Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis

By
TysonTalk

Published: December 27, 2004

I recently read an excellent column by John “Johnny Detroit” Lepak at RingsideReport.com that i wanted to share with you.

By John “Johnny Detroit” Lepak – December 21, 2004

It’s been 2 ½ years since Lennox Lewis defeated Mike
Tyson in the ring. Is boxing now bigger and better than ever with Tyson
pretty much gone? I’m not here to bash Lewis, he was a good champion.
Let’s take a look at the two fighters side-by-side and compare careers.
I have grown tired of people in the media saying how Tyson never fought
anyone and his career was a myth. In a III part series RSR will take a
closer look at the how the two fighters developed year by year and how
they would have done against one another in the ring as well as in the
box-office.

More quotes and pictures available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More‘ below).

Lennox olympics - article 1 (9K) Lewis KOd - article 1 (9K) Lewis WBC - article 1 (9K) Tyson Berbick - article 1 (9K)

Tyson Biggs - article 1 (9K)

Tyson oldschool - article1  (9K) Tyson Time - article 1 (9K) Tyson WBC - article 1 (9K)

1985/86 TYSON vs. 1989/90/91 LEWIS:

Tyson turned pro in March of 1985 and 12 months later he was 19-0 with
19 KO’s. His record was built up on the quality that most fighters face
in their first year as a professional. (The same caliber of opponents
that boxers like
Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, and even Lennox
Lewis fought in the beginning) Most fighters these days are lucky to
fight 19 times in 3 years. All of Tyson’s early fights were featured on
local cable networks on the East Coast with a few bouts being shown on
ESPN undercards. He was featured in numerous magazine articles (many of
which were non-boxing) and even made the cover of Sports Illustrated.
In his 18th fight 11 months after turning professional he faced 14-1
Jesse Ferguson in his nation-wide network TV debut on ABC Sports.
Ferguson was no slouch. He went on to become a solid journeyman pulling
off a few upsets along the way. Tyson destroyed Ferguson taking him out
in 6 rounds. He signed a deal with ABC and was back on TV where he won
a 10 round decision over veteran and former world title challenger
James “Quick” Tillis (31-8). In his next fight he made his HBO debut
when he faced off against Mitch “Blood” Green (16-1-1). Three months
later and 3 KOs later, he faced off against Marvis Frazier (16-1). It
was one of the most brutal KO’s I have ever seen. Tyson picked up 2
more KO’s over Jose Ribalta (23-3-1) and Alfonso Ratliff (21-3) on HBO
before becoming the youngest Heavyweight Champion of all time when he
defeated WBC champion Trevor Berbick at the age of 20.

Lewis turned pro in June of 1989 in London after coming out of the 88′
Olympics where he represented Canada. He fought basically the same
quality of opposition that Tyson did, facing guys that show you a
variety of styles to build your record on (The same exact quality of
guys Ron Borges likes to refer to as the “Tomato Cans” Tyson was built
on). Lewis was 12-0 in his first 12 months as a professional winning 10
by knockout. Lewis had not yet made any real headlines here in America
because during this time the headlines were being dominated by Tyson
and Holyfield. What little coverage Lewis did receive, it was often in
the shadow of Americans Riddick Bowe and Ray Mercer. In his next 12
months as a pro he captured the European Heavyweight Title in his 14th
professional fight with a 6th round TKO over Jean Chanet (24-10). Lewis
then captured the British title with a 7th round TKO over Gary Mason
(34-1). He also defeated an over-the-hill former Heavyweight Champion
Mike Weaver (35-15-1) and Glenn McCrory (28-6). He made his American
television debut on a PPV undercard when he TKO’d far-faded former
Olympic Gold medalist Tyrell Biggs. Keep in mind Tyson KO’d Biggs
almost 4 years earlier and his battles with drugs were no secret. Lewis
was now 20-0.

RESULT if they met during the above years: Tyson by KO
inside 3 rounds. This is an easy one. You could make a decent argument
that the level of opposition was somewhat comparable, but looking back
I think Tyson’s opponents would have beaten Lewis’ opponents hands
down. Regardless of who fought tougher opposition, Tyson was by far the
more developed and skilled fighter. Tyson was ferocious and possessed
lighting fast hands with power that would have knocked Lewis back
across the pond faster than the Concord! Lewis was still a skinny
uncoordinated heavyweight who needed much grooming before stepping up
to challenge anyone as qualified as Ferguson, Ribalta, Tillis or WBC
Champion Berbick, let alone Mike Tyson. Take a look at the Alfonso
Ratliff fight on tape and you will see what would have happened to
Lewis.

1987 TYSON vs. 1992/93 LEWIS:

Hey, I’m trying to be fair here by giving Lewis the advantage with
multiple years to match up with Tyson. Almost 2 years to the day from
when Tyson turned professional he won the WBA Heavyweight Championship
with a 12 round win over James “Bonecrusher” Smith. By this time, Tyson
was already one of the most popular figures in sports. In his next
fight he destroyed former WBC champion Pinklon Thomas (29-1-1) with an
awesome 6th round TKO. Tyson then became the Undisputed Heavyweight
Champion of the World when he won a 12 round decision over Tony “TNT”
Tucker (35-0). At the time Tucker was a very skilled boxer with good
power in both hands. He was schooled in Detroit and if you ever saw
early footage of him, I would take 1987 Tucker over 92/93 Lewis. In
Tyson’s last fight of 1987 he faced 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyrell
Biggs (15-0). Many experts were saying Biggs had the tools to beat
Tyson and some predicted him to do so. It wasn’t even close. Tyson
destroyed Biggs when he TKO’ed him almost in Oprah’s lap at ringside in
7 rounds at Trump Plaza.

Lewis began 1992 with a 4th round TKO over Mike Dixon (10-5). Lewis
took a big step up in his next fight when he stopped Donovan “Razor”
Ruddock in the second round with a big overhand right. Ruddock had
already been defeated by Tyson twice and was nowhere near the same
fighter after the beatings Tyson gave him. Lewis was still somewhat of
an uncoordinated heavyweight with bad balance. In May of 1993 he faced
Tony Tucker for the vacant WBC championship after Riddick Bowe threw
the title in the trashcan during a press conference. By this time,
Tyson was already doing time and the recognized champion to the public
was Riddick Bowe. You remember Tucker, the guy Tyson defeated back in
1987 to unify the title? Tucker hung around the game and through Don
King’s influence managed to get in line for another shot at the title.
Lewis won a 12 round decision to become WBC champion. In October of
1993 he defeated Frank Bruno (the same guy Tyson KO’d back in 1989)
with a 7th round TKO. The fight took place in Wales before a huge crowd
where Bruno was the fan-favorite. Lewis just couldn’t seem to win any
respect even as champion. (TYSON CRITICS TAKE NOTE: championship belts
were not the only thing Lewis and his handlers were digging through the
trash looking for, looks to me like they were also looking for old used
up Tyson opponents to fight)

RESULT if they met during the above years: Again, not
even close. Tyson by KO in 2 rounds! Tyson was already a HUGE worldwide
box office attraction after 3 years as a professional selling out
arenas wherever he fought. HBO’s subscriptions went through the roof
with Tyson on their network. Tyson would have had Lewis shaking like a
leaf on a tree if the two had faced off at these comparable levels of
their careers. Lewis was still being groomed and nurtured while Tyson
was already a champion gladiator destroying all champions and top
ranked contenders. Lewis was now in the mindset he had a big overhand
right ever since his KO over “Razor” Ruddock. He may have had a decent
right hand, but he still had bad balance and a shaky chin. Lewis was
now a confident fighter and even a champion, but Tyson was now known as
the baddest man on the planet in only his 3rd year as a professional.
Lewis would have been raw meat for the young lion Tyson. Again, Tyson
critics take note: look at the level of opposition both were facing.
The stats don’t lie and either does the fight footage. If Tyson fought
nothing, but “tomato cans”, who was Lewis fighting? crushed tomato
cans?

1988 TYSON vs. 1994/95/96 LEWIS:How about I throw in a
pair and brass knuckles and a sledgehammer for Lewis too! Tyson opened
up 1988 with former Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes. Holmes fought
bravely before being TKO’d in the 4th round. Tyson next scored a 2nd
round TKO over Tony “TNT” Tubbs (25-1) in Japan. Remember the first
Nintendo game system? Tyson already had his own video game at this
time, Mike Tyson Punchout. He was a sports mega-star that the public,
boxing fans or not, followed his every move. A lot of writers put food
on their tables covering Tyson during this time. He ended the year with
his mega-fight with Michael Spinks (31-0) who was still recognized by
Ring Magazine as world champion because he never lost his title in the
ring. It is one of the most famous knockouts in heavyweight
championship history, 91 seconds in the first round. At this point in
his career I would say in my opinion PRIME TYSON.

Lewis was now champion and began 1994 with a TKO over Phil Jackson
(30-1) in the 8th round. Jackson had never defeated any real fighter
leading up to his challenge of Lewis and wouldn’t for the remainder of
his career. Lewis then lost his title against journeyman Oliver McCall
(24-5). McCall was best known as a sparring partner for Mike Tyson. A
Buster Douglas caliber fighter, McCall hit the jackpot. This was no
beat down however. He just wound up and let one go and Lewis was on the
seat of his trunks. The fight was over in the 2nd round. Lewis came
back 8 months later with Emanuel Steward in his corner and earned a 5th
round TKO over Lionel Butler. The story of what it took to get Butler
into the ring this night is worthy of an article by itself! It is the
only time that I have ever seen HBO have a fighter to stand by gloved
and ready to fight Lewis if for some reason Butler decided to walk out
of the arena. Lewis began to fine tune his skills with new trainer
Emanuel Steward. He then TKO’d Justin Fortune (11-2-1) in 4 rounds.
This was the type of guy Steward knew Lewis needed to fight because of
his poor balance and to correct his now cautious style. In his next
fight he TKO’d contender Tommy Morrison on HBO. Next out of the gate,
he was lucky to squeak out a majority decision over Ray Mercer
(23-3-1). Lewis was beginning to get some ink, but was still fighting
for average ratings on HBO.

RESULT if they met during the above years:

Do I really even need to tell you? TYSON BY KO! Tyson was at his prime
and we all know what that meant, a world of trouble for anyone who
stepped in the ring with him. The stage where Lewis was skill wise and
the quality of his opponents, is more like that of Tyson in 1994 when
he got out of prison and faced guys like Peter McNeely, Buster Mathis,
JR and Frank Bruno. Again, I want to remind everyone of the level of
media attention Tyson was not only getting himself, but also the sport
of boxing. Because of the exposure Tyson was bringing to boxing, there
were more TV dates for promoters, more money to skim off the top of
fighters purses for greedy booking agents, more fights for boxers, and
higher purse monies as well. Lewis was lucky to get a mention in the
local sports section with his fight result posted while Tyson had the
world of boxing on his shoulders.

In Part II we take a further look at Tyson-Lewis side by side,
inside and outside the ring. RSR will continue to break down the “myth”
that the media will have you believe about the awesome career of one of
boxing’s all time greatest champions and one of its most over-hyped
champions of all time. Can you figure out which one is which? Be sure
to come back

Lewis Steward - article 2 (9K) Lewis Tua - article 2 (9K) Tyson Bruno 1 - article 2 (9K) Tyson Bruno 2 - article 2 (9K)

Tyson money - article 2 (9K)

Tyson Ruddock - article 2  (9K)

Tyson undisputed - article 2 (9K)

Boxing: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part II

By John “Johnny Detroit” Lepak – December 22, 2004

Read:
Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part I

First, I want to thank the RSR readers for taking the time to read
yesterday’s lengthy article and coming back to read Part II (and
hopefully Part III). Writing about this subject is a very serious
matter to me because it really makes me sick how so many people don’t
give Tyson the credit he deserves for not only his accomplishments in
the ring, but what he did to help carry the sport outside the ring as
well. Say what you want about the street fight with Mitch Green,
crashing his Bentley and giving it to a couple cops, the whole
situation with Robin Givens and even the ruckus with Holyfield?the
negative with the positive it kept boxing in the headlines of major
network media outlets. Good or bad publicity, it kept the sport of
boxing on people’s minds. That in turn, made people tune it to watch
it. Back in the 80’s you could talk to just about anyone on the street
about boxing, today you’re lucky to talk boxing with a boxing fan.

1989 TYSON (Incld. Douglas) vs. 1997/98/99 LEWIS

Okay, it’s starting to get a little more even.
The fireworks outside the ring for Tyson had started and the original
members of Team Tyson were gone. Tyson was now working with a crew made
up of people more qualified to be working with a guy like Lionel Butler
than the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of The World. Tyson began
fighting less and probably partying a lot more. In February 1989 he
TKO’d Frank Bruno (32-2) in the 5th round. While it was a devastating
TKO, Tyson was wobbled in the first round before he beat down Bruno.
Tyson’s activity was slowing down in the ring but it seemed was picking
up outside the ring where the media followed his every move unlike any
fighter in the history of the sport, maybe even more so than Ali. He
was at this time the most followed athlete in sports along with Michael
Jordan. In his only other fight in 89′, Tyson TKO’d Carl “The Truth”
Williams (22-2) in the 1st round. I think it is safe to assume that
Tyson was not taking his training as serious as he once did during this
time. In February of 1990, he faced James “Buster” Douglas. We all know
what happened here, the biggest upset in the history of boxing. Tyson
was considered so unstoppable, that most casinos would not even post a
line on the fight. Those who did listed Douglas as a 40-1 underdog. I
don’t recall Lewis ever being even a 20-1 favorite. Douglas came in and
handed Tyson an old fashion butt whoopin’. Tyson had his moments with
Douglas and even dropped him in the process, but it was Douglas who had
the will to win and refused to lose this night. He wanted it more than
Tyson did. Gone was the vintage Tyson “bob-n-weave” and gone was his
qualified corner. To treat his swelling eye the cut man used a rubber
glove filled with ice water to keep the swelling down! To his credit
Tyson didn’t quit, he took his beating like a man. Keep in mind he
wasn’t knocked out with one shot like Lewis was against McCall.

Lewis began 1997 by avenging his only loss to date against Oliver
McCall where he won the vacant WBC title. McCall was reported to be in
and out of drug abuse programs at the time. McCall walked around the
ring with his hands down while Lewis punched away. He still failed to
knock McCall out after landing several clean blows and McCall was DQ’d.
He then won a DQ over Henry Akinwande (32-0-1) when Akinwande just
refused to fight. Lewis was fighting on HBO and believe me, the crowds
were nowhere even close to those watching Tyson at the compared time. I
will give Lewis credit that under Steward’s guidance, he was looking
much better than in the past. Lewis had his best performance to date
with a smashing KO over Andrew Golota (28-2). Lewis opened up 1998 with
a big 5th round TKO over Shannon Briggs. Briggs had a couple of moments
where he came close to pulling it off, but Lewis was now coming into
his own under the guidance of Emanuel Steward. Lewis may have been
recognized as the WBC Heavyweight Champion, but the headlines he was
receiving were more do to the whacky result of his recent victories.
Believe it or not, but the public became more aware of Lewis through
those types of stories than him being champion. Lewis closed out 1998
with a dull 12 round victory over some guy I had never heard of (Zeljko
Marovic) and have not heard from since.

RESULT if they fought in the above years:

Even though Tyson may have been beginning to be somewhat on the
downside with his lack of serious training, he still was ferocious
enough to put a beating on Lewis. Tyson did not lose to Douglas because
Douglas was the better fighter at the time. It was for no other reason
than he just did not prepare himself properly. Lewis had his moments
during this time with a couple highlight worthy KO clips, but he made
more headlines with his whacky wins over McCall and Akinwande. I am not
going to tell you Lewis faced off against a bunch of “Tomato Cans” like
boxing scribe Ron Borges would say Tyson faced, but can you seriously
tell me that Lewis was beating legends?

1990/91 TYSON vs. 1999 LEWIS:

The year was 1990 and Tyson wanted his title back. An out-of-shape
Douglas lost the title to Holyfield, but Tyson was still the champion
of the television ratings and media headlines. He came back before a
sold out arena (while Lewis was lucky to half fill an arena) to KO
Henry Tillman (20-4). (The story behind the fight was that Tillman, a
former amateur friend of Tyson’s was down on his luck and Tyson wanted
to see him make a payday). In his next fight he fought Alex Stewart
(26-1) who’s only defeat was to Evander Holyfield. Stewart went
toe-to-toe with Holyfield before losing on 8th round TKO (watch this
video). A lot of people thought he would give Tyson a test. Tyson came
out like a hungry lion and Stewart was down 3 times in the first round.
He closed out 1991 with 2 battles with “Razor” Ruddock in what are 2 of
my favorite fights to watch to this day. Those were some of the hardest
shots I have ever heard in a fight in my life. Tyson even without the
title was drawing the biggest ratings in boxing and was along with
Jordan, still the most popular figure in sports.

Lewis faced Evander Holyfield in April of 1999 for the Undisputed
Heavyweight Title. While I personally thought Lewis did enough to win,
the judges called this one a draw. The Lewis and Holyfield rematch was
in Las Vegas in November 1999 and this time Lewis won a 12 round
decision. To be honest, I think that Lewis won the first fight, but the
rematch I thought Holyfield did enough to pull it out.

RESULT had they fought during the above years:

Drum-roll pleaseeeeeeeeeee…. TYSON BY DECISION! Sure Lewis was
getting better and better each time out under the guidance of Emanuel
Steward, but if you look back at “Razor” Ruddock and put him side by
side with this version of Lennox Lewis, there is not too much
difference. Sure Lewis was better than Ruddock, but not by much. And
surely not enough to be able to fend off a hungry Tyson who wanted his
championship belts back. The fight would have been far closer than any
of the above, but if you take a look at the Tyson-Ruddock videos and
then view Lewis-Holyfield, you will see my point. I think this fight
would have the same outcome as Tyson-Ruddock II.

1995/96/97 Comebacking-TYSON vs. 2000 LEWIS

Tyson was returning to the ring after being away from the game for
close to 4 years. He attempted to shake off the rust by taking out
opposition like Peter McNeely and Buster Mathis, Jr. The McNeely fight
was one of the most celebrity and high-roller attended events I have
ever seen in my life. I have never seen Las Vegas that well attended in
all my years going there. He ended the year TKO’ing WBC Heavyweight
Champion Frank Bruno who had recently won his title from Oliver McCall
who had recently won it by TKO’ing Lennox Lewis. (Tyson critics take
note) He then picked up the WBA Heavyweight title over Bruce Seldon
(33-3) with a first round TKO. Tyson came out lightning quick looking
for the kill. In his next fight he faced off with what many people
believed to be a faded Evander Holyfield. Holyfield fought tooth and
nail and pulled of a huge upset. In the next fight we all know what
happened. As crazy as it sounds, after Tyson bit him however, remember
how Tyson started to land some hard leather on Holyfield? The rematch
did HUGE PPV numbers!

Lewis had a highlight knockout when he blasted out Michael Grant in
April of 2000 in the 2nd round. (Tyson critics take note about what
Grant went on to accomplish or better yet, what he failed to
accomplish). I am not trying to take anything away from Lewis who was
looking great at this time, but more so reminding everyone who fails to
give credit to the quality of opposition that Tyson had faced during
similar times during his career. Lewis then smashed Frans Botha in 2
rounds with a TKO that was another career highlight. He then followed
up those 2 great victories with a dull 12 round decision over David
Tua. Allow me to elaborate on this for a moment. Tua was at the time
being compared a little bit to Tyson as far as his compact style and
punching power. He was however, far from “Tyson-like”. Lewis stayed as
far away from Tua’s power as he possibly could like a matador does from
a bull.

RESULT had they fought in the above years:

You have to look at it 2 ways. 1) Lewis would
have been able to avoid the smaller Tyson and allowed to him to get
bored and tired and win a dull chess match which would have been very
Lewis-like. 2) If a cautious Lewis wanted to play it safety first and
Tyson moved in for the kill and landed some serious leather then he
would have knocked Lewis out early. If it was Lewis who was wearing the
WBC championship against the Tyson who fought Bruno, I would pick Tyson
by KO in 3 rounds. But to all the Lennox Lewis fans (and Tyson haters),
yes it was during this time that Tyson gave up the WBC title for not
fighting Lewis. But let me tell you all this, it was more Don King
giving up the WBC title because he had no way of getting control of
Lewis from Main Events.

Be sure to come back for PART III. We are getting close to the end
and so far the fight hasn’t even been close. Let’s see if Lewis can
rally with a late round comeback. Don’t bet on it!

Lewis Rahman 1 - article 3 (9K) Lewis Rahman 2 - article 3 (9K) Tyson Brooklyn - article 3 (9K) Tyson ringisde - article 3 (9K)

Boxing: Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part III

By John “Johnny Detroit” Lepak – December 23, 2004

Read:
Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part II

Read:
Reality vs. Myth: Tyson vs. Lewis Part I

Thanks for coming back. Tyson’s activity was really slowing down during
this time. While he still was a major box-office attraction, it seemed
the fans wanted him to fight more often than his schedule had him
fighting. You have to agree this was the time when Lewis was really
coming into his prime. Now let’s get back to the action.

1999/2000/01 TYSON vs. 2001 LEWIS

Tyson was back in 99′ after serving an 18-month suspension after his DQ
loss to Evander Holyfield. He squared off against former IBF
Heavyweight Champion “The White Buffalo” Frans Botha (39-1). Botha was
outboxing Tyson before he was hit with a vintage-Tyson overhand right
that turned out the lights. He then faced Orlin Norris. Tyson then
headed to London where he fought journeyman Julius Francis (who had
beaten Danny Williams). In London, Tyson drew more attention and fans
than Lewis ever had in his own “home country”. Tyson still was drawing
in legions of fans when he fought in an outdoor arena in Scotland where
he TKO’d Lou Savarese in the first round. In October of 2000 he TKO’d
Andrew Golota in three rounds. He showed he still had the knockout
punch, but the classic “bob-n-weave” had slowed down quit a bit. In
2001, Tyson only fought one time winning a 7th round TKO over Brian
Neilson (62-1). Shoulda, coulda, woulda, if?but if Tyson would have
stayed active his upcoming bout with Lewis would have been a different
story.

Lewis opened up 2001 fighting contender Hasim
Rahman. This fight drew so little public interest, that promoters were
forced to take it to South Africa. While Lewis was busy filming a movie
clip for Oceans Eleven, Rahman was training hard (much like how Tyson
was distracted from serious training before his fight with Buster
Douglas). However, let me remind you all again, Lewis got clipped again
by one shot, not a series of punishment like Douglas inflicted before
Tyson was worn down. Lewis came back to avenge his loss to Hasim
Rahman, who after becoming champion forgot what it took to get him the
title. You could tell by the look in Lewis’ eyes as he walked down the
isle that night he was going to destroy Rahman. This was one of, if
not, Lewis’ best fights ever! I would say this particular fight was PRIME LEWIS.
Not to take anything away from Lewis’ awesome performance, but take a
look at Rahman’s record in depth. Rahman was (and still is – I have him
over Klitschko) a solid heavyweight no doubt, but was he better than
Pinklon Thomas,

RESULT had they fought in the above years:

Take a look at it two ways once again. 1) If
Lewis came into this fight like he did against Rahman in their first
fight, Tyson would have had the same result as he did with Botha. How
can you argue with that? Tyson hit way harder than Rahman and while
Lewis would have managed to outbox Tyson for a couple rounds, he
eventually could have caught him just like he did Botha. 2) If Lewis
entered the ring like he did for Rahman II, the result would have been
the opposite. He would have stopped Tyson like he would do 7 months
later. Its about time Lewis wins one.

2002/03/04 TYSON vs. 2002/03 LEWIS

Tyson was far past his prime from his best years
(87-89) while Lewis was somewhat still in his. I say somewhat because
while Lewis did have some great victories, they were often followed up
with lack-luster victories and even one punch knockout defeats. Tyson
fought once a year losing to Lewis, Knocking out Clifford Etienne and
losing via TKO to Danny Williams. Tyson actually looked pretty good
before tearing his knee against Williams and I think there are a lot of
people still interested in seeing him fight. Think about this, do you
ever hear anyone talk about Trevor Berbick beating Muhammad Ali in his
last fight ever?

Lewis had his career defining fight with a 8th round KO victory over
Tyson in June of 2002. I guess you would consider this PRIME LEWIS. He
fought only one more time and was lucky to escape with a 6th round TKO
over Vitali Klitschko. I had to laugh sitting ringside as so many
people who called for Lewis to rid the “evil” Tyson from the sport of
boxing were now chanting “Klitschko?Klitschko..” and even booed him
when his hand was raised in victory. Seriously, did beating an aging
Muhammad Ali make Larry Holmes The Greatest?

PRIME vs. PRIME

I don’t even think it is close! Tyson would have beaten Lewis close to
death if Lewis would have stood and fought him. If not, Lewis would
have ended up hanging on to Tyson in a 12 round snoozer much like
“Bonecrusher” Smith. Now I am sure a lot of you think my predictions
seemed a bit biased towards Tyson, but I want to remind you that Tyson
was never dropped or stopped by one single punch like Lewis was. Tyson
more or less defeated himself with underestimating Buster Douglas and
was past his better years when he lost to Holyfield. When Lewis lost it
was because he had a poor chin. Sure Lewis came on strong at times
later in his career and had some great victories, but he never faced a
fighter with the intensity, quickness and power a prime Tyson had.

He fought a safety first fight when he faced David Tua because he was
afraid of Tua’s power. Tyson was 30 times faster than Tua and hit much
harder than Tua. The media always blames Tyson’s fans for holding onto
a myth of what they think Tyson was. What myth is that? The myth you
all created? Or did the fans look at the fact that he destroyed any and
all he faced. Take a look at www.boxrec.com
and compare side by side the records for yourself. If Tyson never
fought anyone, who did Lewis fight? Lewis’ prime years were mixed
between dramatic KO victories, lack-luster decisions, whacky endings
and one punch KO loses. I think it was Wally Mathews who wrote Tyson
lost his only 3 big fights in his career: Douglas, Holyfield and Lewis.
That’s funny. I don’t recall the 40-1 underdog Douglas being that big
of a fight until after the upset loss. And Holyfield, well sure it was
a highly anticipated fight, but the box-office ratings for the McNeeley
were far greater than the first Holyfield fight and no one really gave
Holyfield a shot at winning. What was so big about that? As for the
timing of the Lewis fight, that’s like saying one of Michael Jordan’s
biggest games of his career was when he was playing with the Washington
Wizards and faced Allen Iverson. Give me a break! While Tyson went off
to fight in Japan it was because he was a worldwide attraction with
endorsement deals from companies like Nintendo, Diet Pepsi and Toyota,
Lewis was forced off to South Africa because no one wanted to even put
up a site fee for his first fight with Hasim Rahman because he stunk so
bad against David Tua.

Again, the main difference between a 1987-88 Tyson and a 2001-02 Lewis,
was Tyson was just an old-school gladiator who needed no motivation
other that to know he was fighting. It didn’t matter where or when,
someone was getting knocked out. Lewis needed Steward to motivate and
push him against a tired and aged Tyson during their fight in 2002.
Lewis had his moments for sure against Golota, Grant and Botha. Those
names are hardly the stuff legends are made of if you are going to
knock the guys Tyson was busting up in his days. I am not here to
discredit Lewis and his accomplishments, more so rather to remind
everyone what they somehow seem to forget about what Tyson
accomplished. While people like Jim Lampley and numerous others in the
sport always say how Tyson never fought anyone while he was champion,
take a look at whom Lewis fought. What did any of them really
accomplish? About the same as Tyson’s opponents, if not less. 20 years
from now when people talk about heavyweight boxing they will always
bring up 3 names: Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Then as the
conversation furthers will come names like Dempsey, Marciano, Liston,
Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Holyfield and Lewis. Don’t believe me? I was
sitting ringside at the Byrd-Golota fight and as Lewis got up to leave
the arena, the fans began chanting “Tyson?Tyson?Tyson”.

This series was no meant to be of any disrespect to Lennox Lewis. He
was a fine champion who wore the title with class. Just remember when
Tyson was fighting on Saturday nights on HBO back in the day where were
you? If I had to guess I would say with a group of friends in your
living room waiting for him to walk down the isle with his black trunks
and black shoes on counting the seconds before he gave you what you
wanted to see, a knockout.

And hey HBO, how were your ratings on telecasts with Tyson as champion
compared to when Lewis was champion? Another Tyson KO victory I’m sure.


tyson bring it (9K)

Ding?Ding?Ding?Ding..Ding.. The fight is over, and it wasn’t even close.

Source: ringsidereport.com