T Nation

Ali Vs. Tyson

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.

Ali.

Cassius Clay

Hmm, I say Tyson. In his prime the guy was a machine…but we’ll never know.

Arnold didn’t have the ideal genetics for the iron game??

His only genetic fault was that his calves were not initially as massive as the rest of his oversized musculature.

You are forgetting that they had a boxer back then who was every bit as good as Tyson in his prime. In some ways he was even better! His name was Joe Frazier. Ali beat him two out of three fights.

Ali would destroy Mike Tyson. Tyson was a head hunter and with his inferior size he would have been perfect for Ali’s style.

Ali, and I agree with Zeb that Frazier was the equal of or better than Tyson. It’s hard to overestimate the quality of the heavyweight division in that era. Add Foreman (younger) and Norton and the competition was a much higher caliber than what Tyson faced. Who of quality did Tyson ever beat?

Tyson in his prime had no problem going the distance, even though he didn’t have to do it much. When he had Kevin Rooney in his corner he was able to stay focused and didn’t get flustered at all. He did have fights that went to decisions on his way to winning the title the first time… he actually used to say how he preferred for fights to go to a decision and that “it is fun because I get to fight more”.

Well tyson is certainly shit and overhyped now huh, when was the last time he actually won a fight?

I think he is too stupid to ever be that great…

Ali would win, but a lot of you are not being fair to Tyson. The original poster asked who would win at their peak, but most of the negative comments about Tyson do not accurately describe him at his peak. In his prime, Tyson never had a problem being in shape and going rounds, he just didn’t usually have to. The comment that Tyson has no heart is unbelievable to me. In his KO losses to Douglas, Holyfield and Lewis, Tyson took a tremendous beating before finally going down. In his last fight he tore his meniscus in the first round and continued to trade bombs for several more rounds. Also, although he has certainly evolved in to a headhunter who loads up with every punch looking for the KO, Tyson used to be a great body puncher, as well as a great combination puncher. Overall I think Ali was too skilled and would have been able to get in to Tyson’s head, but Tyson was dangerous and would have had a puncher’s chance.

[quote]old_dogg wrote:
Ali, and I agree with Zeb that Frazier was the equal of or better than Tyson. It’s hard to overestimate the quality of the heavyweight division in that era. Add Foreman (younger) and Norton and the competition was a much higher caliber than what Tyson faced. Who of quality did Tyson ever beat? [/quote]

old_dogg:

Very good point you make!

How about Jerry Quarry, Ron Lyle (who actually knocked Foreman down!), George Chuvalo, Jurgen Blin, Sonny Liston and many many more. Most would have beaten Mike Tyson.

Tyson at his prime had a very hard punch. And he beat lot’s of nobodys. As a boxer he was not much.

Yeah you guys can’t compare Tyson now to what he was in his prime… I mean both Berbick and Larry Holmes beat Ali and Tyson killed both of them. Neither of these fighters would have likely beat Ali in his prime, but thats exactly my point. And it’s hard to compare Tyson to these other fighters, none of these guys combined Tyson power and speed, his combination of skills were at a different level