The Greatest Heavyweight Fantasy Fight?


As we are currently starved of no Boxing due to the coronavirus, the debate as to who in their prime would win in a Fantasy Superfight between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson has once again resurfaced.

There is no question at all that Ali’s accomplishments during his career by far outweighs Iron Mike. The calibre of opponents he defeated are still revered today with victories over Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and George Foreman who would all feature on most fight fan’s list of greatest Heavyweights.

However still to this day, many fight fans are split on who would have been victorious in their prime with Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua recently claiming that Tyson would defeat Ali.

The World Boxing Super Series recently simulated a world heavyweight tournament in which former champions such as Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, George Foreman and Joe Frazier featured along with Tyson and Ali who both were the last two standing in the final.

Having brutally destroyed the Ring/Lineal Heavyweight Champion Michael Spinks in 91 seconds, comparisons were already being made as to whether Tyson at the age of 22 could have beaten Ali in his prime.

Ali himself had been stunned by how Tyson had destroyed Spinks who he had backed to beat Tyson. With his unorthodox style of fighting, Ali had felt that keeping a distance and sticking and moving would be suffice to beat the young  Champion who at that time already had unified the WBC, WBA and IBF belts.

Ali’s prime as a fighter was considered to be around the time he fought Clevland Williams in 1966.¬† His lightening hand speed, reflexes, foot speed combined with stinging punches had never previously been seen in the the history of the Heavyweight Division.

His Trainer Angelo Dundee also maintained that we missed out on seeing an even better Ali than what we saw after his Boxing licence was revoked for a period of 3 years when only 25 years old.

Tyson under the tulege of Trainer Kevin Rooney, seemed invincible in which apart from having devastating power, his combination of punches were lightening in which a four punch combination was once timed before the Larry Holmes fight at under one second.

His ability to evade punches and also counterpunch with either the left hook or right cross begs the question as to whether Ali would have been able to avoid being caught flush on the chin.

Ali would take risks by having his hands down against opponents which once resulted in being floored heavily by Henry Cooper in 1963.

Psychological warfare woud no doubt have played a part in the build up to the fight in which Ali would get under the skin of many opponents.

Taunting them with poems in predicting what round he would end the fight or by insulting fighters with a nickname as he did with opponents such as Sonny Liston who he called “The Ugly Bear”.

Tyson supporters would also argue that having Cus D’Amato in his corner would combat any psychological weaknesses Tyson would have had. D’Amato had introduced Tyson to hypnotism in which up to three times a day he would be hypnotized prior to his fights in order to create changes in his fight mindset.

Perhaps a telling factor in this debate is what Mike Tyson has recently said himself which is that Ali would be willing to die in the ring while Tyson himself admitted that he didn’t have that mentality which proved correct later in his career.

However whatever the outcome would have been, it would have had the makings of the greatest heavyweight fight that there ever could have been and the debate will continue for decades to come as to who would have been victorious.









One Reply to “The Greatest Heavyweight Fantasy Fight?”

  1. Great research did not know Tyson used to be hypnotized prior to fighting in order to focus.
    Not sure who would win as I have not seen enough of Ali to pick.

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