I know this topic has been hashed out pretty thoroughly. I’d just like to see what collective T-Nation thinks about this.
Both boxers at their peak, 15 rounds for the title, who would come out on top and why?
I say Ali 9 out of 10 times for the following reasons. First of all he would not be intimidated by Tyson the way Tyson’s contemporaries were. Ali would be the aggressor and intimidate and confuse Tyson just like he did to Sonny Liston, Foreman, etc. Second, Ali was a smart fighter. He adapted his style to his opponents. Tyson as we all know was not that smart. He had the skills but not the intelligence to readily adapt. When he couldn?t knock someone out early he became frustrated and impatient. Third, Ali always took the time to prepare properly for a fight. Tyson as we know has shown up for fights in a variety of conditions from “lean and mean” to “Krispy Kreme”. Lastly and most importantly, Tyson has never shown heart, ever. He is a quitter and a wus. Whenever he was pushed beyond the early rounds he faltered, and when fights went to the late rounds he nearly always got whupped. Ali on the other hand took a good number of fights to 15 rounds and he never backed down. When he fought Ken Norton, he boxed 12 rounds with a broken jaw. Think about that for a second. Somebody breaks your jaw and you allow them to punch it for another 36 minutes? If that doesn?t show how touch he was I don?t know what would. Physically, Tyson was a specimen in his prime, but Ali was so much stronger than him mentally. If you don’t think that counts for much just look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. He didn’t have the best genetics for the iron game or even a movie star, but as we all know he has a will that refused to be defeated. Ali had that same will and that is why he is the greatest of all time.
Ali was also a taller fighter and those types of fighters always gave Tyson a hard time, Buster Douglas, Lennox Lewis. Ali would have certainly stayed out of Tyson?s reach, danced around, slapped him with that jab for 5 or 6 rounds until Tyson become frustrated and got sloppy, then Ali would have knocked him out.