Re: Mike Tyson rating all time
Tyson was the first boxer since Ali to genuinely cross over into the public consciousness, he made boxing a mainstream sport for a while.
Lots of aficionados like to hold that against him, as they believe the 'general public' are too stupid to have a view on who is, or isn't, a good boxer.
Likewise, people have Always criticised the opposition of EVERY heavyweight who dominated or cleaned out the division, as if that 'must' mean everyone else was poor quality.
Dempsey was criticised for his quality of opposition, Louis' defences were called bums of the month, Marciano only fought old has beens, even pre exile Ali was said to be fighting poor opposition.
Tyson cleaned out the division on the way up and during his first title reign. Youngest heavyweight champ in history and unified the championship the hard way - by fighting and defeating the rival title holders, and then utterly crushing Spinks, the only guy with any tenuous claim of being top dog. Everyone knew who the best fighter, or baddest man on the planet, was when Tyson was champ.
I also think these things are time related. People never think the current fighters are good, because they have childhood golden tinged memories of boxers of 20 years ago. Dempsey was compared unfavourably with Jeffries, Louis with Dempsey, Marciano and Ali with with Louis. Even Lennox Lewis at the time was seen as a great athlete but not a real fighter, who had a glass chin and was gun shy.
So now, because people have short memories or don't really study old fights, people think Wilder and AJ are severely limited, not rounded boxers, who would never compete in the dimly remembered golden age of 20 years ago when Holyfield, Lewis and Bowe were around.
Tyson had his flaws as a fighter, but who doesn't?
I don't subscribe to the 'rubbish generation' ideology as Pinklon Thomas, Tony Tubbs, ageing Holmes, Tony Tucker etc were all good fighters. Yes, he never pulled a win out against the odds but neither did Dempsey.
Yes, his tumultuous private life shortened his career, but so did John L Sullivan's. Yes, he lost fights at the end of his career to guys who shouldn't be named in the same breath as him .... but so did Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes and loads of greats.
In his short prime, he was a genuinely fearsome proposition. Fast hands and feet, good technique, good stamina and chin, and he wanted to hurt people. A finisher par excellence, his fights were exciting 'blink and you'll miss it' events. Undisputed Champion, feared by opponents, the dominant boxer of his generation in any weight division.
There may be guys who you think 'might' beat him, or who were 'better', but Tyson was dangerous and a proven knockout artist. Even if outboxed, which rarely happened, he always would have that punchers chance as he could hurt anybody.
Revisionism runs rampant in our sport ..... but peak Mike Tyson was one of the most electrifying performers who ever entered a ring.
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