops him over 12, when others went 12 with Ali that were not as rounded as Tyson, as steel chinned either, and even as defensively sound.

Tyson showed throughout his career he had trouble with tall fighters who could move. Tillis and Green gave him some trouble, Douglas beat him. None of those guys were anywhere near Ali in skill. Would Tyson's speed bother Ali? Sure it would. But Mike never fought anyone like Ali. Ali's speed, movement, sharp punching and toughness too much for Mike. I see Mike getting frustrated if he cant get Ali out of there early and Ali beating him down much like Douglas did.

If you read my original post, I said the Ali of 1964-1967 (his absolute prime) totally dominates Tyson, the Ali of 1971-1972 has a little more trouble with Mike but still beats him handily, as does the 1974-75 version. Mike's best chance to win is to fight the Ali of 1976 & beyond.

walshb
03-17-2012, 11:42 PM
If you read my original post, I said the Ali of 1964-1967 (his absolute prime) totally dominates Tyson, the Ali of 1971-1972 has a little more trouble with Mike but still beats him handily, as does the 1974-75 version. Mike's best chance to win is to fight the Ali of 1976 & beyond.

I did read your original post and replied accordingly. And, nothing in my reply should lead you to believe that I did not read your post.

apollack
03-19-2012, 07:09 PM
Tyson has a chance because he was very fast, knew how to get inside on movers, had a killer left hook, and Ali was vulnerable to the hook. Plus Tyson was an excellent finisher. Problem is that Ali is a survivor, no matter how hard he was hit, he had phenomenal condition, handspeed, footwork, enough pop to get respect, great chin and heart, excellent clinching ability, and he was more adept at going 15 rounds. Tyson had a tendency to overexert early and faded late in fights. Hence I see Ali coming on strong and taking a decision if not a late rounds stoppage.

mrbig1
03-19-2012, 08:24 PM
Tyson has a chance because he was very fast, knew how to get inside on movers, had a killer left hook, and Ali was vulnerable to the hook. Plus Tyson was an excellent finisher. Problem is that Ali is a survivor, no matter how hard he was hit, he had phenomenal condition, handspeed, footwork, enough pop to get respect, great chin and heart, excellent clinching ability, and he was more adept at going 15 rounds. Tyson had a tendency to overexert early and faded late in fights. Hence I see Ali coming on strong and taking a decision if not a late rounds stoppage. You sir are wise. Yes Tyson starts out on fire for the first 3 rounds. After that he slows to a snails pace. In 12 rounds with Tucker Tyson only threw around 400 punches. When Bowe beat Holyfield he threw 711 shots. Ike Ibeabuchi threw over 1,000 and Tua threw over 900 in there fight. When Tyson slows down this is when Ali steps it up. Ali will be talking to Tyson during the fight. This is when Tyson will fall apart like a cheap suit. Tyson has never won a hard fought fight. When the going gets tough, He doesn't.

JaKob
03-20-2012, 01:57 AM
Poor article.

There is this particular view where Tyson between 1986-88 had everything together and was stable.

Now i think theres little argument regarding the fact that this was him at his MOST stable but i think this was man who always had underlying issues and the cracks would show in a situation of adversity.

When Ali was being vigiliant in the fact of a real threat like he was against Liston he was incredibly elusive. I don't see tyson getting him out early nor having the ability to systematically break him down on the inside. Tyson was not the inside fighter many people portray him as.

JaKob
03-20-2012, 02:01 AM
I have no issue with Ali on points. But, I see nothing over 12 rds to say that the best Tyson gets stopped. How? Ali isn't going to clean KO an iron chinned Tyson. We are talking a peak Tyson here. Even the past it one that Holyfield stopped was still on his feet, and had taken many many heavy Holyfield shots. Ali doesn't fight like that, and will not paste a peak Tyson like Holyfield pasted a past it Tyson. Ali would need to be really nailing Tyson cleanly and consistently. And, also fending Tyson off. It's not like Mike will be just there to be hit for the night. Styles make fights as they say, and Tyson has enough quality, speed, tougness and vicious power to make this a very dangerous fight for Ali.

Ali wasn't the biggest puncher but he could put guys away. When he would choose to sit down on that right hand and perfectly time it he could be very dangerous. Ali could measure his man and knew when to really pour it on. Even as a lesser puncher in terms of raw power than other opponents Tyson faced i definately think Ali could stop him.

Senya13
03-20-2012, 04:17 AM
When Ali was being vigiliant in the fact of a real threat like he was against Liston he was incredibly elusive.
He also wanted to quit in between the rounds.

JaKob
03-20-2012, 06:55 AM
He also wanted to quit in between the rounds.

Please explain how this relevant.

Ali wanted to quit in between rounds.... lets explore this.... In the heat of the moment, unable to see, percieved to be the result of foul play.... Ali is reluctant to go out there against a devestating puncher and an all time great heavyweight? Did he throw a no mas? No he fought and won. Any claims of Ali wanting to quit mean very little when he didn't actually QUIT.

If your intent was to discredit him here it makes very little sense.

Senya13
03-20-2012, 07:08 AM
Pre-exile Ali had "the cracks [that] would show in a situation of adversity." That's a fact. He had to be persuaded by his corner to continue. Everyone is eager to point out mental weaknesses of Tyson, but pre-exile Ali always gets a remission. To me the fact that he didn't give Doug Jones a rematch shows weakness too. Of course, he improved post-exile, but we can only use one version at a time, either pre-exile, or post-exile, not a combination of strong points of both.

hagler04
03-20-2012, 10:53 AM
Pre-exile Ali had "the cracks [that] would show in a situation of adversity." That's a fact. He had to be persuaded by his corner to continue. Everyone is eager to point out mental weaknesses of Tyson, but pre-exile Ali always gets a remission. To me the fact that he didn't give Doug Jones a rematch shows weakness too. Of course, he improved post-exile, but we can only use one version at a time, either pre-exile, or post-exile, not a combination of strong points of both.

Clay beat Jones definitively so why the need for a rematch? This MYTH that Jones somehow deserved the decision is ridiculous (and I'm someone who thinks Norton got flat out ROBBED in his rubber match with Ali). Doug had several opportunities to get a title shot after Ali won the title (notably vs Chuvalo) and he blew all of them.

Ali showed his toughness throughout his pre-exile days . . vs Jones, vs Cooper, vs Chuvalo . .even going back vs a tough Alex Miteff. He "gets a pass" b/c he never showed that he would crumble and as his reflexes slowed in his later years clearly showed the iron will of an ATG. The pre and post-exile Ali were the same person.

Senya13
03-20-2012, 01:15 PM
Clay didn't beat Jones definitively in the opinion of two judges and many people who had seen the fight. Jones arguably deserved a draw. That's significant enough to have caused Clay to give him a rematch, in my opinion. Clay wanted none of that.
You can't cancel out a fact no matter how much you try to twist this. Clay wanted to quit vs Liston. If he had other, less persuasive seconds, he might have actually done that.
Pre- and post-exile Ali were very different, each had different set of strong and weak points.

GorDoom
03-20-2012, 01:26 PM
Muhammad Ali vs Mike Tyson: Who Wins? (Part II)
Written by Lee Wylie/Sweet Science


This writer really as his head up his scrotum... Everytime Tyson EVER face resistance he folded like a lawn chair. He was the ultimate front runner. If his initial devastating attack didn't intimidate or destroy that was it... If you fought back he caved.

Every time.

Also does anybody see Ol' Leg-Iron Mike charging out of the corner & blasting out the iron chinned Ali? Yeah, right... Plus, Mike is mentally weak. Ali was probably the best in getting inside your head. Tyson would have been psychologically beaten before the first bell.

GorDoom



Another question when we ponder who would win if Muhammad Ali fought Mike Tyson...


Realistically, could you envision Tyson backing up, trying to entice Ali onto him?

Or could you see Ali going forward, being the aggressor?

If the answer is no to both questions, then the likely scenario in a fight between Ali and Tyson would involve both fighters doing what they did BEST, when they were at their BEST.

Prime Tyson [1986-89] would be going forward, pressing the attack and trying to get inside, while Prime Ali [1963-71] would be attempting to keep the fight at his distance, by backing up.

Ali [6' 3''] is taller than Tyson [5' 10''] and has the reach advantage, so he would be trying to keep the fight at arms length. Ali's flicker jab was one of the best in boxing history. Because Ali could throw his jab whilst moving, he did not have to plant his feet, thus making it harder for his opponents to shorten the distance.

Tyson could have neutralised Ali's jab with his defense. Tyson was very tough to hit clean during at his peak. His head movement was superb, resembling a pendulum swinging from side to side. Whilst advancing, Tyson liked to dip to the right or left, slip a punch, create an angle and come back with a hook from either hand.

Tyson was able to combine offense and defense simultaneously. Ali would be throwing his left jab and moving to his left. Punching at a downward angle, across his own body, the shorter Tyson dipping to his left or right, would have created the perfect angle for a counter hook from either side.

Like Joe Frazier, Tyson was a very dangerous left hooker. Because his right hand was never brought back to a defensive position, Ali was vulnerable for a left hook throughout his career. If not for a bit of quick thinking from Angelo Dundee, Henry Cooper's left hook may have stopped Ali in their fight. Frazier's left hook on the other hand, landed often during their fights, almost decapitating Ali in '71.

As with Joe Frazier, Ali would be having to punch a constantly moving target. Take a look at the Ali versus Frazier from '71. Joe made Ali miss more in that fight than in any other fight during Ali's career. Why? Because of Joe's size, footwork and tremendous head movement.

During his prime, Tyson's head movement was arguably even better than Joe's.

Muhammad Ali's toughest opponent from a stylistic standpoint along with Joe Frazier was undoubtedly ken Norton. By parrying Ali's jab, utilising his own jab and also employing side to side head movement, Norton was able to take away Ali's own jab and disrupt his rhythm.

Ring any bells?

Take a look at prime Tyson, some of his most underrated assets were the use of his own jab and his ability to pick off his opponents' punches using his gloves.

In terms of overall speed, it's difficult to say who was faster. Ali and Tyson would be bringing more speed to the table than either fighter will have ever encountered during their careers.

Ali used his footspeed more for creating distance defending, while Tyson used his footspeed more for closing the distance and attacking. Ali's handspeed was blinding, but most of his punches were straight, STINGING punches, whereas Tyson would put together five or six POWER shots in a row. As opposed to Ali, and his straight less harmful shots, Tyson's combinations were made up of hooks and uppercuts.

The most problematic scenario for Ali against in a fight with Mike Tyson would be an inside fight against the ropes.

Sure, Ali's movement at his best was sublime. Fighters like Sonny Liston, Zora Folley and an aging Archie Moore could barely touch him. But against fighters who came close to matching his footspeed, Ali was often found having to defend with his back to the ropes.

At his apex in the mid sixties, Ali was an in and out fighter. Ali would be out of range, jabbing, then come in with a combination, then get back out. He was in and out.

Fighters that knew how to isolate Ali's footwork with their own footwork [Jones, Frazier, Norton, Young] could have success against him. Tyson would be capable of matching Ali's negative footspeed with his positive footspeed.

A boxer moving backwards against a pressure fighter that can match his footwork and footspeed will always end up against the ropes, unless they have an inside game. Mike Tyson was the last fighter anyone would want in front of them when their backs were on the ropes.

In a fight between boxing's biggest icons, there are endless tangibles to take into account. We have merely scratched the surface.

However, based on styles, it is this writer's opinion that prime Mike Tyson defeats prime Muhammad Ali. Barely.

Ali would have success. Ali would not be knocked out. His chin wouldn't allow it. Ali would likely frustrate Tyson at times, using his height and reach.

However, Tyson's relentless pressure at his best made an inside fight unavoidable. James Tillis managed to avoid it for a while, but by being negative, he lost nearly every round.

In a similar looking fight to like Julio Cesar Chavez versus Hector Camacho, Tyson would be able to feint his way inside and shorten the distance. Tyson's footwork, head movement and footspeed would trump Ali's height and length. It's hard to envision Ali being able to keep Tyson under control. Ali was deceptively strong in close, but Tyson was very explosive. Frazier liked to camp on the inside. Tyson used to invade it.

Based on what was evident during the fights between Ali versus Doug Jones, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, and Tyson versus Buster Douglas and Evander Holyfield, evidence points to Tyson being more problematic for Ali as opposed to the other way around. Ali would NOT be able to back Tyson up by fighting on the back foot, flicking the jab. Tyson would be able to impose himself on Ali.

There are those who will disagree and bring up Tyson's psychological problems, stamina or his heart. There are those that will point to Ali's height, reach and will to win.

Agreed, Ali did always seem to find a way to win, and who knows, maybe his heart and desire would have found away to neutralise Tyson's threat. Ali is not considered the greatest heavyweight of all time for nothing.

In reality, Ali versus Tyson is a mythical matchup. Pure fantasy. There is no way of knowing for certain, who would be victorious.

But, everybody loves a debate.

And just one more thing....Who would you pick?

don1234
03-20-2012, 04:35 PM
Ali and Jones did stage an exhibition after Ali won the title. Reports are that Ali easily dominated Doug. Can anybody add to that.

Overhand_Right
03-21-2012, 04:17 PM
Pre-exile Ali had "the cracks [that] would show in a situation of adversity." That's a fact. He had to be persuaded by his corner to continue. Everyone is eager to point out mental weaknesses of Tyson, but pre-exile Ali always gets a remission. To me the fact that he didn't give Doug Jones a rematch shows weakness too. Of course, he improved post-exile, but we can only use one version at a time, either pre-exile, or post-exile, not a combination of strong points of both.

Rubbish. Look how he came back off the deck vs Sonny Banks and Henry Cooper. Came through blindness vs Sonny Liston. If he truly wanted to quit he would have - say, like Golota did vs Tyson.

You can't bring up Doug Jones without bringing up Quick Tillis, and both of them lead you down a blind alley.

Senya13
03-21-2012, 10:37 PM
My comment has nothing to do with Tyson.
Against Cooper Clay didn't have any idea where he was or what was going on, all you need to look at is his eyes while he's sitting in his corner.

langford
03-24-2012, 06:02 AM
This would be some fight, to say the least, just very, very interesting. Tyson has both the talent and style to give Ali fits for most of this fight; bob and weave, some body punching, speed, and what a left hook. I see Ali winning this in 15 due the fact that Tyson tended to ease off the body shots after a while and started to lose focus; Tyson was not that mentally strong a boxer ; Ali was. But, for 12 rounds , it would be even closer. I would put some money on Ali, but it would be no schock at all if Tyson where to ko Ali with some left hooks as Ali could be tagged with those and Tyson always could be shockingly explosive with his shots.

KOJOE90
03-25-2012, 07:24 AM
Things I have learnt from the Internet

(1) Ali is a one dimensional fighter.
(2) Alexis Arguello is one of the greatest fighters ever from Puerto Rico.
(3) Sumbu Kalambay is a top 20 all time Middleweight.
(5) Jimmy Wilde fought future Heavyweight Champion Jack Sharkey.
(6) Manny Pacquiao is a bum.


True story and I thank you.