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Tyson with Rooney

When Tyson was being trained by Cus D'Amato and Kevin Rooney he was as good a heavyweight as there's ever been

Post Rooney...it all started to unravel (from a technical point of view)

A video showing some of the amazing drills and techniques Tyson mastered

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoGijB2_Cco

posted on 31/12/18

His record is littered with a lot of over matched and just not very good opponents, don’t get me wrong he beat some decent fighters but hugely over rated imo when compared to other hw greats

posted on 2/1/19

comment by United_kaz (U9943)
posted 1 day, 22 hours ago
His record is littered with a lot of over matched and just not very good opponents, don’t get me wrong he beat some decent fighters but hugely over rated imo when compared to other hw greats
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Couldn’t help that there was nobody to fight at his best.

Not sure how he would have faired, but the beginning of his career was terrifying.

It’s, buts and maybe with Tyson. If Cus had been around a bit longer, he would have been top 3-5.

The most intimidating fighter of all time.

comment by Superb (U6486)

posted on 6/1/19

It's sad that we didn't see Tyson at his best (86-90) fight any other world class fighters (a well past it Larry Holmes doesn't count).

Not Tyson's really fault of course but we never saw him fight Riddick Bowe for example (supposedly they were friends although Bowe gives a slightly different account) or Ray Mercer or even George Foreman.

Supposedly Big George wanted to fight him in that late 80's/early 90's period. Would have been a bigger test than a totally shot Larry Holmes.

posted on 9/1/19

comment by Superb (U6486)
posted 2 days, 8 hours ago
It's sad that we didn't see Tyson at his best (86-90) fight any other world class fighters (a well past it Larry Holmes doesn't count).

Not Tyson's really fault of course but we never saw him fight Riddick Bowe for example (supposedly they were friends although Bowe gives a slightly different account) or Ray Mercer or even George Foreman.

Supposedly Big George wanted to fight him in that late 80's/early 90's period. Would have been a bigger test than a totally shot Larry Holmes.
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Agree with this.

I also feel Tyson only ever fulfilled around 50% of his potential. At 20-23 he was blowing people away without even training properly.

Don’t think there will ever be another phenomenon like him, for a multitude of reasons.

posted on 11/1/19

Main one being VADA?

posted on 15/1/19

comment by Andy Carrot (U2440)
posted 4 days, 21 hours ago
Main one being VADA?
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We’re talking about Tyson, not Holyfield.

comment by Greg- (U1192)

posted on 3/2/19

comment by Superb (U6486)
posted 4 weeks ago
It's sad that we didn't see Tyson at his best (86-90) fight any other world class fighters (a well past it Larry Holmes doesn't count).

Not Tyson's really fault of course but we never saw him fight Riddick Bowe for example (supposedly they were friends although Bowe gives a slightly different account) or Ray Mercer or even George Foreman.

Supposedly Big George wanted to fight him in that late 80's/early 90's period. Would have been a bigger test than a totally shot Larry Holmes.
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So George foreman would've been 40 odd?
Against a prime Tyson?

comment by Superb (U6486)

posted on 5/2/19

Not wanting to sound condescending Greg but are you aware of what Foreman did when he came back in his 40's ? He was an absolute beast still regardless of age. He gave Holyfield a run for his money as well as knocking out Michael Moorer (who had just beaten Holyfield) to regain the Heavyweight title at the age of 45.

I'm not saying that Foreman would have beaten 80's Tyson but who knows what might have happened especially if they'd fought in the early to mid 90's when Tyson (without Rooney) clearly wasn't quite the force he once was and all that signature bobbing and weaving head movement and finding crazy punching angles had largely gone out of his game.

Anyway it's a shame that "prime" Tyson didn't face a truly top Heavyweight in their prime as well because he fought so many journeymen and has-beens in that time that we'll never know how good he really was.

Personally I suspect that "prime" Tyson gets beat by so many of the other great Heavyweights in their prime. Ali, Foreman, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, Joe Frazier, to name a few.

Even in his own time Tyson (by design or not) managed to avoid any of the really top guys in the Heavyweight division until he fought Holyfield in November 96.

posted on 5/2/19

comment by Superb (U6486)
posted 10 hours, 9 minutes ago
Not wanting to sound condescending Greg but are you aware of what Foreman did when he came back in his 40's ? He was an absolute beast still regardless of age. He gave Holyfield a run for his money as well as knocking out Michael Moorer (who had just beaten Holyfield) to regain the Heavyweight title at the age of 45.

I'm not saying that Foreman would have beaten 80's Tyson but who knows what might have happened especially if they'd fought in the early to mid 90's when Tyson (without Rooney) clearly wasn't quite the force he once was and all that signature bobbing and weaving head movement and finding crazy punching angles had largely gone out of his game.

Anyway it's a shame that "prime" Tyson didn't face a truly top Heavyweight in their prime as well because he fought so many journeymen and has-beens in that time that we'll never know how good he really was.

Personally I suspect that "prime" Tyson gets beat by so many of the other great Heavyweights in their prime. Ali, Foreman, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, Joe Frazier, to name a few.

Even in his own time Tyson (by design or not) managed to avoid any of the really top guys in the Heavyweight division until he fought Holyfield in November 96.
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the ruddock fights just before his imprisonment were his last 2 good fights against a quality opponent (ruddock was v highly thought of at the time)

tyson was in much better shape for these fights , than against buster douglas

this was post rooney/d'amato tyson though, and the head movement and great defence was gone (he got caught with some huge punches in those fights)

however, unlike the post prison tyson...he still had his timing and speed, and could put together combinations

i think this version of tyson would have won against holyfield in their scheduled fight in '92 (tyson ofcourse was imprisoned until 95)

do you really think dempsey of marciano would have beaten prime tyson ?

i think tyson would have been way too powerful for either

dempsey and marciano wouldnt be HWs today...more like light HW

comment by Superb (U6486)

posted on 6/2/19

I'm not sure that Ruddock counts as a truly top Heavyweight. A quality Heavyweight maybe but he wasn't anywhere as good as he was being hyped up to be at the time.

The fact that Tyson fought Ruddock twice but didn't go anywhere near the likes of Riddick Bowe, Lewis or Holyfield in that early to mid 90's era really doesn't look good on his record. And Ruddock arguably being the best fighter that Tyson ever beat is damning in itself.

And there are other guys throughout the 80's and early 90's that Tyson never fought like Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer, Oliver McCall, Tim Witherspoon even. Tyson was too often fighting boxers well below these guys in quality throughout his "prime" years. And he just doesn't have enough of the better heavyweights of the time on his fight record.

Also I don't think that Tyson ever wanted any part of Lennox Lewis. I suspect the only reason we actually got that way way past it's sell by date fight between Lewis and Tyson in 2002 was because Tyson was totally skint and was offered a fortune to take a guaranteed L against Lewis.

As for Tyson beating Holyfield had they fought in 91/92 like they were meant to we'll never know. You could be right that Tyson would have won that fight as Holyfield seemed to improve with age throughout the 90's. There's a movie documentary called Chasing Tyson which charts Holyfield's multiple attempts to get Tyson into the ring before their eventual fight in 96.

What we know for sure is that Holyfield destroyed Tyson when they did eventually meet. And Holyfield was four years older than a still young 30 year old Tyson in that fight.

Regarding the past Heavyweight Champions that would have beaten Tyson it's all speculative. I'm not guaranteeing that all those guys I mentioned would definitely have beaten Tyson but I suspect they would have. Marciano was an absolute beast by the way and even though he wouldn't have been a HW by today's standards he was about the same height as Tyson.

Ali definitely would have beaten Tyson as would prime Foreman, he would have obliterated prime Tyson in fact. Even Larry Holmes in his prime would have given Tyson so much more problems than the washed up version that fought Tyson in 87. Even lesser known Heavyweights from the 70's like Ron Lyle would have given Tyson a run for his money and maybe have beaten him as well.

Tyson's prison sentence robbed us of so many great fights and fights where we would have better known where Tyson rates in the scale of great Heavyweights. At the same time I think that his prison sentence is too often held up as an excuse for why Tyson didn't fight anywhere near the quality of opponents as he should have done in his career between 86-96.

Tyson's fight record in the that time and the list of average fighters he fought is there for all to see and it's very underwhelming when you examine it in the cold light of day:

http://boxrec.com/en/boxer/474

That the two Ruddock fights are two of his very biggest career wins before Tyson's convincing loss to Holyfield in 96 means that I couldn't even begin to consider Tyson getting into the top ten all time great Heavyweights.

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