Mike Tyson vs. Muhammad Ali: Who wins the ultimate heavyweight fight?
via AP

Mike Tyson vs. Muhammad Ali: Who wins the ultimate heavyweight fight?

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The heavyweight division of boxing is the source of some sports greatest icons. Two stood head and shoulders above the rest: Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. “Iron” Mike made a name for himself with his unbelievable hand speed and violent power. Muhammad Ali had unparalleled swagger, and the game in the ring to back it up. Who would win if these two giants faced off? 🥊

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#TeamAli

It's one of the fantasy match-ups that boxing fans have debated for ages: Mike Tyson vs. Muhammad Ali. Both were larger than life figures during their respective eras. Mike Tyson may have been smaller than most of his competition, but his power and speed made him one of the most feared fighters of all time. Muhammad Ali was the center of attention in every room he was in, displaying unequaled swagger and impeccable speed that made him impossible to hurt in the ring.

One was a vicious brawler. The other was a peerless tactician. Who's the last man standing on the mat?

One punch is all Mike Tyson needed to put you to sleep. He didn't need to wear you down. He never needed to let his opponents tire out. All he needed was that one punch. Even Muhammad Ali knew if he got caught, Tyson would be standing over him with his arm raised.

Everyone talks about Mike Tyson's power, but no one really gives him credit for how he utilized it. Tyson had power, but he also had the technique to back it up. He understood where power came from, and developed his own devastating style that put boxers down for the count.

His looping left hook ended most of his fights, and still stands as one of his most deadly weapons in the ring. Once he crouched and shifted all the weight to his front foot, Tyson would explode with a violent twist that either caught his opponents flush, or set up a second hook if they escaped to the inside. Either way, his opponent was going to get hurt.

Tyson was a master at close-quarters combat, and there was nothing more exciting than watching him crouch and explode into a destructive uppercut that knocked other boxers senseless. He would usually set this unstoppable punch with a hard hook to the kidneys and then threw the uppercut in the newly opened gap of the opposing boxer's defense.

People who say Tyson was a pure brawler don't know what they are talking about. The man had skills and technique that got him to the top.

Muhammad Ali had a strategy for everyone, but he never faced a fighter with the technique, aggression, and speed that Tyson had. Tyson is so low to the ground, Ali would have trouble containing his aggressive style, and keeping up with the number of body shots Tyson is known to throw. 

Ali may be considered the greatest, but Tyson would take that crown if the two fighters faced off. Put money on it.

You can't hit what you can't catch. Muhammad Ali may never have had the raw power Mike Tyson did, but the man could not be caught in the ring. He took advantage of heavyweights with his incredible footwork and blistering hand speed. If Tyson got tattooed by Evander Holyfield and Buster Douglas, there is no way he could handle "The Greatest."

Muhammad Ali had foot and hand speed that had never been seen in the heavyweight division before. He used every bit of his speed to his advantage in the ring.

If you let him roam the ring, Ali would land one or two punches before he quickly retreated... leaving his opponent with no time to respond. By the time Ali's hits registered, the other boxer would be swinging at thin air. Ali also never left his head out to dry. At his best, Ali would draw his opponents in and let them take shots freely—the problem was the other boxer couldn't keep up with Ali's ever shifting head. With his level of fitness, he would wear opponents down and catch them in the later rounds after they were too exhausted to continue fighting.

He also had a signature right-hand lead that took advantage of his hand speed. For a normal boxer, the right-hand lead needs to employed sparingly because it leaves them open to big shots. Ali was fast enough where his right lead would be a constant weapon that set up damaging combinations on opponents.

There is a reason Muhammad Ali is almost unanimously considered the greatest boxer ever. No one could keep up with them, and he always had a perfect strategy to use against you.

Tyson had no problem fighting the bigger, slower opponents. He never fought anyone who could handle his aggression in the ring. Ali dealt with power easily when he fought George Foreman. Foreman was the most feared boxer of Ali's time, and Ali made him look silly. Ali took all of Foreman's best punches and tired Foreman out. That's all Ali has to do against Tyson. 

Ali would have no trouble outworking and outboxing Tyson. "The Greatest" remains the greatest.

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