Muhammad Ali Vs Mike Tyson: Who Would Win?

Trying to imagine a fight between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson is kind of like asking, “What would happen if a lightning-fast Dr. Seuss got into a fistfight with an incredibly dexterous Rottweiler?” Would Ali might float like a butterfly and sting like a bee until Tyson breaks out into hives, or would Ali get chewed up and spat out by Tyson like a defenseless ear? Who would have won a trash talk war between these two?

These are the pressing questions that keep people up at night, along with “if Rocky Balboa fought Little Mac, would they just keep punching each other out for the rest of eternity?” The answers are mostly unknowable, except for the last case. (Yes, Rocky and Mac would punch each other forever). So let’s just have fun comparing Ali and Tyson as trash talkers and face rearrangers.

Battle of the trash-talkers

Both Tyson and Ali had legendary mouths. Whose mouth would have the upper hand? Bleacher Reportcompiled a list of some of Ali’s greatest hits. In the lead-up to is classic battle with George Foreman, Ali issued one of the greatest verbal haymakers of all time: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

Mike Tyson’s most memorable trash talk moment was when he ended a stream of boasts by voicing his desire to go full Hannibal Lecter on Lennox Lewis’s children: “I’m the best ever. I’m the most brutal and vicious and ruthless champion there’s ever been. There’s no one can stop me. Lennox is a conquerer? No, I’m Alexander. He’s no Alexander. I’m the best ever. There’s never been anybody as ruthless. I’m Sonny Liston. I’m Jack Dempsey. There’s no one like me, I’m from their cloth. There’s no one that can match me. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart, I want to eat his children.”

Ali masterfully used humor, eloquence, and sometimes verbal low blows to infuriate his opponent. By contrast, Tyson was barking mad and made outlandish, almost deranged declarations. As hilarious as cannibalism sounded coming from Tyson’s mouth, Muhammad Ali wins this contest hands down.

Iron Mike would get stung by the iron butterfly

When Buster Douglas stepped into the ring with a then-undefeated Mike Tyson in 1990, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Tyson would decapitate Douglas. Instead, it ended with what Bleacher Report calls “boxing’s biggest upset.” Buster Douglas was definitely no Muhammad Ali. “Iron Mike” might have been the baddest man on the planet, but Ali had an iron jaw in his heyday, and would have helped him win the day.

As pointed out by Bleacher Report‘s Marcus Smith, Tyson obliterated opponents early in his bouts but struggled when he had to go the distance. Forty-one percent of Tyson’s fights ended in the first round, which is a pretty jaw-dropping statistic. Another 12 percent ended in round two. Meanwhile, Ali primarily won by going the distance. Add in Ali’s height advantage and superhuman ability to absorb punishment, and Ali has the edge in this one.

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