Originally Posted by Bonecrusher
Me and my friends have been back and forth on this debate.
Let me say first that Tyson and Holyfield are both 2 of my all time faves, I grew up watching both of them, so I have no clear fave. Tyson was my guy early and then when he went away to prison Holyfield became one of my faves. Ironically Holyfield won me over, I thought back in the day that Tyson or even Ruddock could have beaten him and that Holyfield was just keeping Tysons throne warm but man was I wrong.
I wanted him to lose, I didn't think he was the Real Deal. After the 1st fight with Bowe his first loss I became a HUGE Holyfield guy!! The second Holyfield-Bowe fight is one of my all time faves.
Back on topic, to anyone who grew up watching Tyson or to anyone who has studied the tapes of Tyson 85-89 vs 95-97 there are differences, as many have stated his stamina was much better, his combination punching was much better and his over all hunger and fighting fire I feel were just on different levels back then.
That being said I am not sure any version of Tyson beats Holyfield.
I have said on this board many times I think the 1996 version of Holyfield would fare very well in many H2H match ups. He was a smarter and a much more physical fighter, with the later Holyfield you lose some of his ability to get on his toes and move and he was not quite as fluid with his combos as he was against say Foreman, Cooper ,Holmes or Bowe (fights 1 and 2). What he gained how ever was ring smarts he fought more physical, he knew how to clinch with Mike and walk him to the ropes, fire punches when in close, muscling him around the ring, I don't see him fighting this way in 1990 assuming Tyson beats Douglas and they had fought then.
But I am STILL going to take Holyfield in the match even the younger Holyfield I think beats the younger Tyson. Tyson is an amazing fighter but I just think Holyfield beats him. If the fight is Pre 1996, I think Holyfield is the busier puncher, I feel as though he could takes Tysons best shots and still be in there. I feel as though he would either stop Mike late or win on points. I see it being much more competitive then in 1996, but Holyfield still takes it.
Good points and its nice to see someone else actually recognizes this and something Ive maintained all along. Holyfield really tweaked his style to compliment his degrading skills in the mid 90's. He punched in spots, fought more flat footed and was less apt to brawl.
That being said, stylistically in 90, Holyfield was going to be outgunned if it got physical and it would have. Unless Holyfield lands something substantial between Tyson's bombs he simply didnt have the firepower to trade with Tyson. If Bowe could stand and trade with Holyfield like he did, Tyson of 1990 can do it too. Hes faster, punches harder and has a better chin than Bowe.