Honest Mike Tyson Question

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Oddone, Aug 19, 2019.


  1. Oddone

    Oddone Member Full Member

    116
    130
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 18, 2019
    Every Mike Tyson thread turns into a train wreck. We all get that. Please try to be civil if possible.

    Now to the point. As someone fairly new to boxing I was impressed to learn that Mike Tyson fought seven current or former world champions in his first thirty five fights. Yet every forum I read said he fought nobodies. Debate the “quality” of the heavyweight division at the time all you want, but I don’t think they were bums or nobodies. What’s the deal?
     
  2. Bronze Tiger

    Bronze Tiger Active Member Full Member

    909
    654
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 23, 2018
    It’s called revisionist history...and it happens a lot on boxing forums...an opinion gets repeated so much that it becomes a fact . A fighter who is underrated can one day become overrated...and vice versa . A close fight becomes a robbery etc etc
     
  3. GordonGarner65

    GordonGarner65 Active Member Full Member

    1,023
    735
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 12, 2016
    You ask the question well.
    Let's hope it doesn't turn into a bun fight.
    I'm about the same age as Tyson so my interest in boxing peaked through his time , I didn't like the guy but couldn't help be in awe of him. His reign was one of terror if you lived it at the time. All these views with hindsight change everything.
    He was as dominant a champion as there ever was in modern times.
    He seemed invincible.
    In terms of the opposition, they weren't a great bunch but they were decent and he beat plenty of them.
    Berbick , Smith and Thomas, were tough brawlers who on their day could give anybody a tough fight. Then he beat Tucker and Biggs, stylish, skilled , tall boxers who were both unbeaten.
    Then he beat Holmes ( who should've had a tune up fight) I thought it was a very poor version of Holmes that night, then Spinks who made a no show.
    Bruno Tubbs and Williams, came and went in a blaze and these were a mixture of guys who could punch and box . Nobody had beat Bruno and Tubbs like that before.
    These weren't a Great bunch of opponents, but there were plenty of them and he beat them all so easily either through punching or boxing skill , he looked invincible.
    He actually made being the smaller man look like it was an advantage.
    His speed was unbelievable. Ty Biggs said it wasnt his power it was his speed .
    I think Tyson made these guys look ordinary.
    What you WILL get someone saying is that these guys didnt go on to achieve much after Tyson fought them, which will be used to show they are bums ! But...Tucker took time out at his peak due to management issues and a broken hand , he came back and was undefeated until 6 years later when he lost with credit to Lennox .
    Biggs never got chance to recover , he was matched crazily either side of long lay offs with cuts.
    Bruno eventually won a title version
    Tubbs fought on with some good displays.
    Holmes went on to some amazing results from his Tyson fight onwards.
    Berbick, Thomas and Smith were probably all a little past their peak but had all won title belts in the recent times before fighting Mike.
    What Tyson didnt have was an outstanding foe at their peak to test him, like say a Bowe , Lewis etc or like Ali had Frazier or Foreman. However in saying that , had they not met Tyson who's to say how good a Biggs or a Tucker could've developed into ? You just dont know . Its like if Ali hadnt been around, then Foreman might have put together a similar reign by beating the likes of Ali's mid 70's opponents, your Lyles, Bugner , Evangelista , Coopmans, Spinks , Shavers ,etc and everyone wouldve said what a reign Foreman wouldve had , some will inevitably disagree but I think Tyson opposition was at least at that level and given it included some unbeaten guys then who knows how strong it really was.
    The real point about his reign though was he looked invincible, right through from a few fights before his title shot, through TEN title fights .
    That's not something many champs can say.
     
    Keleneki, Fergy, TomBrazy and 22 others like this.
  4. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    39,661
    7,175
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Feb 11, 2005
    Nailed it.
     
  5. salsanchezfan

    salsanchezfan Boxing Junkie Full Member

    11,323
    1,712
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 22, 2004

    Yeah, this.
     
  6. GordonGarner65

    GordonGarner65 Active Member Full Member

    1,023
    735
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 12, 2016
    Why thanks !
     
  7. Rope-a-Dope

    Rope-a-Dope Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,752
    1,445
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jan 20, 2015
    He fought who was there to fight. Not his fault that his era wasn't the strongest ever.
     
  8. cleglue1

    cleglue1 Active Member Full Member

    937
    670
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Dec 7, 2015
    Holyfield says Hi!
     
    InMemoryofJakeLamotta likes this.
  9. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    60,877
    7,165
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Feb 15, 2006
    Here is how I see it.

    It was not the strongest era

    His opponents were the best available, give or take the odd name, which is always the case.

    While he had a short period of dominance, this is offset by his high level of activity during this period.

    His record compares favorably to other great heavyweights, in terms of number of wins over champions and ranked contenders.

    Based on the above, I reject the criticism.
     
  10. 88Chris05

    88Chris05 Active Member Full Member

    666
    971
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 20, 2013
    Tyson tends to polarise opinion, not helped by the fact that he's one of the relatively few genuine crossover stars and proper household names the sport has had. This means he's tended to attract a larger number of casual fans than just about all other fighters, who are too easily seduced by the sob stories and his mythical 'prime', and who make bullish statements about his invincibility and greatness as measured against other fighters without ever bothering to stop and think about what they're saying or investigating to see if they're right. Some more serious fans (not all, of course) understandably get a little tired of trying to reason with this fanaticism and it therefore colours their view of Tyson the fighter.

    Hence, people tend to lose a bit of objectivity and resort to extremes when they talk about Tyson. Each side is hostile to the other's opinion of him, so they tend to go too far in the opposite direction in trying to remedy it. So if you're a Tyson fanatic, he's the greatest pure fighting specimen who ever lived, never legitimately lost, would crush Ali inside three rounds and wasn't to blame for any of the setbacks in his career and personal life. If you're someone who is tired of the Tyson obsession and his acolytes, he was an overhyped bully with no heart, who lost every single close fight he was ever in and reigned in a poor era of Heavyweights before getting found out when he fought some real fighters.

    As is often the case, the boring truth is somewhere in the middle, and if you strip away the hyperbolic language there is some merit in the basic, wider arguments that both sides make. I think the issue is being willing to compromise and accept that not everything is a binary choice. The fact that Tyson's era wasn't stellar doesn't mean that his era was therefore automatically crap, which is the method some commenters use. Or the fact that he never beat a great Heavyweight in their prime doesn't automatically prove that he never could have done that, etc. I've long said that, historically, the Heavyweight division has had far less depth and fewer really world class eras than the likes of Light-Heavyweight, Welterweight and Lightweight and that once you get past Ali and perhaps Louis, you can pretty much make any great Heavyweight champion's list of wins look relatively average if you try hard enough.
     
  11. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,868
    1,512
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Mar 26, 2011
    You are right to do so .imo
     
  12. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Active Member Full Member

    1,170
    864
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 18, 2009
    Tyson cleaned out a sub-par Heavyweight division between 86-89 in devastating fashion and the manner in which he did it created an aura of fear and invincibility around the man that lasted right up until the Holyfield defeat in 1996. He beat lots of good fighters like Smith, Tucker and Biggs plus two ATG's (Holmes and Spinks) who came out of retirement to collect a pay cheque and nothing more. But there's nothing on Mike's CV that really stands out or places him above the other top 10 ATG HW's.

    So final analysis : The way he cleaned out the division was more impressive than the quality of opposition and why most rank him higher than for example Wladimir Klitschko who cleaned out and dominated a similarly weak HW division but in contrast did so using a fear based, unentertaining style plus Mike never lost to the likes of Ross Purrity, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster.

    How Mike did it is what made him a legend rather than who he beat.
     
    choklab likes this.
  13. Oddone

    Oddone Member Full Member

    116
    130
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 18, 2019
    Holyfield? Did you mean Evan Fields?
     
    cleglue1 likes this.
  14. HOUDINI

    HOUDINI Boxing Addict Full Member

    4,803
    774
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 18, 2012
    Understand Tyson did not win the true championship until he beat Spinks. The only former worlds hwt champion he fought were Holmes and Holyfield.
     
  15. salsanchezfan

    salsanchezfan Boxing Junkie Full Member

    11,323
    1,712
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 22, 2004
    Meh. Spinks was never a heavyweight and Tyson's victory there was nothing more than window dressing. Far too much credence is given here. Tyson was as worthy a claimant as Spinks.
     


Sign up for ESPN+ and Stream Live Sports! Advertisement