Muhammad Ali once admitted to George Foreman that he didn’t believe he could’ve beaten Mike Tyson in his prime.
According to George Foreman, Muhammad Ali once confided in him that he didn’t believe he could have defeated Mike Tyson during Tyson’s prime. This revelation adds to the ongoing speculation surrounding a hypothetical matchup between the two legendary heavyweight boxers, who are widely regarded as the greatest in their division. The question of who would have emerged victorious if they had faced each other in their prime remains a subject of passionate debate among boxing enthusiasts.
Muhammad Ali Jr believes that his father would have “knocked Tyson out”… but the man himself wasn’t so confident.
Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle rival Foreman has revealed that Ali wasn’t entirely certain he could have defeated the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ in his prime.
During an interview with Fiaz Rafiq for his recently published book, Muhammad Ali: The Life of a Legend, Foreman made a surprising statement.
He shared, “Muhammad Ali personally told me. I asked him, ‘Do you think Tyson could defeat anyone?’ He replied, ‘Man, Tyson punches so hard.’ Ali believed that Tyson possessed greater punching power than any opponent he had faced. He once confided in me that he didn’t have the certainty that he could have defeated Mike Tyson.”
In the newly released book, veteran promoter Don King, who had the opportunity to collaborate with both iconic fighters, shares his perspective on the comparisons between them.
The 88-year-old expresses, “They were both exceptional heavyweight boxers. Muhammad Ali possessed incredible speed and showcased his graceful footwork in the ring. He was a true fighter.
“He encompassed a variety of qualities, drawing inspiration from his idol Sugar Ray Robinson. In my opinion, Ray Robinson was the greatest boxer of all time.”
“Muhammad Ali had the ability to make a heavyweight bout seem like a match between middleweights with his fighting style. He would then captivate the audience with his memorable catchphrases and predictions.
“The anticipation leading up to his fights would reach a fever pitch. People either despised him or adored him, but there was no denying the excitement he brought to the sport.”
Don King, the promoter behind the legendary fights Rumble in the Jungle and Thrilla in Manila, also shared his thoughts on Tyson.
He went on to say, “Mike Tyson possessed incredible, destructive power. Love him or hate him, Tyson was a menacing and devastating force. He had the desire to land punches so forcefully that they would seemingly reach your brain through your nose.”
Tyson was not the type of boxer who would engage in boxing and laughter; he exuded a menacing presence. He was the fighter who instilled fear in his opponents. Just the thought of facing him would send shivers down your spine. He would relentlessly seek out his opponents and aim to annihilate them.
Ali, on the other hand, had a different approach. He would win with his skill, charm, and wit. He employed a combination of boxing prowess and charisma to secure victories.
Both fighters were exceptional in their own ways. Mike Tyson, love him or hate him, was the intimidating and destructive force who aimed to deliver devastating punches, almost as if he wanted to drive your nose into your brain.
Tyson wasn’t the kind of person to be universally loved like Muhammad Ali eventually became. However, it wasn’t always the case for Ali, as he faced criticism and was heavily criticized in the beginning. Nonetheless, he persevered and gradually gained recognition and affection from the public.
Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer who passed away in 2016, had his last professional fight in 1981, four years before Mike Tyson began his professional boxing career.
Throughout his career, Ali participated in 61 professional fights, winning 56 of them. Out of his five losses, only the ones against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick were not later avenged in subsequent rematches. Interestingly, Tyson would defeat Berbick five years later, with the WBC title at stake.
Tyson concluded his career with a record of 50 wins and 6 losses. However, his last four fights, which took place when he was 38 years old, impacted his overall record.
Impressively, Tyson secured 44 victories by knockout, establishing himself as the most feared fighter in the world during his prime.
Despite retiring 15 years ago, the now 53-year-old Tyson is planning a comeback to the ring, participating in exhibition bouts. Several notable contenders have emerged as potential opponents for him, adding to the anticipation surrounding his return.