Powered by:
as known from New York Timesas known from USA Todayas known from yahoo!
VA

Comparing Muhammad Ali to Mike Tyson: Why the comparison is stupid

Comparing Ali to Tyson!
Publish Date: 11/26/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

I keep seeing all of these younger guys posting about how Mike Tyson would beat Muhammad Ali. Of course, I always chalk that up to stupidity, so I thought, what the hell, let’s take a look at what they both accomplished in their careers. 

So here we go!

Amateur career

Ali’s amateur career culminated with winning a gold medal in Rome. On the other hand, Mike Tyson lost a disputed decision to Henry Tillman in the Olympic trials in 1984.

Advantage Ali

Winning the Title

Ali won an undisputed title, beating the heavily favored Sonny Liston by a 7th-round knockout. But, once again, for you young guys, that means that Liston was a true champion, not a trinket holder.

Tyson won a portion of the heavyweight title in 1986 by knocking out Trevor Berbick in the second round. Still, Tyson did not become the undisputed heavyweight champion until he beat Michael Spinks, a blown-up light heavyweight champion. Also, remember that most historians rank Sonny Liston as a top 10 all-time heavyweight; I don’t think that the same is true for Berbick.

Advantage Ali

Forced Exile

Both of these fighters lost three years of their prime, and let us compare what they did to get forced into exile.

Ali refused induction into the United States military because he did not want to fight in Vietnam. Ali lost three prime years because of this. He could have joined up and been stationed as entertainment somewhere; he wouldn’t have been fighting; instead, he decided that the war was wrong based on his religious convictions. In the end, Ali was right; the Vietnam war was not a war the United States should have been in, and he brought a lot of attention to the fact that this country had no business sending young men to die.

Tyson also lost three prime years of his career. Still, his reason was profoundly different. He was accused and found guilty of raping a contestant at the Miss Black Teen beauty pageant in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Advantage Ali

Return to the ring

The return from exile for these two champions was also slightly different.

Ali’s return fight was against Jerry Quarry, and Quarry entered the fight as The Ring magazine’s No. 1-rated heavyweight contender and the WBA’s No. 3-rated heavyweight contender. Ali would go on to stop Quarry in three rounds. Just six weeks later, Ali would stop another top contender Oscar Bonavena, in the 15th round.

Tyson returned against Peter McNeely. McNeely’s father had once fought Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title, and McNeely had a record of 36-1. McNeely was an entertaining and funny guy, but his 36-1 record was deceiving as only 4 of the 36 wins had come against fighters with winning records.

Advantage Ali

Regaining the Heavyweight Title

Ali regained the heavyweight title in 1974 by beating the legendary George Foreman by an eighth-round knockout. Most people thought that Foreman would destroy Ali, much like he did Ken Norton and Joe Frazier. But, just like the Liston fight, those people were wrong, and by beating Foreman, Ali once again defeated an all-time Top 10 Heavyweight.

Tyson Regained a portion of the heavyweight title by stopping Frank Bruno in the third round in Las Vegas. Bruno was making his first defense of the WBC heavyweight title, which he had won from Oliver McCall six months earlier. It took Bruno four tries to win a world title. He had previously lost title fights to Tim Witherspoon, Tyson, and Lennox Lewis.

Advantage Ali

Second Title Reign

Ali’s second title reign included defenses against Ron Lyle, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers, and Jimmy Young. Thus, Ali defended his title 10 times in his second reign. The Norton and Young bouts were highly controversial decisions that Ali won, and he lost the title to Leon Spinks in Spink’s eighth fight. Ali did decisively beat Frazier, Lyle, and Shaver’s, though.

Tyson’s second title reign included just one title defense against then-WBA Champion Bruce Seldon. Tyson landed two punches of dubious power and, almost without any resistance, Seldon timidly surrendered his World Boxing Association championship. The MGM Grand Garden crowd booed its displeasure. Tyson would lose his title in his second defense when Evander Holyfield stopped him in the 11th round. After the fight was made official, many said Holyfield was over the hill, and Tyson opened as a 25-1 favorite. The odds were down to 5-1 before the fight.

Advantage Ali

Third Title Reign

Ali would regain the heavyweight title for the third time with an easy unanimous decision win over Leon Spinks. He retired after the fight. Ali would return two years later and lose to Larry Holmes and a year after that lose a ten-round decision to Trevor Berbick before retiring for good.

Tyson would never have a third title reign as he would lose his rematch to Evander Holyfield, and he didn’t just lose; he embarrassed himself by opting to bite Holyfield twice to get disqualified. He did this because Holyfield would have knocked him out again. Tyson would get one last chance against Lennox Lewis. He took a beating and was stopped in the eighth round.

Advantage Ali

Conclusion

When comparing what these two men accomplished in the ring, there is no question that they are from two different worlds. People who ask who would have won a fight between these two are fools because they shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath.

Advantage Ali

 

Read Also
Ursa Major or Minor: Was it Jeffries or Liston? 
James Jackson Jeffries and Charles L. “Sonny” Liston; two great heavyweight champions ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Bet365 Promo
Who was the greater fighter? Mike Tyson or Michael Spinks?
Many people will glance at this headline and automatically think this is ...
Superman vs. Muhammad Ali: How the Heavyweight Champ and the Man of Steel Saved the World in 1978
Training The Mego toy corporation, arguably best known for its line of ...
Which American Olympic Boxing Team Was the Greatest: 1976 or 1984
I think it is very little to no debate that the two ...
Come Fly with me: How the 1988-89 Chicago Bulls pushed forward to an NBA dynasty.
Find the best sportsbook to bet on the NBA Playoffs! Prologue: By ...
Michael Nunn and Iran Barkley Discuss Their Bout, Bob Arum, and the Four Kings
Mountains to Climb, Pebbles in Your Shoe “I always say that was ...
Peter Maher: An Irish Tribute
INTRO: I was seriously ill in 2018 with 7 nights in the ...
Lady Tyger’s Tale: How Marian Trimiar Mauled the Boxing Establishment of the 1970s and 80s
To Feed the Ambition in Your Heart is Like Carrying a Tiger ...
The Forgotten Canadian Champion (And Maybe It’s Deserved): Billy Hawkins
As Mike Goodpaster and I prepare our popular Old-Time Boxing Show podcast, ...
Latest Sport News
Eusebio Pedroza: Duran’s Panamanian counterpart in pugilistic dominance
Panama, birthplace of Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Duran, ...
Top 10 College Basketball Players of all time
This list only considers college achievements and the ...
Davis vs. Martin: Tank Versus Frank
This Saturday night live from MGM Grand Garden ...
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

21+ and present in VA. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

Virginia Town HallCloudflareSSL
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Play now