Fantasy match-ups have long been a common concept amongst fight fans. The idea of matching two of the best from different eras has always been a fierce form of debate in the sport and Mike Tyson’s name pops up in a lot of these disputes.
‘Who would win? Prime Muhammad Ali or prime Mike Tyson?’ is the undisputed king of these questions and one that has been bandied around pubs and boxing forums since Mike was at his absolute peak, so it comes as no surprise that ‘The Baddest Man On The Planet’, now long retired, would eventually be quizzed on how he’d fare against the current crop of heavyweights.
When asked on his Hotboxin’ Podcast about how he sees a scrap between himself and current IBF, WBA & WBO title holder Anthony Joshua going, the former undisputed heavyweight champ was typically humble (as he always is when asked if he’d have beaten his own idol, Ali).
“You know what he is? He’s really a breath of fresh air.
“He’s really clean, he really looks clean, he’s a clean guy, he’s a clean fighter, he’s a good puncher. You just wish the best for him.
“I don’t know. My ego says, ‘nobody would beat you’ but you look at him and… he just looks beautiful!”
It’s unlikely that there are many out there who’d back AJ to beat a prime ‘Iron Mike’, a heavyweight so devastating that 88% of his wins were by knockout, a whopping 40% of those in the first round and is still the youngest boxer to ever claim a heavyweight world title at just 20 years, four months and 22 days old.
Despite being the overwhelming favourite if, in some strange alternate reality, they did meet in their primes, Tyson was nothing but supportive of Britain’s ‘Golden Boy’ and still expects big things from the 29-year-old.
“He just looks like a fighter, you know? He looks like he was born to do what he has to do.
“He needs more experience of course, but that will come in life.”