The greatest boxer: “Iron” Mike Tyson

Everyone who enjoys boxing has an opinion on the greatest boxer of all time.  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see each of the best boxers square off in their prime against one another?  I am fully aware that what I am about to say will have boxing enthusiasts rolling their eyes.  But in his prime, before the death of his father-figure trainer Cus D’Amato, Mike Tyson could have beaten anyone in their prime.

I think his tumultuous personal life and dramatic fall from grace after his conviction and subsequent three year prison stint sullied the memory of his real talent.  We tend not to see him as the feared monster he really was.  He was fast, and he would land punches with mayhem.

What say you?


  1. I say that in the heavy-weight division, you could make a great case for Tyson in his prime. But many a beast was abused by Ali (I still think his given name, Cassius Clay, is a great boxer name and he should have kept it despite his unfortunate conversion). That would have to be the classic match-up.

    • But marshal. Those were beasts back then. They were conditioned like they are now

      • Alin would beat Tyson like a Wal-Mart child. Ali was too fast, more graceful, and adept at throwing boxers off their game with his taunting, and we already know Tyson has anger issues to begin with. Tyson is a big brute, but dumb as hell. Ali would have smoked him.

        • T

          Youre out of your mind.

          • No. You are willing to discount the effectiveness of Ali’s mind games in favor of Tyson’s strength. What good is strength if one lacks the poise to direct it? And biting someone’s ear off is hardly indicative of a cool head.

            • Tyson had been taunted before. I think youre willing to discount the fact that everyone had a plan when fighting Tyson…until they got hit, then its survival mode.

              • Nobody in the history of boxing had the psychological impact on their opponent than Ali. Furthermore, Ali PROVED every fight that he could take hard hits. You can’t seriously believe that George Foreman in his prime wasn’t as strong as Tyson, and yet Ali whooped him.

              • you are exhibiting the revisionist reflection that I was talking about buddy. We remember Tyson for lack of discipline in his personal life and add it to his ring game. Tyson had focus in the ring, he could wait for an opportunity. When even the smallest opening for a flurry of uppercuts came, you were O-U-T.

              • You are simply wrong. These ten dollar notions might get you places with other people, but not me. You say Tyson had focus in the ring? He got more than he bargained for with Holyfield, lost his head, and bit Holyfield’s ear near off! Tyson is not a good all-arround boxer because he lacks discipline and poise in tough situations. And rest assured, Ali would have put him in more than a few.

                I grew up watching boxing. My dad rented every pay-per-view there was, damn near. I know boxing. Tyson is not a boxer; he’s a brawler.

              • T

                Tyson fought Holyfield past his prime. Im talking Tyson in his prime, his earlier years before Buster Douglas.

              • I agree Ali could beat Tyson in his later years but not when he was a young beast.

  2. If you meant “weren’t” conditioned, I would have you view images of Frazier, Norton or Foreman in their primes. Each of them had the potential to shut off Ali’s lights, though I believe Tyson’s was greater. The problem is, being able to deliver the blow that would accomplish that against a slippery guy like Ali. And don’t forget, if I am not mistaken, those guys were in their prime when fights were going 15 rounds. I have no doubt Tyson would have fared well in those times, but I am referring to conditioning, which is always a major factor in pugilistic success.

    • I think Tyson in his early 20s would have easily taken any of them in their 20s. I know you arent arguing, but even with their conditioning they couldnt beat him.

      I was hoping this would have gotten more opinion. Is boxing a dead sport? I thought for sure people would flood this with telling me I’m crazy.

  3. Tyson was a phenom. He did at age 14 what most grown men could never dream of. His speed and power was matched by his ferocity and natural instinct. I am not sure if it was because of his mental problems or in spite of them that he was such a monster in the ring, but in either case I think that there is a good argument that in his prime he was the best pound for pound boxer of all time.

  4. I think that with MMA, and the regular TV/cable shows highlighting the sport, some of the interest in boxing has waned. Though I appreciate the grappling aspect of MMA, it can be like watching paint dry as opposed to even a low quality boxing match. The last great fight I saw was Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV last December, ending with Manny kissing the canvas after a great shot to the jaw by Marquez. Pacquiao was clearly on his way to a win until caught totally by surprise and was out for the trip to the mat.

    The sport ain’t what it used to be, that’s for sure.

  5. Boxing lost it’s appeal for many in the 90s. I think it was because of scandals and the UFC.

    Tyson was pretty amazing. It was sad to watch him spiral out of control.

    The strangest thing I think I’ve ever seen was Tyson trying to “box” in the first round of the second Hollyfield fight. I remember saying “Is Tyson throwing JABS???”.

    To answer the question: Yes, he was probably the greatest.

    Joke answer: Butter Bean. Hands down!

  6. John,

    Tyson, in His PRIME, never fought the same caliber boxers as Ali. That is simply a fact. Tyson couldn’t even beat Buster Douglas, for crying out loud.

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