Mike Tyson was as dominant in his prime as any heavyweight boxer in history — at least his record said so. In the midst of the 37-0 start to his professional career, Tyson still took a little heat. Joe Frazier, another elite heavyweight boxer, supplied some of it.
Joe Frazier certainly knew a thing or two about boxing
Like Tyson, Frazier got off to a tremendous start to his pro boxing career. He opened with 29 straight victories, the first 10 coming via knockout. Frazier became the undisputed heavyweight champ in 1970 and was named Fighter of the Year by Ring Magazine in 1967, 1970, and 1971.
After his 26th straight win, Frazier was in for the fight of his life. He took on the undefeated Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden. The bout was billed as the “Fight of the Century.” Ali and Frazier built up the fight with the typical trash talk. The fight was highly anticipated and was broadcast across 36 countries.
Frazier lost the first two rounds but withstood Ali’s punches and earn a 15-round unanimous decision. The two fought two other times with Ali winning both.
Frazier suffered the first loss of his career at the hands of George Foreman on Jan. 22, 1973. Frazier finished his boxing career with 32 wins, four losses, and a draw.
He was inducted into both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Joe Frazier seemed to make a valid point about Mike Tyson
Tyson was one dominant boxer statistically, knocking out the first 19 opponents he faced in his career on his way to a 37-0 record. When he defeated Lorenzo Boyd with a second-round knockout to improve to 24-0, Frazier stepped in to offer his opinion on the man known as “Iron Mike.”
“I don’t see who he really has beat,” said Frazier in July 1986, according to United Press International.
“You need to sit him down and teach him things instead of having him fight all the time, against somebody who ain’t nobody,” he continued. “Putting him in the ring and having him knock out somebody who needs to be in the house cooking, it don’t make no sense. I don’t know how that’s gonna make him champion.”
Frazier may have had a point.
Up until that time, Tyson hadn’t gotten in the ring with any big names. He fought guys like Sammy Scaff, Conroy Nelson, and Mark Young.
Frazier’s comments were then spoiled by his son
Frazier did a lot of talking about Tyson, making the point he hadn’t gotten in the ring with any formidable opponents. He may have been right, but then he may have gone too far. It became tough to take him seriously after comments he made about Tyson’s 25th opponent — Frazier’s son, Marvis Frazier.
Marvis Frazier was 16-1 entering his fight with Tyson. His lone loss was a first-round knockout suffered at the hands of Larry Holmes. The elder Frazier said Marvis would be able to handle the hard-hitting Tyson.
“(Marvis will) be moving all the time,” Joe Frazier said, according to UPI. “When he jumps into fight, he’ll fight. He won’t be standing there holding hands and playing around.”
Joe Frazier was dead wrong. Marvis didn’t even have enough time to play around.
It took Tyson all of 30 seconds to knock out the young Frazier. It was the quickest knockout of Tyson’s career.
Joe Frazier, who died in 2011, may have been on to something with his comment about Tyson fighting a bunch of no-names. He then lost some of that credibility in a half-minute.