Joshua believes Frazier-like Tyson would beat Ali
MANILA, Philippines—Like pitting some of the greatest teams in NBA history against one another in hypothetical showdowns, boxing, too has a ton of dream fights that remain as such.
And with sports on shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Boxing Super Series recently held a fantasy tournament where Mike Tyson emerged victorious in a heavyweight clash with the late great Muhammad Ali–a result that didn’t sit well with many.
Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, h0wever, doesn’t have any qualms about “Iron Mike” taking down “The Greatest” via decision.
“The reason being, when you watch the fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, you see a certain a Tyson-esque style to Frazier’s style,” said Joshua (23-1), who holds the IBF, WBA, WBO, and IBO belts, in an interview with JD Sports as posted on boxingscene.com. “Tyson used to study that Joe Frazier… the moving, the hooks.”
“He (Frazier) managed to put Ali down in the [first] fight, it was a very tough fight for Ali. And I just believe Mike Tyson was better schooled, times have evolved. Mike Tyson was more developed, more science, more information so I think that Mike Tyson would’ve won, in my humble opinion.”
Frazier and Ali had one of the greatest trilogies in the sport with the former taking the first win and the latter taking the other two, the last of which was fought on Oct. 1, 1975 at Araneta Coliseum and was nicknamed “Thrilla in Manila.”
Frazier and Tyson have similar styles with both possessing immense power behind their punches and the two are also similarly built with Smokin’ Joe standing at 5-foot-11½, just 1.5 inches taller than Iron Mike.
Ali, meanwhile, stood at 6-foot-3.
Another point of reason Joshua said was the size of the fighters in Tyson’s era compared to Ali’s.
Joshua said that Tyson had to fight the bigger and heftier heavyweights compared to Ali who fought fighters who would be classified as cruiserweights in the current era.
“It’s quite interesting because in the era of Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight reign, the heavyweights were ranked as the cruiserweights of the Mike Tyson era. With Lennox Lewis, you know how they started getting better, hence why in the amateurs they then created a super heavyweight division,” said Joshua.
“Muhammad Ali wouldn’t have been a fully fledged heavyweight. Let’s say we bulked Muhammad Ali up and put size and strength to him, I truly believe Mike Tyson would’ve won.”
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