Mike Tyson And His Greatest Hits!
by James Slater: I miss Mike Tyson. The peak version that is. Before he went completely crazy and seemingly cared not a bit about who or what he offended, Tyson was a great fighter. Not only was he ultra-exciting almost every time out, "Iron" Mike was always in tip-top physical condition too. During his prime years - which were all too short as things turned out - Tyson cared about boxing, his own legacy and reputation, and his fans. At least it seemed that way at the time, anyway. Okay, maybe I'm looking back through rose tinted glasses, but with the dire state of today's heavyweight division who can blame me?
Article posted on 23.12.2007
Tyson was electrifying, and a fan was unwise to even blink when "Kid Dynamite" was in action. Ask yourself, how badly could we use the 1988 version of Mike Tyson today? Mike had some great nights in the ring, beating some fine fighters. But what were Tyson's ten best-ever performances? In this article I give my choices for Tyson's "greatest hits." Looking back at his heyday, it becomes clear that Mike was a special fighter. For a while at least..
1. Tyson KO 1 Michael Spinks.
The absolute peak Tyson, according to the experts. Who can really disagree? 91 seconds to utterly annihilate an all-time great who had never lost before. Sure, Spinks was terrified, but the way Tyson's punches were landing - both speed-wise and accuracy-wise - would it have made much difference if Spinks had entered the ring ready for a fight?
2. Tyson KO 4 Larry Holmes.
Yes, Holmes was past his best. But who can say he was a shot fighter? When we consider what Larry went on to accomplish post-Tyson, and when we consider the fact that he was never ever KO'd by anyone else, either before or since, it becomes clear that Tyson's destruction of him was extremely noteworthy. Old or not, Holmes had a great chin. Tyson smashed it into pieces, something no-one else ever did.
3. Tyson KO 6 Pinklon Thomas.
"Pinky" had only lost once going into his fight with Tyson. Due to dabbling with drugs, Thomas was not at his best against Trevor Berbick and lost on points. Aside from that fight, however, Thomas was unbeaten. And though he was almost certainly slightly past his very best when he clashed with Tyson, Thomas was clean and healthy and ready to go. Doing pretty well for about five rounds or so, Thomas was hit with Tyson combinations that were at their most ferocious in round number six. "Iron" Mike never looked more accurate with his power shots.
4. Tyson TKO 1 Carl Williams.
Sure, Williams was not in possession of a chin that was in any way akin to rock. But never before had he been so effortlessly dispatched as when Tyson got hold of him. Lasting only two seconds longer than Michael Spinks, "The Truth" was sent reeling to defeat after a perfect left hook to the head. The truth was, Tyson's speed and timing, along with his crunching power, were way too much for every top contender during the late '80s. Williams included.
5. Tyson TKO 7 Donovan "Razor" Ruddock.
The first Tyson fight to make the list that occurred after he was champion. Ruddock, a huge and powerful heavyweight, was utterly fearless going into his match with the former king. It didn't matter. Tyson attacked Razor's body with brutal shots, before finishing him off - albeit slightly controversially, with a barrage upstairs in the seventh. Tyson also showed the granite his own chin was made of in this fight, taking the best the mighty Ruddock could offer in round six.
6. Tyson W12 Tony Tucker.
In unifying all three alphabet titles at heavyweight with a clear decision win, Tyson never once showed anything that could be considered a stamina problem. Going twelve fast paced rounds was nothing for the peak version of "Iron" Mike, as this fight proved. Mike also took a hefty left uppercut in the first round, only to regroup and proceed to win almost every subsequent round. Tyson didn't just rely on getting the KO, as this fine win showed.
7. Tyson KO 2 Trevor Berbick.
No, Berbick was no great. But, his loss to Bernardo Mercado aside, he did have a good chin, as his 15 round points loss to Larry Holmes proved. Tyson utterly destroyed the defending WBC champ though. Never again scoring a more terrifying-looking and destructive KO at world level, Mike was completely on fire the night he brutalised Berbick. Who can forget the way Berbick fell again and again from the one punch?
8. Tyson TKO 1 Alex Stewart.
A perfect example of Tyson's ability to scare a good fighter senseless. Stewart, who had given Evander Holyfield a serious argument for 8 rounds, and who would go on to rearrange George Foreman's face while giving him a good hiding in 1992, completely froze when he went in with Tyson. It looked, for a while, as though Tyson was back to his best following the shock he'd suffered at the hands of James Douglas.
9. Tyson KO 1 Marvis Frazier.
Marvis may have been no "Smokin' Joe," but he was an ok fighter. The message Tyson sent out with this 30-second wipe-out was that any heavyweight, whoever they may be, could very easily meet the same fate Frazier met should they come out fighting anywhere approaching tentatively in the opening round of a fight with him. Never has there been a faster AND more ferocious heavyweight as the twenty-something Mike Tyson - as this fight graphically proved.
10. Tyson KO 2 Tony Tubbs.
Tubbs, a former champion who would go on to give future ruler Riddick Bowe a veritable boxing lesson, had never been stopped going into his fight with Tyson. Less than six minutes later this statistic was brutally removed. Tyson was beginning to prove he could handle each and every boxing style his opponents should try and test him with. Tubbs was utterly ruined by Tyson's speed and power.
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