Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mark ant, Sep 4, 2020.
Tillis was a seasoned veteran with a good chin
It was a good competitive fight
Just 4 rounds? Lewis got hit by Ruddock, Bruno, Mercer, and Morrison if we're talking about "early" Lewis prior to the team up with Steward.
Now granted those guys don't have prime Tyson's unique blend of speed+power, but they are 4 of the hardest hitters of all time and not one of them came close to stopping Lewis. Not sure why people think early Lewis was just ripe for the taking and would crumble the moment he got nailed by a big hit.
McCall landed the perfect shot using the perfect game plan exploiting a weakness in Lewis style that no one except Steward himself noticed. And it was a big right hand counter down the middle. Tyson was not known for this punch, his two best shots were the left hook and right uppercut. Not only that, Tyson lacked the height and reach to exploit this weakness the way McCall and Rahman could.
Furthermore, Tyson was much more effective throwing combinations rather than just aiming for one big shot. That often got him in trouble.
It's mostly 1988 Mike's swarming, punches-in-bunches style. I don't believe any of the men you mentioned had that kind of speed, and Mike's punches were BIG, Mike Weaver-level bombs. I just can't see early Lewis handling that kind of charging attack.
Mike's forward motion alone would give Lewis a major headache, this isn't at all the man he fought in the 21st century and we both know that, my friend. Mike's right hand was absolutely no joke, look what it did to Larry (past his prime or not).
Tillis was selected by Team Tyson because he was on a 3 fight losing streak going into that fight with Tyson + he'd only beaten 1 of his past 5 opponents - and that win was over a journeyman at best. He'd lost 'heart' and 'passion' and they expected that to be reflected in his performance. Everything (like all those fights) was set up for Tyson to blow Tillis away and look good - him losing was never a possibility.
To illustrate the point...Tyson probably couldn't have fouled out and lost by DQ if he'd wanted to back then, such was the level of his protection. That also contextualizes his later 'craziness' too, if you think about it.
Yeah, that was the problem..it shouldn't have been, it wasn't supposed to be and the fact it was led to Tyson's handlers to pick out an even bigger loser for the next fight - this time a PCP / crack addict as the opponent. Tyson was Canelo-ing before Canelo.
Knock down saved Tyson.
Every fighter has off nights. Even Ali, Lewis, Foreman, Holyfield have had fights where they have looked off colour and have had to do something different to win but when Tyson goes the distance but just does enough to get the win he gets roasted for it. Such is the legacy and reputation of the man
Just remember Steward was in the Lewis corner for both the Mercer fight as well as the Morrison fight.
He had yet to master and employ the patented frustrating jab, clinch, lean, right hand style of Steward in those fights. Probably why my mind didn't think of Steward. Especially the Mercer fight, that was a very brutal back and forth war with both men opening up.
I wasn't trying to suggest Tyson's right hand was a joke.
I'm simply saying he can't launch it with the same straight down the middle laser like focus of a Mccall or Rahman. 72' reach vs 82 is a huge deal when the opponent is 6'5.
Plus Holmes was inactive and old rules, c'mon. As much as you like Larry I didn't think you'd use that fight to boost Tyson's credentials.
You're right on both counts, Mike did tend to loop the right hand a lot. And yeah, I fumbled the bit about the Larry fight.
A little embarassed.
Cause he was 19 years old ..
I would quibble that while Bruno Morrison & Ruddock were amongst the hardest hitters, it is impossible to know if some, all or none were top 4.
But the only significant quibble would be Mercer does not belong in that elite company.
His chin might be top 4, or at least close, but while he hit hard, he was not near the hardest hitter.
Fair enough mate. No biggie.