Dream Fight - Wladimir Klitschko VS Mike Tyson!

05.05.06 - By James Slater: Wladimir Klitschko is, I believe, the best of the current heavyweight champions reigning today. His superb performance last Saturday, when he ripped the IBF title from the brave Chris Byrd, finally made him holder of a universally recognised belt (he had previously held the WBO title). As such he joins fellow title holders Hasim Rahman, Nicolay Valuev and, if one wishes to recognise the WBO champ, Serguei Lyakhovich as the present heavyweight rulers. I would fancy Wladimir to defeat all of these fighters. He is the best of an admittedly average looking bunch. But what if Klitschko had to face one of the greatest and most feared heavyweights of the last twenty years while he was in his awesome prime? I’m talking about a fight with the peak Mike Tyson. Of course, such a fight could never happen in real life, obviously. But the very idea of such a fantasy match-up is both exciting and one sure to fire up the imagination.

As the creator of this piece of fiction I have made up the rules. As Wladimir is considered, by most, as the best of the current crop of heavyweights fighting today, the Tyson he meets is the one who was fighting back when HE was considered the best - in other words, the 1987/88 version of “Iron Mike."

Courtesy of a time machine with the twenty-one year old Tyson placed inside the fight is fought under today’s rules and is therefore scheduled for twelve rounds. And Finally, as Wladimir has just won the title for real he is a defending champion in this bout ( let’s suppose Tyson holds the other two versions of world honours). So, we’re all set - Twelve rounds for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world; Wladimir Klitschko VS Mike Tyson!

The fight takes place at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas and a sell-out crowd awaits a potentially explosive contest.

Michael Buffer blasts out his trademark “Let’s get ready to rumble!” and the action gets underway. Wladimir comes out with a very high guard and pokes out his big left jab. Tyson immediately goes on the offensive and attempts to get underneath Klitschko’s massive arms and explode with his hooks. Wladimir ties him up and leans on Mike with all of his 240 pounds. At 219 Mike has quite a weight disadvantage. He is also the much shorter fighter. None of this alters his game-plan, however, and he continues to throw punches with bad intentions. Nothing big lands as of yet though due to Mike’s difficulty in finding the chin of his massive opponent. Other than his jab, Klitschko throws nothing and is very keen to initiate clinches whenever Tyson advances. Mike switches his attack to the body and Wladimir backs off as he does so. The huge Ukrainian is fighting a very negative fight so far and as a result there is a sprinkling of boos to be heard from the audience. The opening round ends and it is given unanimously to Tyson.

Round two, and Tyson again comes out very fast. He was somewhat frustrated in round one due to Klitschko’s spoiling tactics and he exhibits a definite snarl on his face now. Wladimir continues to use his long arms in a defensive manner only, content to push out the odd jab. He looks to be intimidated and wants no part of what Tyson clearly wants - for him to open up and fight hard. The clinching really start to annoy Tyson in this round and he slams a few elbows into Wladimir’s face, for which referee Joe Cortez gives him a warning. Mike does have some success with his body attack though, as two wicked shots to the ribs land. Klitschko instantly grabs hold of Tyson’s neck with both arms after he tastes these punches and an incensed Tyson thrashes angrily in an effort to get him off. Mike looks at the ref when the two finally separate, clearly wondering why his opponent is being allowed to get away with such negativity. Then, with only thirty seconds remaining in the round, Tyson at last breaks through Klitschko’s guard. He whips in a hard left to the body and then, with absolutely blurring speed, connects with a huge right uppercut to the jaw. Wladimir is seriously hurt and his legs dip noticeably. He holds out both arms in a quite amateurish fashion and tries desperately to hold off Tyson’s ferocious follow-up attack. Only his huge size and strength allow him to survive the round. As he goes back to his corner Tyson follows him with burning eyes. Mike did not want to hear that bell!

Round three now. Despite the best efforts of his corner-men - a team that includes his brother Vitali - Wladimir is unable to keep his composure and his face carries an extremely anxious look. Tyson smells blood and goes in for the kill. He lets both hands fly in savage combinations aimed at his shaken opponent and finds both his ribs and his chin. Wladimir’s head snaps back and now he no longer has the wherewithal to even hold on. With Tyson still letting shots go as he is half way to the floor, Wladimir’s colossal frame finally hits the canvas. He is flat on his back and it is evident to Cortez, who doesn’t even bother with the formality of a count, that the fight is over.

With the crowd going crazy, Tyson raises one arm and bears his teeth. He is still smouldering as his corner ascend the ring steps to congratulate him. Wladimir remains prostrate on the canvas for quite some time. He took four devastating shots to the head at the end and the last of these, a left hook, robbed him of whatever consciousness he had left after enduring the stunning accuracy and power of Tyson’s lethal fists. Wladimir was never in the fight. Tyson looked absolutely awesome. And in the process “Iron Mike” once again proved true the old adage - The bigger they are, the harder they fall!

So there you have it. My interpretation of what would have happened had today’s best heavyweight fought the best mid-to-late 1980’s heavyweight And though some will no doubt feel I have done Wladimir Klitschko a major disservice, I honestly feel this is how the fight would have turned out. Tyson was absolutely destructive back in his prime years and his amazing hand speed and power would have totally bewildered Wladimir. Let’s face it, If Samuel Peter, who is similar in stature to Tyson although a far less effective knockout artist at the top level, could knock Klitschko down three times - what would Mike have done to him?

In the final analysis, Mike Tyson is one of the best heavyweights in history. Wladimir Klitschko is merely the best heavyweight in a time of mediocrity.

Article posted on 05.05.2006

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