Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
If Tyson had stayed with Kevin Rooney I think by now he would have made 150 or more successful title defences, with at least 50 championship 1st round KOs.
He'd still be champion now, obviously, and it would probably be a very boring situation. There would be more interest in "minor titles" and non-title fights at heavyweight, because every fighter would be a foregone conclusion to get KO'd.
Tyson fights would not draw great numbers after the late 90s, because we would have seen it all by then, but his back catalogue of KOs would basically amount to everything important in boxing history, especially when he began taking on several contenders on the same night, and then - at his absolute peak c. 1993-99 - several men at the same time.
New techniques, new punches, new levels of athleticism, new freakish feats, the re-definition of boxing ability, the complete re-writing of the boxing textbook, would have occured if the Tyson and Rooney team had stayed together.
No one would talk about Ali, Louis, the Sugar Rays, not in the same breath as Tyson. The men we know todau as "great fighters" would not be considered such had Tyson stayed with Rooney, there would only be one GREAT fighter - Mike Tyson. The others would be just "good fighters", "former champions".
Tyson's peak in the 1990s would have been the pinnacle of boxing history, but it also would have featured some lowpoints, like he probably would have killed three consecutive challengers in 1994, and almost cause boxing's permanent extinction.
He'd be made to wear special gloves to slow down his phenomenal speed and lessen his power. A contender would need to undergo tests to prove they have a 20+ inch neck, alomg with a record of never being stopped, and a abnormal skull thickness and high levels of skeletal and muscle mass, before being allowed to fight Tyson. Steroids tests would be waivered for his opponents, some state commisions and sanctioning bodies would actually make a course of HGH and testosterone compulsory for anyone wishing to fight Tyson.
Between 1988 and '93 we would have seen young Tyson improve dramatically with every fight. Guys like Holyfield, Bowe, Mercer, Lewis would have gone out in matter of seconds, perhaps tragically killed. Tyson's power would have reached frightening levels, and his head-movement would be tested in the gym against speeding live bullets (perhaps Teddy Atlas would have been brought back on board for this).
From '93 to '99 it would be surreal, even though we all know Tyson would be pulling his punches and playing, he'd still have the appearance of the deadliest creature that ever lived.
A new field of science called Tysonology would emerge during the 90s, a study of the anatomical, biological, ballistics and physics surrounding the phenomenon known as "Tyson" Scientists would struggle to grasp and explain Tyson using generally accepted science. The religious people would stand in awe of the blinding light of his punches. Civilization itself would tremble in fear of Tyson's power unleashed.
..... if only he had stayed with Rooney.