British heavyweight Anthony Joshua believes Mike Tyson would beat Muhammad Ali if the two went head-to-head in a fantasy boxing fight.
Ever since Tyson won his first heavyweight title as a 20-year-old in 1986, boxing enthusiasts have always wondered how the hard-hitting New Yorker would have done against Ali, who many regard as the greatest boxer of all time.
Joshua, who won his first title at 23, said the power and size of Tyson would be too much for Ali, who died in 2016 at the age of 74.
“It’s quite interesting because in the era of Ali’s heavyweight reign, the heavyweights were ranked as cruiserweights,” Joshua said during an Instagram chat with JD Sports.
“So in the Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis era, they started getting bigger. Hence why, in the amateurs, they then created a super heavyweight division.
“So the current heavyweight division in the amateurs is what we class as the cruiserweight division [in the pros], so Ali went from lightweight and worked his way up.
“He wouldn’t have been a fully-fledged heavyweight. Let’s say we bulked Ali up and added size and strength to him, I tryly believe Mike Tyson would have won.
“Reason being, when you watch the fight between Joe Frazier and Ali, you see a certain Tyson-esque style in Frazier. Tyson used to study Frazier: moving, moving, hooks, hooks. He managed to put Ali down, it was a very tough fight for him.
“I just believe Tyson was better schooled because times have evolved, he was more developed with more science, more information. So Tyson would have won – in my humble opinion,” said the current IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion.
But, according to an interview he gave in 2012, Tyson said no heavyweight could have beaten Ali in his prime.
“There’s no man like him,” Tyson said in an interview with This is 50 eight years ago.
“Everything we have, he supersedes it. Nobody beats Ali, it’s not about the muscle memory, it’s about the concentration, it’s just about him doing it,” said Tyson.
“I can’t beat this man.” IOL Sport