Who do you pick? Mike Tyson vs. Wladimir Klitschko
By Gerardo Granados: Both champions faced rivals that could have been qualified as average opposition. Physically they are different, Tyson is only 5´11” tall and weighed around 210 pounds while Klitschko is 6´6” tall and weights around 245 pounds for a title fight; but both are blessed with an outstanding athletic build.
If these champions could have faced each other while still in their prime who would prevail? The methodical effective style of Wladimir who makes the most out of his size, height and reach; or the mean agressive style of Mike who was blessed with fulminate punching power.
Maybe both will be criticized due the average opposition that they faced, but is it the first time the heavyweight division presented few talented contenders?
Which are the reasons boxing fans have lost interest in the heavyweight division? Is it due the lack of talented fighters or the lack of charisma of the champions? Maybe it is because the lack of talent of the top contenders who does not have impressive boxing skills. Is it possible that the skills of the heavyweights boxers have not been diminished but instead the taste of the boxing fans have changed and now they demand that the big boys to be even better than they historically have been? Could it be that boxing fans no longer have fun watching big fighters who does not have great mobility or speed, who also look overweight; maybe now the heavyweight contenders need to look like prime Tyson, Holyfield, Vitali or Wladimir instead of looking like Arreola, Chagaev, Solis or Chambers.
Besides the size, the major differences between Mike Tyson and Wladimir Klitschko might be the boxing style, fame and magnetic charisma of Iron Mike; he owned a heavyweight era and was able to draw big ratings world wide meanwhile Wladimir simply cant do the same, he is the most dominant heavyweight champion in the last seven years but still he is unable to generate interest in the major weight division.
How famous is Wladimir Klitschko? He may not be world wide known and he might be only famous in certain regions of the planet. Iron Mike Tyson was world wide known by young and old, by boxing fans and sports fans; the hall of fame member still draws good ratings. If you ask a casual boxing fan the alias of Wladimir Klitschko he might get confused if it is Dr. Steelhammer or Dr. Ironfist, and some wont have a clue.
Lets make a list of the current top ten heavyweight fighters based on their boxing skills, the ones who are able to adjust with ease, the most powerful; even the ones who have a spectacular boxing style that can bring big pay per view numbers, etc. How many of those fighters chosen have a chance to become a boxing immortal; let me guess just Wladimir and Vitali, right? I guess more than just two names should be mentioned.
Prime Iron Mike Tyson had a murderous punching power, great mobility, he was not an easy target because he continuously bob & weaved, he was good slipping power punches, he threw combinations to the head and body with quite ease, great speed and accuracy, great chin and his aggressiveness is legendary. His major weakness was his height and reach that did not correspond to the average heavyweight fighters. I´ll leave up to the reader to qualify the quality of the boxing skills of the majority of Tyson opponents while he was prime. I believe the only two notables are Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks (while prime Tyson), he defeated both but they might not be in their prime when they fought him.
Do you think Tyson would have been knocked out by Lamon Brewster, Corrie Sanders or Ross Purity? He did lost to Buster Douglas but Tyson was no longer trained by Cus D´Amato and he no longer was disciplined while training, lets be fair and recognize that Douglas got help from referee Meiran long count.
Wladimir Klitschko is strong as an ox, he is determined and disciplined inside the ring, great jab, hard right, good power in both hands, good defensive skills but maybe he relies on his size too much, his major weakness is his chin, he has been knocked out by three fighters that wont be remembered once they retire, also he is not able recover when he is hurt, once he is wooble he is in high risk of getting knocked out. Maybe that is the main reason of why he has a risk free boxing style. I leave to the reader the selection of Wladimir´s notables rivals because I believe he has not faced any one worth to mention yet.
I believe Tyson power and mobility would give him the chance to solidly connect and knocked out Klitschko, but that is only my personal view. Tough Wladimir has enough power to knockout Tyson. Perhaps the major factor to consider would be the size of both fighters.
One will always be remembered as the baddest man on the planet, the other one will always be remembered by his loyal fans. One make boxing a world prime time sport, the other one needs to do something to avoid the downfall of the heavyweight division. One was exciting to watch the other one has a style that maybe only the boxing purist will enjoy.
So, who do you pick?