Never have so many Dream Fight scenarios been thrown at fight fans. Due to the complete lack of live boxing due to you know what, fans are regularly being asked to get pondering who would have won in a mythical match-up between all-time great A and all-time great B; with writers at Ring Magazine and other places putting forth their take on who would have emerged victorious.
Sugar Ray Leonard Vs. Floyd Mayweather is a popular Dream Fight to be argued and debated, as is Manny Pacquiao Vs. Naseem Hamed. But it is the heavyweights that come up most frequently in Dream Fight discussions and articles. And Mike Tyson’s name seems to be THE one – whether it’s Tyson Vs. Joe Frazier, Tyson Vs. Sonny Liston, Tyson Vs. Rocky Marciano or, arguably THE heavyweight Dream Fight of all heavyweight Dream Fights, Tyson Vs. Muhammad Ali.
Everyone has an opinion on who would have won these fights, with the outcome largely depending on the age of the fight fan (older fans scream how the likes of “Smokin’” Joe, “The Rock” and “Old Stone Face” would have murdered Tyson, younger fans insisting their hero Tyson would have scored a sensational KO). But when it comes to Tyson Vs. Ali, no two fans can seem to agree.
One younger fan who also happens to be a world heavyweight champion feels Tyson would have beaten Ali. Anthony Joshua, speaking with JD Sports, said he thinks Tyson had the style to defeat Ali.
“It’s quite interesting because in the era of Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight reign, the heavyweights were ranked as the cruiserweights of the Mike Tyson era,” Joshua, the current WBA/IBF/WBO champ said. “With Lennox Lewis, you know how they started getting bigger, hence why in the amateurs they then created a super-heavyweight division. The current heavyweight division in the amateurs is what we class as the cruiserweight division, so Muhammad Ali wouldn’t have been a fully fledged heavyweight. Let’s say we bulked Muhammad Ali up and put size and strength to him, I truly believe Mike Tyson would have won.
“The reason being, when you watch the fight with Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, you see a certain Tyson-esque to Frazier’s style. Tyson used to study that Joe Frazier – the moving, the hooks. He managed to put Ali down in the [first] fight. It was a very tough fight for Ali. And I just believe Tyson was better schooled, times have evolved, Mike Tyson was more developed, more science, more information – so I think that Mike Tyson would’ve won, in my humble opinion.”
Some good points from AJ, but it must be remembered that when Ali was beaten by Frazier, when he had so much trouble with Joe, “The Greatest” was coming off a nearly four-year layoff. Had the blinding peak Ali, of, say, 1965 or ’66 have met Frazier – or Tyson – who would have won then?
One fan perhaps put it best when they wrote how Tyson himself says Ali at his best would have beaten him at his best. Still, it’s a lot of fun debating these mythical match-ups. At least it should be.