3rd April 15:34
best heavyweight of the 70's ?
The big question is whether legendary status is achieved by quality,
excitement, or a finely tuned blend of the 2. In my opinion, it became very
fashionable to bash Tyson because he started to act like such an unsavory
character. While he was kissing doves and prefessing his love for the old
man, America loved him, and I recall several mini-do***entaries showing what
a finely tuned and superbly skilled fighting machine he was: the jab, the
combinations, etc. One **** conviction and an ear biting oincident later, he
is just a bum, a bully that anyone with a jab could beat.
Both sides are way too extreme.
Tyson's time at the top was short-lived. But he was exciting and immensely
entertaining while at his best, and no one can even remotely deny he utterly
and thoroughly cleaned up the division like no one had done for many years
before or since -argue all you want about the quality of the division then,
it was undoubtedly much better than it is now. I like to compare Tyson at
his best with Frazier: both were stubby, short heavyweights in their time,
and lived off intensity, accuracy and very sharply fine-tuned transitions
from defense into explosive offense. And a style like that never ages well,
it takes the way of total commitment that fades with titles and money.
I for one think very highly of Tyson at his best, and I think he'd kill
anyone in the top 10 these days, and would always have given anyone, anytime
a formidable challenge. Even as a faded joke fighting on ancient memories
and going for the one-punch approach he manages to last very well into the
second half of the fight against the cream of the top these days (or did
when he faced Lewis, he probably has even less left these days).
The clear question to the question in the subject is Ali. The clear answer
for the 80s is Tyson, in my opinion, closely followed by Holmes. Holmes was
somewhere in the transition, but I don't think he was as dominating a
champion as Ali and Tyson were. And he wasted most of his prime as a
sparring partner, his time at the top was not exactly long-lived, either.
And Ali of course stands heads and shoulders above the 2.