Mike Tyson might be one of the best boxers ever, but he’s not a delusional one. Nowadays, Tyson is more honest with himself, and he actually says that he doesn’t think that he’s the best boxer ever. Unsurprisingly, here’s why Tyson says that Muhammad Ali would definitely beat him if they ever fought.
A virtual fight between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson
As Bleacher Report said, the World Boxing Super Series hosted a virtual tournament between eight of heavyweight boxing’s greatest fighters or biggest names.
This virtual tournament had Ali, Tyson, Evander Holyfield, David Haye, Lennox Lewis, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Butterbean. Butterbean was the joke draft, but the rest of the tournament featured some great heavyweight boxers.
In this virtual tournament, as Bleacher Report said, Tyson ultimately beat Ali in the championship fight. But, Tyson didn’t win with his signature knockout combo, instead, he won by decision according to the virtual judges’ scorecards.
Obviously, this was just a virtual tournament that was just for fun and as a result, wasn’t very meaningful. But, at the very least, it gave Tyson a reason to talk about why he totally disagrees with this result.
Why Muhammad Ali would beat Mike Tyson
Like Tyson said, according to Bleacher Report, “I wouldn’t win the real fight. Ali’s the greatest there’s ever been.” Tyson is a student of boxing history, so undoubtedly, he admires Ali and all that Ali has accomplished. But, at the same time, despite admiring Ali, Tyson believes that he’d lose to Ali for a couple of reasons.
Ali was tenacious and he had no quit in him. Like Tyson said, “He’ll fight you to the end. He’s really game, like a pitbull or a f***ing rooster.” On top of that, Tyson hinted at Ali’s impressive defensive boxing skills.
“But he looked like a model in his prime! He looked more like a model than a fighter,” Tyson said. This may be a reference to Ali’s famous phrase, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” which is a good description of Ali’s fighting style.
Ali’s movement allowed him to dodge his opponent’s best punches, which ultimately, as Tyson said, left him looking like a model after a fight. Ali rarely left the ring bruised or injured, at least when he was in his prime.
This is probably the main reason why Tyson thinks that Ali would beat him in a boxing match. Ali was just too hard to hit, and Ali would be able to throw some heavy hands in response, too.
What their boxing records say
Obviously though, it’s very hard to say who’d win in an actual fight, even if Mike Tyson believes that he’d lose to Muhammad Ali. Both men had great careers that ended a bit too late.
Most boxers, Ali and Tyson included, lose their edge the older they get. Both men kept fighting, and unfortunately, losing, even as they grew closer to being 40 years old.
That said, when their records and opponents are taken into consideration, it’s possible, to an extent, to compare the two men. Ali had a record of 56-5 with wins against great boxers like Foreman, Joe Frazier, and Sonny Liston.
Tyson had a record of 50-6 and he had wins over great boxers like Larry Holmes. Holmes actually beat Ali, but that said, Holmes beat Ali in 1980, while Tyson beat Holmes in 1988.
Tyson’s record, while impressive, didn’t have as many great opponents as Ali’s did. As a result, Bleacher Report says that BoxRec’s all-time rankings of heavyweight boxers puts Ali in second place while Tyson is at ninth place. In first place was none other than Joe Louis, who became America’s boxing hero during World War 2.