Originally Posted by irishny
Tyson was physically in his prime right up to his early 30s.
People just like to pretend hes some sort of genetic abnormality who reaches his prime at 22 and falls away because he started getting beaten.
If he fought Holyfield in 1989, the same thing would have happened.
Just becase he was knocking an Pinkon Thomas etc silly, doesnt mean he'd do it to someone like Holyfield.
Even before he went top prison he had problems with Razor Ruddock who Lewis destroyed.
Tyson simply wasnt the unstoppable machine that some like to believe. He didnt helpo himself by not training as hard as he could and partying, but physically he was just as good at 30 as 22.
Against Holyfield, he was the same weight and just as cut as he ever was in his early years.
To be totally honest, Tyson didn't have his fighting guts anymore when he got out of prison and I give Holyfield full credit just for the fact that he was such an underdog going into it. I'd even go so far as to say Tyson was afraid of the guy and how he was going to be humiliated going into the second fight. It was all over his face.
That said, 89-91 is a completely different fight. Tyson of the Ruddock fights was much faster in terms of his hand and foot speed, still threw thunderous counters off jabs, still went to the body consistently, had greater stamina and was very, very angry (particularly after Douglas). Holyfield was barely above 205 lbs at that point, was more prone to trading in the center of the ring, wasn't as physically strong and rock solid and hadn't gained the experience he put to use in '96 to fight the way he did in order to beat a lackadaisical Tyson. I can guarantee one thing: When Holyfield butts '91 Tyson, Mike isnt going to be looking at the referee for help. Holy had some damn quick mitts himself and was adept at fighting on the inside, but it's honestly a fight I see Tyson battering him for the better part of 12 rounds. He signed to fight him for HALF the money Holyfield was due to get. He wanted it bad.