Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Tyson. Why do people pretend that Tyson was shot after prison? Watch his fight with Bruno, he looked as good and sharp as he ever did.
Obviously he did lose a LOT in mentality and a bit in conditioning, but it took Holyfield (who had the best night of his life, in my opinion) to beat him.
The '77 Ali almost lost a decision to the very limited Shavers, for Christ's sake. And he lost to 6-0 future journeyman Leon Spinks in his very next fight.
His other fights against top opposition (Young, Norton) are fights in which he got decisions that he according to most people did not deserve. Tyson's fast hands would find their mark too often. Holyfield still had sharp, hard punches when he fought Tyson. Ali could not throw the punches that he used to be able to.
Now if it's a '74 or '75 Ali, he'd probably win. But in '77 he had lost a tremendous amount of his abilities and he lacked the fundamentals to for instance block a left hook.
After Tyson came out of prison, the Bruno destruction was his finest moment. He performed very well, and looked as close to the prime Tyson as possible considering he lost three years in jail. His timing was rather rusty against McNeely (95) and Mathias (95). He never looked shot throughout 1996, but he was not quite the same fighter as he was during the late 80's.
Balancing out all his performances which occured in 1996, Bruno, Seldon, and Holyfield, Im not mightly impressed. Especially taking into consideration who highly valued Bruno and Seldom were. Holyfield did perfom beyond expectations, thus exposing Tyson while doing so.
Ali had been through many tough fights up until 1977, so he'd not exactly be fazed with a rough tussle with Tyson. Clearly worn, but very experienced.
Ali via very close decision.