Mike Tyson, a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, insisted on Friday that he wouldn’t have come out on top against boxing legend Muhammad Ali if both of them had gone toe-to-toe in their primes.
As the sporting world has come to a standstill, the debate mill has restarted again, and it was first done by none other than the current heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
“It’s quite interesting because in the era of Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight reign, the heavyweights were ranked as the cruiserweights of the Mike Tyson era,” said unified heavyweight champion speaking on JD Sports Instagram Live.
“The current heavyweight division in the amateurs is what we class as the cruiserweight division. So Muhammad Ali wouldn’t have been a fully-fledged heavyweight.”
“So let’s say we bulked Muhammad Ali up and put size and strength to him, I truly believe Mike Tyson would’ve won,” he added.
Mike Tyson’s record of 44 knockouts in 50 wins is lauded by the greats of all time, which even got him the nickname of “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” But the late Muhammad Ali is considered as “The Greatest of All Time”.
Explaining his reasoning, Joshua continued, “The reason being when you watch the fight with Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, you see a certain Tyson-esque to Frazier’s style. Tyson used to study that Joe Frazier. The moving, the hooks. He managed to put Ali down in the fight, it was a very tough fight for Ali.”
“And I just believe Mike Tyson was better schooled, times have evolved, Mike Tyson was more developed. More science, more information. So I think that Mike Tyson would’ve won, in my humble opinion.”
Since then, the World Boxing Super Series simulated Tyson vs Ali on Fight Night Champion, with “Iron Mike” coming out on top against the three-time heavyweight champion.
After being told about this, Tyson dismissed the idea speaking to Yahoo Sports, “I know it’s a fantasy game. Most likely I would win the fantasy, I wouldn’t win the real fight.”
“Ali’s the greatest there’s ever been.”
The 53-year-old Tyson, still remains to this day, the youngest heavyweight champion of all-time after he dethroned Trevor Berbick in 1986 at the age of 20.