In boxing, just like in other sports, genetics may play a role in how great a boxer will be. Floyd Mayweather, for example, comes from a boxing family where his dad and his uncles all boxed professionally. But, when it comes to Joe Frazier’s son, Marvis, Mike Tyson showed that greatness may not be genetic after all.
Who was Marvis Frazier?
Marvis Frazier is the son of Joe Frazier, the man who famously gave Muhammad Ali his first professional loss. Ali would avenge that loss twice over and, at the same time, befriend Frazier. Frazier went on to lose to George Foreman twice before fighting to a draw with Floyd Cummings in the final fight of his career in 1981.
Like many retired boxers, Joe Frazier became a trainer, and one of his best students was his own son, Marvis Frazier. Marvis Frazier showed a lot of promise in his amateur career, as he won gold medals in many amateur competitions.
In 1980, at the age of 20, Marvis Frazier started his professional career. He’d go on a 10 fight win streak before fighting for his first heavyweight title in 1983.
In his first title fight, Marvis Frazier got knocked out by Larry Holmes in the first round. This was a setback in the young Frazier’s career, but he soldiered onwards. Marvis Frazier fought and won six more fights before he challenged another young, up and coming boxer in 1986.
Mike Tyson vs. Marvis Frazier
Tyson, who had just turned 20 and had started boxing professionally a little over a year ago, had already racked up 24 wins in a row, mostly by knockout. Both Tyson and Frazier were highly ranked heavyweights and this fight would help decide who was worthy of a shot at the title.
Tyson, in just 30 seconds flat, knocked Frazier out with a flurry of heavy punches. This fight was not a close fight whatsoever and Tyson showed the world that he wasn’t just all hype. Tyson could do what he usually does to the best of the best in boxing and he’d make it look easy while doing it.
Frazier, after losing this fight, fought and won three more fights before retiring in 1988. He had a record of 19-2 and he was 28 years old at the time. While the younger Frazier’s boxing career wasn’t notable in its own right, it did help show just how dominant and scary Tyson was at his prime.
Mike Tyson’s knockout power was terrifying
People like watching heavyweights fight because all heavyweights are powerful men who can knockout people if they tried. But Tyson, in his prime, was something else.
Obviously, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to measure how hard boxers punched, especially when talking about boxers from the past. But few men could do what Tyson did to his opponents.
For four years, Tyson had a reign of terror over the boxing world. He had 37 wins, with 33 coming from knockouts. 17 of those knockouts came in the first round, so, at the very least, Frazier was in good company.
Tyson didn’t just have ridiculous knockout power either, he also had the brains and boxing IQ to know when to use it and when to hold back. This combination of skill and power was what allowed Tyson to dominate the ’80s and ’90s of heavyweight boxing.
Of course, anytime that people discuss how great a boxer is, it’s also important to discuss the level of opponents that those boxers had. Sure, Tyson didn’t face as many great boxers as Ali or Mayweather did, but Tyson fought plenty of great boxers in his time. For example, less than two years after beating Frazier, Tyson knocked out Larry Holmes, who had also beaten Frazier a few years back.