Fight Mythical Matchups

Mike Tyson vs. George Foreman

Against Foreman, this would be crucial. Tyson would not want to get too close, as Foreman would simply push him back by his shoulders and smash him with uppercuts and hooks. At mid-range, Tyson would have opportunities to counter the slower Foreman. Although Foreman shook off several Frazier left hooks in their two bouts, Big George would have never faced someone like Tyson, who was blessed with dynamite and speed in both hands.

As a young fighter, Mike Tyson’s mentor Cus D’Amato used to show him films of all the previous  heavyweight champs. The legendary trainer would break down their styles, offering Mike detailed analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.

When they got to George Foreman, Cus is reputed to have told him that no swarmer, come forward aggressive fighter (Dempsey, Marciano, Frazier) ever beats Foreman. He was too strong, and would push them into the range of his deadly uppercuts, as seen in his two round blitz of a previously undefeated Joe Frazier in 1973.

Trying to box Foreman wasn’t easy, either. The former champion possessed a hard jab, and could cut off the ring quickly and trap opponents on the ropes. Ken Norton fell victim to this and suffered a brutal KO in just two rounds. Ali was forced to adopt the rope a dope when Foreman was able to easily trap him on the ropes despite Muhammad’s excellent footwork.

And when he was landed on, George Foreman held a sturdy chin that served him two decades later in the 90s, when even as an old man the young fighters were wary of mixing it up with him on the inside. Add this up with his punching power, and it’s easy to see why pundits expected Foreman to reign for a long time in the mid 1970s.

Mike Tyson, contrary to popular belief, did not excel at in-fighting. He retained a bad habit throughout his career of stopping his offense anytime he was clinched. This was unlike his idol Jack Dempsey and others like Rocky Marciano and Joe Frazier, who would punish opponents in clinches: whether through legal punches or foul shots to the kidney, hips, or groin.

Tyson’s lethal game was at mid-range. From there he could rip off hard combinations. His great head movement and weaving prevented him from absorbing punishment, and kept him in position to crash home counters on his usually larger opponents.

Against Foreman, this would be crucial. Tyson would not want to get too close, as Foreman would simply push him back by his shoulders and smash him with uppercuts and hooks. At mid-range, Tyson would have opportunities to counter the slower Foreman. Although Foreman shook off several Frazier left hooks in their two bouts, Big George would have never faced someone like Tyson, who was blessed with dynamite and speed in both hands.

With all that said, there’s one other Tyson flaw that I feel would sink him against Foreman, and that is Iron Mike’s inability to fight going backwards. His offense is 100% forward, and when any fighter has forced him in the other direction he loses most of the leverage on his punches. George Foreman is likely the strongest heavyweight champion physically, edging others like Jim Jeffries and Jack Johnson. At many points during the fight, he will move Tyson backwards. It will be bullying, but not involve all the grappling that Holyfield did against Mike in 1996. It will be shoving coupled with hard punches. And on the backfoot Tyson doesn’t have the capabilities to make Foreman pay like Ali and even Jimmy Young did.

This is a shootout and a great fight to debate. To add more allure to this matchup, rumors persist that Tyson refused to fight Foreman in 1990 mostly due to what Cus D’Amato had instilled in him about Foreman’s abilities.

So who are you going with, Tyson or Foreman?

Foreman vs. Norton

Tyson Highlights

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53 comments

  1. Two aspects that prevents me from discounting Tyson completely against Foreman is firstly, Tyson’s defense is not the same as Frazier’s in that Tyson does not lean forward at the waist. Tyson was taught to slip in 3 directions, left, right and down. Frazier’s defense was flawed and exposed by Foreman, as was Marvis by Tyson’s uppercut.

    Secondly, Tyson doesn’t have to fight in reverse against Foreman. Look at Tyson vs. Berbick. Berbick tried exactly to push Tyson back, but during pushing, was hit by right and left hook combinations that would have landed on Foreman when Foreman tries to push back Tyson.

    But I will agree that Foreman had punching power beyond any normal human could stand. If he could land on Tyson, it would hurt.

    1. big differences are foremans taller then both mike and trevor and foreman has a long reah then Tyson and berbick
      secondly berbick doesn’t have foremans strength to man hande Tyson
      Tyson gets shoved and initimidated by a man who shows him no fear or respect and to try that hook your referring to would be suicide as cus told him toe to toe swarmer versus slugger gets killed…………Tyson has to go in close and he prefers to fight mid range never in close in clinches his defense was withered

      foreman for the KO

    2. Frazier chin was much better then tyson , tyson had a weak chin , and tyson could not fight long like frazier , tyson only advantage was speed and head movement against a prime foreman , foreman should win by knockout in 5th or 6th round .

      1. Tyson never lost a fight inside two rounds.Even a past prime Mike tyson against Lennox Lewis never lost it in two round. And Lewis was boxer puncher.

    1. Look at foremans record: The only fight he lost by KO was to Ali. The truth is that Foreman was not knocked out in Zaire, he was knocked down and counted out at seven or eight. Albeit he was gassed and would not have lasted, but like Surger Ray (who took pages from Ali’s book) especially in the Duran II fight, he often won by using everything outside of the ring to his advantage. But when that didn’t work for Ali, he was in trouble. It didn’t work with Frazier I and it didn’t work with Norton either and all three of them were in their prime when Ali lost to them. Zaire was a perfect storm for Forman. Doubt it would have happened again and Ali didn’t want to give George the opportunity and that is likely why he taunted George so much afterward. Goerge was the better man and gave Ali nothing but accolades through the years. I would have loved to have seen Ali’s face the moment Foreman knocked our Moorer while wearing the same trunks he wore when he lost to Ali.
      Forman was never knocked out while fighting as tough or tougher opponents than Tyson fought.
      Tyson got knocked out five times ala Buster Douglass, Evander Hollyfield (out on his feet), Lennox Lewis, Danny Williams, and Kevin McBride.

      1. Here we go again about the count of Ali vs Foreman. I have looked at the tape numerous times and it was exactly 10 seconds from the time Foreman hit the canvas until he got up. Besides, do you really think he was in any condition to not get KO’s in a theoretical 9th round. Ali did not duck Foreman. The public wanted Frazier and that’s what they got. Foreman was in a funk. Besides, he had all the advantages in the fight that Ali didn’t, i.e., age, power, ring size and spongy ring floor. Ali had the rope a dope as plan B but once he got into the ring he decided he would be better off using it. So, if there was a rematch within let’s say a year, no way would Ali agree to a small and spongy ring. He could easily beat Foreman to the punch from close in or at far range. The only way Foreman could win is with one big punch. Ali would never get hit with combinations. Remember, any time Ali was in trouble he knew how to get out of it so it’s doubtful even big George could have put him away with one shot. Five Ali credit as nobody else was able to expose George’s weaknesses with the exception of Jimmy Young.

  2. Anything can happen in the ring but IMO most likely prime vs prime Foreman wins by KO by the 5th round. Neither of them was nearly as good in later rounds so probably it doesn’t go anywhere near the distance. Foreman will make Tyson pay coming in. Tyson lost confidence when faced with adversity so unless he gets to Foreman early with a lucky shot, George will stagger him. Then, Tyson won’t have an answer and will get KO’d.

  3. Foreman would give Tyson a 5 round beating before putting him to sleep. Unlike Frazier, Ali,
    Norton, Holmes, Quarry and Holyfield, Tyson NEVER exhibited the heart of a champ. Against Foreman, he would be in against a warrior (ask Ron Lyle and Moorer). None of the fighters just mentioned laid down against bums. Tyson was KO’d by Douglas, Green and that Irish mutt whose name escapes me. He was taken the distance by Tucker, Smith, Green, Tillis and taken to the brink by Ferguson, none a world beater. He lost every war he was in against a quality opponent. Everyone of the aforementioned had slugfests against one another. Tell Holmes, Quarry and Ali that Norton couldn’t take a punch.

    In the end, it seems an insult to include Tyson’s name with those men who proved there mettle in the ring. The heavyweights mentioned and others such as Earnie Shavers, gave fight fans more than their money’s worth. To include the Klitchkos and Tysons with real champions is to spit in the face of true warriors.

    1. Your outright dimissal of Tyson’s capabilities as a fighter betray a painfully limited understanding of boxing. This is again a common case of objective analysis being prevented by an irrational dislike for the man.

      1. Gee, limited understanding of boxing? What’s to understand moron? Unlike your feeble attempt at a reply I included the REASONS Tyson would be destroyed by Foreman. In addition to his vaunted punching power, Foreman was a tough, tough man. His war with Lyle and the poundings he took from Moorer and Holyfield (in his 40’s!), exhibit a toughness and durability Tyson NEVER had. And yes, you are right, Tyson was and continues to be a putrid example of humanity but the fact that he is a POS has nothing to do with the fact that he was an overrated mutt. That friendo just happens to be a coinky dink.Now go back to tennis and golf.

    2. Asshole,he sure did show adversity and heart.watch him walk thru 18 rounds of ruddock smashes, dummy.Something foreman was terrified to do when he DUCKED a fight ruddock insisted on in 1990.

  4. I agree that Tyson cannot fight going backwards and there’s no way with the size and strength advantages that Foreman had, he would not be pushing him backwards. I also agree that no one in the history of heavyweight boxing could have taken the fight to Foreman and win it in a toe to toe battle but I wouldn’t use Marciano, Dempsey or Frazier as examples. I would prefer to mention the only two fighters that would have actually had a punchers chance against him but still would have lost. Those two fighters were Ernie Shavers and Sonny Liston. Both of them were power houses in their own right and could have easily leveled Foreman but they couldn’t do it going backwards and since Foreman was much larger than both men and had the “shove his opponents back and then hitting them” style, I think it would have been game over for them as well! Those are two points I agree with totally but to elaborate on Foreman’s advantages, his thunderous jab would have not only kept Tyson off balance but would have also hurt him. Not only that, but Foreman’s unorthodox power punching came from very odd angles and that would have presented a lot of problems for Mike as well. It’s usually the punch you don’t see coming that puts you out. Foreman obviously didn’t have the hand speed to provide that kind of punch but he did have those unique angles from which he threw them. That in itself prevented a lot of fighters that he fought from seeing them coming and has a lot to do with why Foreman has that incredible knockout record. Both men had iron chins so the only way to get either guy out of there was to break their conditioning down. Neither fighter was built for a 12 or 15 round fight so I would say that it definitely goes five rounds and it’s a slug fest! However, Tyson is doing most of his slugging on the defensive and with his back against the ropes having very little effect on Foreman. His best chances are at the beginning of each round when he can come out throwing bombs, utilizing his bobbing and weaving defensive style and his footwork. However, after about 30 seconds of this Foreman ends up cutting off the ring on Tyson and spends the next two and a half minutes pummeling him on the ropes! I have Foreman in five by a knockout!

    1. All the Tyson lovers like to point out how “fast” he was. He was nowhere as fast as Ali, Holmes or Young. I doubt that a little extra speed would have helped him against Foreman. My biggest doubt for Tyson in this matchup was his inability to cope with adversity, which happened against Douglas and Holyfield. After Holyfied, he had already peaked and his ability had diminished a lot so I am not talking about his later fights. No doubt, Foreman would have broken Tyson’s will within a few rounds and Big George would have taken all the fight out of Mike. Although anything can happen in a fight, I say prime vs prime, Big George in 5.

      1. Tyson had unbelievably fast hands during his days with Cus when you consider his build and his punching power. He was a unique individual who had an unseen level of speed and power encompassed in one fighter. At that point in his career, I would say that he was also one of the fastest combination punchers in heavyweight history. He was at least in the top 5. Then consider his heavy hands. He was at least in the top 5 there as well. This is what Tyson fans marveled at. What they’re not understanding is that other than the beginning of the opening bell of each round, this would not be a factor in the fight because Foreman would be constantly pushing him backwards and hitting him. That would reduce Tyson’s power to arm punches. I agree with you that Tyson couldn’t handle adversity. He was trained to KNOCK PEOPLE OUT and that’s about it. If the fight lasted more than expected or he went up against a fighter who wasn’t intimidated by him and fought back, he didn’t know what to do. His idea of defense even in his prime was to slip a punch and then come back with an enormous counter which would turn into a devastating combination. That worked for a while due to the lack of solid competition he faced but once he was truly tested, he had no real defense, conditioning or fighting heart. He would just get backed up and pummeled after he was broken down with very little or no return. It’s sad but true. The real tribute to Tyson’s successful career goes to his management crew who cherry picked his opponents in his prime and made sure he won!

      2. I agree. Although he was devastating, he was never really tested early in his career. He also peaked very early on. When talk about his going against Foreman and I believe the consensus is that Foreman would KO Tyson with no chance of the fight going anywhere near the distance, it also shows once again the greatness of Muhammad Ali. A lot of speculation has been that Ali couldn’t dance for long vs Foreman and that he adopted the rope-a-dope on the spot. I know for a fact that Ali tried it previously vs Frazier and it failed miserably. But Foreman, although more powerful than Frazier, did not have the same stamina and also punched from wide angles, which Ali was able to block. I believe Ali could have danced and still tired Foreman out. Foreman did not have to use his usual tactic of pushing his opponent to get punching room because Ali was right in front of him. This actually worked to his disadvantage as Foreman did not give himself enough punching room and Ali was able to block practically all of his punches. On the rare occasion when Foreman did connect, it was not full force and Ali was able to effectively absorb the punishment. Getting back to Tyson, prime vs prime he loses badly to Ali, Foreman, Frazier and a lot of others.

      3. Steve, Tyson=Heavy hands? Really? Do the names Tucker, Douglas, Green, Green, Tillis, Holyfield, Lewis, Smith, Irish Bum, etc. mean anything to you? Any heavyweight who wasn’t afraid of the bogus rep exposed Tyson for what he was=A decent punching heavyweight with a suspect chin, ZERO heart and no ability to adapt or win a war. What is with all the Tyson excuses? He peaked early, Cus died, this, that! Good God! The guy was a heavyweight pro not a child! He had a good not great amatuer career-Norton had NONE. He peaked early-Ali was stripped of his title and out of the fight game for nearly 3 years. He came back to go 124 rounds with Frazier, Norton, Foreman, Quarry, Lyle,etc. Foreman fought for and won the heavyweight title at 50! Frazier was smaller than most of his opposition and on and on.

        Forget the excuses, true Champions live and die by the courage, heart and pride they bring into the ring. Those who pound out old women, rape and disrespect the Sweet Science know nothing of such things.

      4. Yeah Rob, Mike Tyson had heavy hands. Did you forget his knock out record from early on to midway of his career? I’m not even a Tyson fan and I can at least acknowledge that. Do the names Spinks, Holmes, Berbick, Thomas, and ruddick mean anything to you? Just because he lost interest & focus in the sport and faded earlier than most champions have doesn’t mean he should be discredited for his accomplishments early on. Furthermore, I don’t know where you’re getting your information. Tyson had no chin? Really? I NEVER recall him getting knocked down or out in the early rounds. It was always after he was exhausted and had given up in the fight. He had a superb chin. However, his fighting heart and adaptability was the thing in question which is why he lost as badly as he did in the first place. His chin had nothing to do with that. Also, George foreman was 45 not 50 when he won the heavyweight championship for the second time.

      5. ‘After Holyfield he had already peaked and his ability had diminished a lot’

        Tyson has begun to diminish some years before this encounter.

  5. Err…..Steve,

    Greats with great chins (Hagler, Ali, Frazier, Arguello, etc.) don’t get KO’d by no names and bums. Foreman destroyed Frazier in 7 rounds (2 fights), would anyone consider Frazier china chinned? Early he was knocking out bums. Jesse Ferguson actually fought back and had a chance to win.

    *Holmes: 40 years old and hadn’t fought in nearly 3 years. Are you saying that a prime Holmes who proved time and again he was an ALL TIME Great (life and death with Norton, getting up from Shaver’s hardest right hand) wouldn’t have been able to do what Holyfield and Lewis did? Again, Tyson NEVER won an all out war with an equal opponent.

    *Spinks: A small heavyweight who entered the ring buying the hype. How’d you miss the sh*t stains on his shorts?

    *Berbick, Thomas, Ruddock: You’re kidding right?

    “Suspect chin” is what I said but the facts are clear, all losses by KO, not a single one avenged. Here you go:

    Quarry vs Tyson the night he fought Frazier for the 1st time: Quarry by KO 6 rounds!

    1. Say what you want but my list of fighters that Tyson knocked out is much better than the list you gave me of absolute no names that Tyson went the distance with. No elite heavyweight puncher and that includes shavers, Liston and Foreman has knocked out every opponent they faced so I don’t know what point you’re trying to make here. To say that Tyson didn’t have a punch is not only ludicrous but it puts you in a category all by yourself! Secondly, I’ll agree with Hagler and Arguello having terrific chins. Especially Hagler because of the competition he faced but I’m sorry, I have to disagree with the other two and I don’t care how much controversy it causes in the process! Frazier was battered from pillar to post in two separate fights by foreman. I think he went down 5 times in the first fight and 3 times in the second. You call that a great chin? Of course he could take punches from guys like Jimmy Ellis, Muhammad Ali, Jerry Quarry, Buster Mathis, etc. but don’t try to tell me that guys like Shavers, Liston and Tyson wouldn’t do the same thing to him that Foreman did. He was a great fighter without a doubt but his chin could not withstand solid blows from your best punchers. As for Ali, he’s the greatest heavyweight of all time but when people talk about him having the best chin I have to laugh at that! Why do you think he was such an underdog against Liston? Maybe because Sonny Banks blasted him with a left hook that he almost didn’t get up from or is because of the left hook that Henry cooper nearly put him through the ropes with? What about the left hook that Frazier nailed him with that sent him sprawling to the canvas? What about the body shot that Chuck Wepner hit him with that knocked him down? What about when Ernie shavers sent him down in the corner where they called it a slip? What about the times in sparring during his heavyweight reign where he was floored by amateurs? No, Muhammad Ali did not have a great chin. What he had was great re-cooperative powers. There’s a big difference. He could get hurt, knocked down, whatever and revive himself like no other but he really did have a weakness in his defense particularly against left hooks. Guys with great chins are Marvin Hagler, George Chuvalo, Julio Cesar Chavez, Randall “Tex” Cobb, etc. Fighters that didn’t get knocked down even by their divisions hardest punchers.

      As For your last comment, you’re arguing with someone who agrees with you on this! I’ve always thought that Tyson’s success not only came from great management but also because he started out so young. Had he fought for the championship at age 28 like Larry Holmes did, he never would have been the heavyweight champion of the world. I’ve also said that Foreman would crush him in a match between him so….?

    2. I also want to comment that with holyfield and Lewis aside, my list was much better but again, you’re using guys outside of Tyson’s prime. It would have been interesting to see those match ups when he was young and still interested in boxing.

  6. Oh! And Foreman 45 not 50, excuse me all to hell…..But I guess he was alot further past his “peak” than Tyson was at 25!

    1. You’re absolutely right Avi and I apologize for allowing myself to argue with a guy who says that Mike Tyson didn’t have a punch, that a fighter who gets knocked down 5 times in one fight has a great chin, that George Foreman won back the championship at age 50 and this same person doesn’t acknowledge that there’s any such thing as re-cooperative powers, only the chin! Meanwhile, he says I’m the one who doesn’t know anything about boxing. My case is rested!

      I will not respond to another comment this guy makes and pollute your blog because he’s just not worth my time or effort but just for the record, I boxed for 3 and a half years, wrested and was in mixed martial arts for quite some time as well so I do know a little something about the fight game. This guy knows nothing. Over and out!

      1. Apparently, you didn’t understand the spirit of my comment and plea. I do want to take issue with one of your positions, i.e., the 5 knockdown and glass chin issue. I will refer specifically when Joe Frazier lost his championship to George Foreman and got knocked down 6 times in the process. Frazier came into that fight in poor condition both physically and mentally. He also underestimated Foreman greatly. Ken Norton, who was one of Frazier’s sparring partners, noted that up to the Ali fight, Frazier was giving his sparring partners a run for the money while afterwards he just wasn’t the same. Even Foreman commented on that later on. I understand that Frazier’s style didn’t match up well against Foreman’s, I believe Joe would have given a much better accounting of himself if he had been the same Frazier who stepped into the ring with Ali in 1971. Nevertheless, he got up quickly after each knockdown and probably would have been able to endure 3 or 4 more of them but what was the point as he was clearly out of the fight by that time. Except for Foreman, Oscar Bonavena was the only other fighter to knock him down. It was early in Joe’s career and Oscar was an extremely awkawrd and rough fighter. Most of Foreman’s KO victims were stopped after 1 or 2 knockdowns. Frazier took everything any of his opponents could dish out and had a tremendous chin. I believe it was you who commented on Ali’s chin, saying that he only had great recuperative powers. He got knocked down 4 times in his career. Very early, he suffered a flash knockdown from Sonny Banks. Chuck Wepner did not really knock him down as the video footage shows Wepner stepped on Ali’s foot and basically it was a trip. Cooper and Frazier, of course, both legitimately knocked Ali down. Anything can happen in a fight. Sometimes, an unlikely knockdown can occur but you have to evaluate it on a total basis. I believe a good case would be Ken Norton who withered every time he was nailed by a big puncher. At least he went down from a series of punches. Lennox Lewis, on the other hand, got knocked out twice early in fights by obscure fighters. I believe Holyfield really beat Lewis easily in their second fight but he had such sympathy because of the decision in the first fight that he had to be knocked out to lose. Although Lewis had some amazing offensive skills, I believe any of the great fighters of the 70’s would have knocked him out early.

      2. You can believe what you want about Frazier having a great chin. The only place that I was wrong is that he actually did get knocked down 6 times instead of 5! That makes my case even stronger. Thank you for that! What about the second fight with Foreman? What are the excuses for why he got battered and knocked down so much in that fight? Is it because he wasn’t the same Joe Frazier at that point in his career too? Was Joe Frazier only his “real self” in the Ali fight? What a short career if that’s the case and it also makes absolutely no sense. I don’t care what Joe Frazier fought George Foreman, it would be the same result. His style was tailor made for Foreman and he never would have been able to survive Foreman’s punches. Using his fight with Ali or any others that he fought prior to that are very poor examples too because obviously those guys didn’t punch anywhere near as hard as foreman. Also, If Frazier wasn’t the same in both Foreman fights then how could he put up such a great performance against Ali a couple of years later in the Philippines? Again, your explanation makes no sense what so ever. However, mine does. Joe Frazier simply didn’t have the chin to stand up against a power puncher like Foreman thus all of the knock downs. The reason why he was able to get up from them was because he had great re-cooperative powers, an asset that none of you boxing fans on this blog seem to know about! I guarantee you one thing, if Joe Frazier would have fought Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson or Ernie Shavers it would have been the same result. Why? Because although he was a great fighter, he simply didn’t have a good enough chin that could hold up against the elite punchers. End of story.

        As for Ali not getting knocked down in two of those fights, you’re kidding me right? The Sonny Banks left hook was a slip and so was the knock down by Chuck Wepner? You’re assessments of those fights amaze me. In truth, the only one that was actually called a slip was the Ernie Shavers knock down. What about when he hit the canvas in sparring? Once again, Ali was floored with a left hook from Frazier and was almost knocked through the ropes by Cooper and if Angelo Dundee didn’t split his glove to buy time in the corner, he might have been knocked out in that fight! I’m done arguing with people like you. It’s amazing how you joined forces with that other idiot! Don’t even bother to respond, I won’t waste my time reading it.

      3. You’re a hopeless ass! I hope you’re not married because your wife must suffer greatly having to live with the likes of you. You need counseling in the worst way.

      4. Listen dickhead, I tried to be respectful to you because it wasn’t your fault that this other guy was a horses ass but you have proven to be just as bad as he is. Fuck off, prick and stop emailing me.

  7. Steve,

    Perhaps you might re-define your definition of chin. Do you honestly think that there is only a single definition of being able to take a punch? Is there is there only one type of punch that defines being a puncher? The ability to recover from a devastating punch is as much a part of having a good chin as being able to deliver a knock out punch with a right hand as opposed to a left hook. And yes, you are correct, the hardest punchers never knocked out everyone they fought, that’s not the issue, the issue is WHO they knocked out. Tyson’s knockouts came early against bums. As to which list of fighters Tyson knocked out and which ones he didn’t, let’s compare:

    Spinks: Never fought again (he himself has stated “wasn’t into the fight or boxing”)

    Ruddock: Never won a another significant fight

    Berbick: Never won a another significant fight

    Holmes: Again, nearly 40 off nearly 2 years

    VS

    Tillis: Would get KO’d 7 times AFTER Tyson failed to do so

    M. Green: Would fail to defeat a single decent opponent and got KO’d in 3 in his very next fight after Tyson by one Bruce Johnson!

    Smith: Never won a another significant fight (unless you count a used up Mike Weaver) and was KO’d 4 times by less than stellar competion (with the exception of Holmes)

    Tucker: Again, Never won a another significant fight

    So, what does all this mean? Well pretty much that the “talent” was all about the same. All of the aforementioned could be beaten and most could be KO’d. At the end of the day, to hear the final bell had more to do with the mind set of the fighter rather than the power of Tyson. A far more telling barometer of Tyson’s overrated power is to examine the fights he lost. Tyson was stopped early, mid and late in those fights. He did land and in some cases landed often. Both his “great” power and “superb” chin failed him. The key to beating Tyson was:

    *Decent basic skills (good jab/right hand
    *Lack of fear (proven again and again by less than great fighters)
    *A desire to win

    As to Joe Frazier and Ali:

    Frazier was KO’d by only 2 men, Ali and Foreman. A case could be made that these were possibly the 2 greatest heavyweights of all time. Other than Lewis and Holyfield, Tyson was KO’d by bums, period. Frazier demonstrated a will to win and had to be pulverized to be stopped. His left hook and speed in his prime would equal anything Tyson tried to throw at him. Tyson never faced the kind of will, power and ferocity Frazier would have brought into the ring. Also, the men who beat Frazier were bigger men, Tyson wasn’t. Tyson NEVER had heart, that fact alone would made him fodder for the best.

    1. First of all, anyone who gets knocked down 5 times in one fight does not have an elite chin and I don’t care how you slice it and dice it! That also applies to a heavyweight champion who gets dropped to the canvas some half a dozen times during his reign. As I explained before, there is a big difference between having a chin and having re-cooperative powers. Sometimes you can have both and sometimes you might only have one but if you have neither, you don’t belong in the ring!

      Secondly, Tyson didn’t fight ANY top fighters who were in their prime when he was the champion so again, I don’t know what point you’re trying to make here. Your list of fighters that he couldn’t knock out is actually inferior to my list of fighters that he did knock out other than Holyfield and Lewis and I already covered that point. Had they fought Tyson when he was in his prime, we would actually have something to go on to continue this discussion. The fact is, he was never tested at that time so I’m done with this debate. I’m not going to argue a mute point that’s based solely on opinion and speculation.

      And last but not least, you keep talking about Mike Tyson as if he was the same the fighter who fought against Douglas, Holyfield, Lewis, etc. throughout his entire career. Did you even watch him when he was in his prime? He was an entirely different fighter in those days. He was ferocious, he threw combinations, He bobbed and weaved as well as used a lot of head movement, he was very quick handed and accurate. He could also fight hard into the late rounds. Later on, you could only get one or two good rounds from him and then he would completely fall apart. He no longer threw combinations and became a one punch at a time fighter. His head movement was completely gone, he stood straight up and he had no fire left in him. This is the guy you continue to make your references to but that is not the same Mike Tyson who made a name for himself.

      You also continue to use Larry Holmes as an example. Well, I happen to think that Holmes was not only the most underrated heavyweight of all time but one of the greatest as well. It seems like we both respect him as a fighter but the funny thing is that a lot of the competition he faced were the same guys that Mike Tyson was knocking out early on! How can you respect Holmes for beating these guys but not respect Tyson for knocking them out? I think that’s showing a little bit of a double standard there.

  8. Again Steve, you seem to think that having a chin means never being down or even truly hurt. Larry was down against the hardest right hand Earnie Shavers ever threw and he also went down at the hands of Reynaldo Snipes…..But he got up! No chin? You picked the wrong fighter to use in proving your ignorance about having a chin. Yes Frazier went down half a dozen times against Foreman but he kept getting up. He was in against a bigger, stronger, faster fighter. His style was a style that no heavyweight who ever lived could have used effectively against Foreman, no one! Had it been Tyson’s chin Foreman’s bombs were bouncing off of, there would have been 1 maybe 2 knockdowns. Obviously you are a celeb boxing buff, if you knew the sport you would have known that the 1st Quarry/Frazier fight was an all out war.Quarry landed bombs that would have KO’d Tyson in 3-4 rounds but china chinned Frazier stood up to them and won what was one of boxing’s great wars. Foreman took 8 rounds of Ali’s shots and went down, Frazier took 41 rounds of pounding and had to be stopped by Futch.

    Any quality fighter who goes late into a fight with another quality fighter knows that in many, many cases fighters like Ali, Holmes, Norton, etc. who though not 1 punch KO artists, pack as much in their punches as an exhausted puncher. The fact that Frazier was still fighting in each fight with Ali after absorbing hundreds of blows from the same fighter who stopped Liston, Foreman, Lyle and Quarry knows what it means to have heart, a chin and will. I’m sure your opinion that Frazier didn’t belong in the ring is shared by those who like you, have a limited knowledge of the sport. I spoke to “Baby” Joe Ruelas who once fought Bernard Taylor. He had Taylor on the deck in the 1st round but went on to lose a decision. I said to him that Taylor didn’t hit hard, couldn’t you just go in and bomb him out? He looked at me like the idiot I was and said “when you’re in against a true pro, they all hit hard and their punches hurt”. Marvin Hagler was a master at hiding the fact that he was hurt, no one did it better but it change the fact that he was hurt, ask him about John Mugabi’s uppercut!

    Lastly, “He was ferocious, he threw combinations, He bobbed and weaved as well as used a lot of head movement, he was very quick handed and accurate”. His “bobbing and weaving” was not lateral movement, it was right in front of his victim. When the victim wasn’t afraid, Tyson abandoned the strategy. His combination punching went by the wayside when the opponent fought back and hurt him. Tyson didn’t abandon his early tactics, he was stripped of them. You see, you can’t train to get heart, take a great shot or stand in and win through attrition. There is no “prime” Tyson, none. He was able to beat beatable fighters and fighters who were in awe of him.

    Again,

    *He NEVER beat an equal in a tough fight
    *All losses were by KO
    *Never avenged a defeat

    And by the way, time does impact even the greatest. Those fighters were on the way down and out when Larry fought them. What, Larry was a better puncher than Foreman because he stopped Ali and George couldn’t? Bottom line is this, Larry proved his greatness against Norton and Shavers. Very few heavyweights would have defeated Norton had it gone late against an on fire Norton as Larry did and I’m not sure anyone would have gotten up from the Shavers right hand in fight 2. In the exact situations Larry faced, Tyson would have failed against both. I do agree that Larry is very underappreciated. He would have stepped up in any era and been just as great.

    1. Getting knocked down 5 times in one fight is NOT having a chin. Getting back up is having re-cooperative powers. You’re the one who’s ignorant! In fact, I didn’t even bother to read the rest of your crap because that’s exactly what it is! I refuse to continue having a debate with someone who is this blind, bias and uneducated. Good bye!

      1. A prime Mike Tyson would plant Norton and Shavers like trees. Ken Norton didn’t have the chin to take shots from big heavyweight punchers. If Foreman could get to him in 2 and Shavers in one, a Tyson vs Norton fight would look alot like Tyson vs Spinks. Norton didn’t have the speed or defense to evade a Mike Tyson who’d be much faster than Shavers or Foreman and just as devastating.

        A prime Tyson KO Norton in one and I’m very serious.

        As for Shavers, all he had was a big right hand. He has a punchers chance, but even if he did manage to land, Tyson was never taken out in one punch. Add to that the fact that Tyson was much faster and skilled than Shavers and that Jerry Quarry, a barely 200 lb heavy who had nothing like Tyson’s mega power managed to stop Shavers in one round and that brings us right back to a prime Mike Tyson KO Shavers in 3 or less rounds. And I’m being generous giving Shavers 3 rounds.

  9. Oh poor Steve! Blind, biased and uneducated eh? Well, I guess you really don’t read because if you did or could, you’d see that I’m anything but uneducated. More importantly, it’s called debating you pathetic Nimrod, get the f*ck over yourself!

    1. Yeah faggot, if you ever had the balls to say that to my face both your chin and re-cooperative powers would be tested severely. What a tough guy you are talking shit to me on line. Take care asshole!!!

  10. Little homophobic there Stevie? You know what they say about guys who hate homo’s, it’s that crazy self loathing rearing its pointy little head. Oh! And the other thing, guys who’ve never met other guys making threats that they can beat their ass, how could you possibly know? This I do know, your posts make it clear that you’ve never been in the ring, never taken a blow and know nothing about the fight game. This is a boxing thread but there is a Dancing with the Stars blog on Google for you.

    1. C’mon guys, keep on the subject. Even if you disagree with the other party, you don’t have to resort to name-calling, threats, etc. That’s not the purpose of this blog. None of these opinions can ever be proven. It’s all speculation. Keep it respectful.

  11. Tyson basicallyneeds 2 punches to knock you out, on paper and in practice I lean heavily towards foreman,especially old foreman, but Tyson only needs one or 2 good body shots to finish you, and the speed of his hands, in his prime, made it all but impossible to discount him in any fight against any fighter. Even amover like spinks, got hit with one shot to the stmoach that stopped him moving the wholematch. However foreman’s big sweeping shots if landing would ko tyson. So you have two heavy hitters its basically who lands flush first wins.

  12. a leur meilleur forme je pense que tyson aurait pu mettre le grand georges ko !! par contre en résistance au coups foreman est meilleur encaisseur, mais tyson frappe encore plus fort !!

  13. George Foreman Foreman by Round 2-3 KO

    Sonny Liston by Round 3-4 KO

    These two killers would beat tyson

    Prime or not Tyson can not win against Foreman and Liston

    Tyson has many features copied from Liston or Foreman.

    Sonny Liston was and is his idol the difference is that Liston is an extremely tough guy, his whole life and Tyson not.

  14. What I mean to say is that Mike Tyson wanted to be like Sonny Liston (Intimidation , combat strength , Toughness) but he was not.

    1. The Tyson lovers keep saying how superior he was to Joe Frazier. Frazier had the heart of a lion and did not crumble in the face of adversity whereas Tyson did. The Frazier who fought Foreman was nowhere near the one that fought Ali the first time. He was not in the same shape physically or mentally. I’m not saying the Frazier of March 8, 1971 would have beaten Foreman but he would have put up a much better fight. I think he would have won with some adjustments in his style. Even Foreman said he saw Frazier wasn’t the same after the Ali fight, so he figured he was ready to fight him. Tyson, the intimidator, would have been intimidated himself vs. either Foreman or Liston. To those who say Tyson would have obliterated Ali within 5 rounds is ridiculous. Ali would have played it safe the first few rounds. Tyson historically was much less effective in the later rounds and Ali would have won by TKO or UD. Liston, Frazier, Foreman or Shavers, all harder punchers than Tyson couldn’t do it so Tyson couldn’t do it either. In addition, if such unheralded fighters as Mitch Green, Tony Tucker, Bonecrusher Smith, et al could take Tyson to the distance, why couldn’t Ali.

  15. I think people get stuck on a couple of items…

    Tyson’s reign of dominance
    Foreman’s Loss to Ali

    People look at how Tyson dominated the HW division and treat is as gospel. He was great- no doubt about it. But later in his career we saw the weaknesses surface. The same weaknesses described by people who believe that Tyson’s swarming style could not possibly match up against the man who destroyed Frazier twice. Look at the quality of fighters Tyson beat like old Holmes, underweight Spinks, etc. Just how strong was the HW division at that time? It’s kind of sad we didn’t see a prime Tyson take on a quality opponent like George. Or even Holyfield before he lost his head in the 90s.

    As for Foreman, people hold the Ali fight against him. Forgetting that Foreman’s reign was even more impressive than Tysons and forgetting that George did come back and reclaim the belt. Ali was just sharper that night. George needed guys to stand in front. Ali and Young were probably the most elusive fighters ever thus the style/matchup problem for Foreman. Probably the greatest testament to Foreman was that Ali never did give him a rematch as Frazier had done for Ali.

    1. It was not Ali’s fault there was never a Foreman II. George went into a funk for a while and the public wanted other fights, particularly Frazier III. Ali never ducked anybody, except maybe at the tail end of his career. Let’s face it, Ali had Foreman’s number.

      1. If Ali had his number then why didn’t he give Foreman a rematch? Foreman wanted it. He didn’t get out of boxing (funk you say) until after Jimmy Young (which a lot of people think he won that fight) so he could get a rematch with Ali. The truth is that Foreman was not knocked out in Zaire, he was knocked down and counted out at seven or eight. Albeit he was gassed and would not have lasted, but like Surger Ray (who took pages from Ali’s book) especially in the Duran II fight, often won by using everything outside of the ring to his advantage. But when that didn’t work for Ali, he was in trouble. It didn’t work with Frazier I and it didn’t work with Norton either and all three of them were in their prime when Ali lost to them. Zaire was a perfect storm for Forman. Doubt it would have happened again and Ali didn’t want to give George the opportunity and that is likely why he taunted George so much afterward. Goerge was the better man and gave Ali nothing but accolades through the years. I would have loved to have seen Ali’s face the moment Foreman knocked our Moorer while wearing the same trunks he wore when he lost to Ali.

    2. You have to remember that Frazier was not in a hurry to give Ali a rematch until after he lost the title and then there was a lot of interest in it. Frazier fought 2 stiffs after Ali and was not in great physical and mental condition the night he fought Foreman. Foreman even said he noticed that. I’m not saying Joe would have won but it would have been a better fight. When he fought Foreman the 2nd time he was clearly over the hill. He came in at 224 1/2 lbs. Yet, he managed to elude George for 4 rounds before getting clocked. I believe had he been in the shame shape for Foreman as he was for Ali and adjusted his style a little, he could have carried the fight to the later rounds when Foreman tired and then ko’d him. We’ll never know.

    1. People have been making excuses for over 50 years why Ali didn’t really win in various fights. I have watched the Foreman fight many times and counted on my watch that it was exactly 10 seconds from the time he hit the canvas until the time he got up. Doesn’t matter, Ali would have knocked him all over the ring in the 9th round if there had been one. The rope-a-dope strategy was not really made up on the spot. He practiced it many times in sparring and was even booed for it when he shut everybody up. Yes, it was plan B, not plan A. Look at what the realities were at the time. Foreman was in his prime, Ali a little past his. The ring was a tiny 16 feet, instead of the usual 20-24 feet. Angelo Dundee had actually tightened, not loosened, the ropes which were made for a 24 foot ring; the intense heat later expanded them again. The ring was very spongy which affected Ali’s speed. He didn’t come in with the idea of using the rope a dope but all these conditions made him lean toward using it. It was working so why abandon it. The public was clamoring for another fight with Frazier. Ali was not ducking Foreman but truthfully he should have retired after the Thrilla in Manila. Both of them were clearly spent. So, if he had fought Foreman again in this time span, George would still have been in his prime and Ali clearly declined. I have never heard anybody say he won the fight against Jimmy Young until you. As for George’s great comeback it was truly amazing and he deserves a lot of credit for the way he fought. Nevertheless, he still had a lot of luck. When Moorer won the title from Holyfield, Evander’s shoulder was injured very early and it was obvious that his performance had nosedived. He knocked Moorer down in the 2nd round but one judge did not award him an extra point as is usually down. Had he been awarded that point, the fight would have been a draw, Holyfield would have retained the title and Foreman would probably have not gotten another shot because Holyfield had beaten him very clearly before. Even during the fight, Moorer was way ahead on points when he got careless and ko’d. Enough of this Ali bashing already. He kept winning and sourpusses like you keep taking credit away from, oh it was a fix, oh he tricked his opponent, oh he ducked the guy. C’mon already. Ali fought more of the great champions than any other champion and never in his real prime while all of them were. Give him the credit he deserves. BTW, prime vs prime he would have kicked the asses of Tyson, Lewis and both Klitschkos.

  16. If we’re talking prime for prime or even near prime, give me Tyson over Foreman in this battle of the big punchers

    Tyson was a lot faster, was only ever hurt late in a fight, had excellent defense, punched in combinations and devastating punching power of his own. Besides that, he wasn’t really that much smaller than Foreman, just shorter. Foreman was 6’3 224 lbs when he knocked out Norton. Tyson was 5’11 218 lbs the night he knocked out Michael Spinks.

    Foreman was powerful, sure, but that’s not enough to guarantee a win over Tyson. Tyson fought and beat physically larger men like Frank Bruno (6’4 247 lbs), Razor Ruddock (6’4 238 lbs), Bonecrusher Smith (6’5 235 lbs) who had punching power in the league of Foreman. Also, Foreman would need to lay a sustained beating on Tyson to KO him. A 6’6 246 lb Lennox Lewis had to constantly beat a smaller and washed up Tyson for 8 rounds before he stopped him.

    Foreman, while powerful tended to be hurt early (by lesser punchers than Tyson), was prone to be countered, had virtually nonexistent defense and bad stamina. Imagine if Foreman gassed in Zaire with a prime Tyson in the ring with him instead of Muhammad Ali? Foreman would be knocked unconscious.

    I don’t see Foreman beating a prime Tyson. He’d have 5 or 6 rounds to get it done before his stamina ran out and Foreman’s single shots aren’t going to cut it. If Mike Tyson could absorb 18 rounds of punishment from Razor Ruddock, a nearly 240 lb super heavy power hitter for a total of 18 rounds, there’s no reason why he couldn’t take a few single shots from Foreman without going down. Even if I grant you that Foreman hit harder than Ruddock, for him to do in a few shots what Ruddock couldn’t do in 18 rounds means that a 224 lb Foreman has to hit harder than a nearly 240 lb Razor Ruddock to the point of absurdity. No way.

    A 1988 Mike Tyson KO a 1974 George Foreman in 5 or 6.

  17. In this mythical match-up I’ve always leaned towards Tyson.
    As powerful as he was, young Foreman was also sloppy, and often left himself wide open.
    This, I feel, would be his downfall against a fast, accurate puncher like Tyson.

    1. We’re talking about the young, prime Foreman, correct. Tyson was reportedly scared to fight the ancient Foreman. Like Frazier, he would have trouble getting close enough (I have my own thoughts about how Frazier could have won vs Foreman but that’s another thread). Tyson’s style and size are somewhat similar to Tyson’s but Tyson did not have Frazier’s heart or stamina. He would probably abandon his usual plan of avaggressive movement once he felt Foreman’s power. Once he doubts himself, he’s done. I can’t see this fight going more than 4-5 rounds but certainly not past 7.

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