Muhammad Ali is regarded as the greatest boxer of all time not just the greatest heavyweight of all time. It stands to reason, then, that Ali would dominate Mike Tyson in a fight between the taller Ali and the short, stocky, Tyson. But although at first glance this appears to be the case, we should take a closer look at the fighters in their primes. Let’s jump right into action so you can continue to prepare your bets against our Mike Tyson Odds for November’s fight.
Ali versus Tyson – What Would Happen if Both Were in Their Primes?
Most believe that Iron Mike would lose no matter what based on how he fought Evander Holyfield and Buster Douglas. That Tyson, the one that stood there like a statue while his opponent peppered him with jabs, had no shot against Muhammad Ali.
But, the younger Tyson, the monster that had perfected the peek-a-boo style, had a shot to beat anybody. Check out what may have happened if Ali and Tyson fought in their primes.
Muahammad Ali versus Mike Tyson in their primes
Ali fought a classic boxing style. He used his jab to keep his opponents off balance and then threw devastating combinations. Ali counter-punched, but he was often on the attack. He also used the ring to his benefit forcing his opponents to make key decisions that set them up for the same power combos that floored many of his opponents to the canvas.
Ali had two strengths that made him unique. His footwork is matched only by current pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko. Nobody ever entered a ring using his feet as well as Loma. Alis is the closest.
Muhammad’s other advantage was his ability to get into his opponent’s head and this, more than anything, is what gives Ali an advantage over Tyson. But the advantage isn’t as great as many believe it to be.
If the two fought after their first losses, no doubt, Ali would knock Mike out before the end of the fourth round. But if the two fought in their primes, Ali’s ability to get into his opponent’s heads would be countered by Tyson’s corner.
Mike had a strong group of people around him before Jim Jacobs passed. When Tyson entered the ring, no socks, just a towel over his head, he meant business. Nothing Ali would say to a young Tyson could make Iron Mike do something he wasn’t trained to do.
The key for Tyson? Explode from the peek-a-boo
One of the things Tyson learned from Jack Dempsey was to duck under punches and then counter from a crouched position. Fighting a young Muahammad Ali, this would be the move that made Tyson the winner.
If Iron Mike could get to Ali by ducking under Muhammad’s punches and then throwing powerful counter-punches from a crouched position, he might catch Ali the way that Joe Frazier did in Ali vs. Frazier I.
Don’t forget that a young Mike Tyson had more speed and power than Joe Frazier in his prime. Ali couldn’t handle Frazier on his best day. So, Iron Mike could beat Muhammad Ali if he could land power punches from a crouched position.
That doesn’t mean Tyson would win in a fight between the two greats in their primes. Ali could stay away from Mike by using his jab and then pulling Mike towards him when Tyson got close, smothering any chance Tyson had of landing one of those power punches.
Not only that, but even if Tyson hit Muhammad with a powerful punch, there’s no guarantee Ali would go down. Muhammad had one of the best chins in the history of the heavyweight division, which brings us to this conclusion.
If Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali fought in their primes, the winner would come down to which fighter imposed his style. That makes Ali the winner unless he makes a mistake. Tyson, though, would get in some good punches. So, he’d be a decent bet to knock off the Greatest if the odds were right.
When Mike Tyson takes on Roy Jones Jr. on November 28, we get to see two legendary fighters go at it. Both aren’t in their primes, but the fight should still be entertaining, and it could be a clinic in two different boxing styles.
Mike Tyson Vs Roy Jones Jr. – Frontline Battle Stats
Roy Jones Jr.
|Nickname||Iron Mike||Captain Hook|
|Hometown||New York City, New York, U.S.||Pensacola, Florida, U.S.|
|Pre-fight record||50–6 (44 KOs)||66–9 (47 KOs)|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Recognition||Former undisputed heavyweight champion||Former IBF middleweight, IBF super middleweight, undisputed light heavyweight, and WBA heavyweight champion|