COMMENTARY | Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has been in the news a lot lately. With a reality series, tell-all book, one-man show and upcoming screen adaptation of that one-man show, the former "Baddest Man on the Planet" is getting plenty of press these days. It seems that every day another shocking revelation is made by the former champ.
But what about boxing? What if "Iron" Mike had arrived on the scene now as opposed to the late '80s?
Here's a look at how Mike Tyson would've done against today's best heavyweights:
Vs. Wladimir Klitschko
In his own way, Klitschko, as heavyweight champ, has been every bit as dominant as the prime Mike Tyson. But, despite giving the appearance of invincibility in recent years, Wlad has a couple of glaring chinks in his armor, currently unable to be exploited by today's crop of big men. Tyson would be the absolute worst type of opponent for the much taller Klitschko and one who could actually exploit these weaknesses. The prime Tyson, bobbing and weaving under the Klitschko jab and outstretched left arm, would work his way inside and take the fight to close quarters--Klitschko's nightmare -- and the only real way to beat the current top heavyweight. A frustrated, off-balance, and confused Klitschko would eventually fall at the hands of a ferocious, confident, and in-your-face Tyson.
Result: Tyson TKO 5
Vs. Vitali Klitschko
While the elder Klitschko brother is as big and as strong as younger brother Wladimir, he also possesses some attributes that would bring him more success against a fighter like Tyson. More mobile, more daring, and more creative than Wladimir, Vitali would be able to counter Tyson's bull rush with smart movement and keep the much smaller fighter at arm's length throughout the bout. By the sixth round, a tired and frustrated Tyson would resort to sloppy attempts to land one big, fight-ending bomb. Meanwhile, a mobile Vitali would be causing damage from the outside, busting up Tyson's face and stripping away his confidence. By the ninth round, Tyson would be bloody, exhausted, and ready to be taken.
Result: Klitschko KO 9
Vs. David Haye
While the pre-fight hype would be full of headline-making quotes and real drama, the actual fight between Mike Tyson and the boisterous Brit may be a bit anti-climactic. Haye would try to exploit an advantage in foot speed by immediately hopping on his bicycle. Eventually, though, Tyson would reach his mark and test Haye's relatively shaky chin. The former cruiserweight and WBA heavyweight titlist would fail the chin check and hit the canvas with an ugly thud, likely before the middle rounds.
Result: Tyson KO 3
Vs. Tyson Fury
Again, a mega-hyped pre-fight publicity tour with an outspoken UK heavyweight would likely result in an ugly ring stomping. Fury's eleven-inch height advantage, as well as a mauling, grabbing inside game, would buy him some time, but it's tough not to imagine a prime Tyson doing a number on Fury's fleshy mid-section and closing the show with a nose-shattering uppercut.
Result: Tyson TKO 2
Vs. Bermane Stiverne
A bloody and decisive victory over Chris Arreola tops Stiverne's list of modest accomplishments. And although he proved himself to be a heavy-handed battler with a solid chin in his biggest bout to date, there's nothing to suggest that he could do much against a hard-charging prime Mike Tyson. Expect Tyson to explode on his fairly immobile opponent, causing big damage early on in the bout. Stiverne, as brave and as solid as he is, would lack the hand speed, athleticism, and resolve to keep pace for long.
Result: Tyson TKO 7
Vs. Deontay Wilder
It's too early to consider Wilder a top heavyweight yet, and this would show against the much smaller, but much, much better Tyson. "Iron" Mike would prove that Wilder's abilities are very pedestrian once you can navigate past his big, long right hand. Tyson-Wilder would be over faster than you can open your can of Pringles.
Result: Tyson KO 1
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mike Tyson
- Wladimir Klitschko