All the talk amongst followers of modern heavyweight boxing centres around unbeaten world champion Anthony Joshua. The popular Londoner went into 2018 holding an alphabet of respected titles, and is after more.
Lovers of the noble art want to know how he’ll fare against the likes of Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and, most importantly, Tyson Fury. The latter rates as the main danger – if he can get himself fit again – and would bring the most money to the table.
While Fury is still involved in the sport, and still active on social media, AJ will never sleep easy in his bed as ruler of the division. As a prime example, Joshua is scheduled to face Joseph Parker in Cardiff this spring and the online betting shows just how traders expect that fight to go, with the London man a red-hot favorite at 1/10.
Mention Anthony Joshua’s frightening knockout power to those who respect the sport’s history, and you’ll have the same question batted back at you – how would he have handled Mike Tyson in his prime? Unfortunately, we’ll never know, that’s the beauty of sport, but it did get us thinking about Iron Mike’s most memorable wins, and just what they were worth when placed next to the current champion’s record.
Tyson made as many headlines outside of the ring as he did in it, and his record appears to have been blown out of proportion by many casual fans, the American becoming some all-conquering god. That wasn’t the case. A quick flick through his CV shows Mike’s time at the top was all too brief; certainly much shorter than it would’ve been if he had lived the life. Ending with 50 wins, 44 by KO, against six defeats, five inside the distance, the punching sensation from New York posted a 76% knockout average.
There are a range of opinions when judging Tyson’s best fight, but that famous night against Britain’s Frank Bruno in 1989 always features highly. Frank was a limited champion, but what he lacked in athleticism, he more than made up for with heart. Traveling to Vegas with a record of 32 wins from 34 starts, having won each of his previous four by KO/TKO, he ranked as a genuine threat, but lasted no more than five rounds.
That cold February evening meant everything to the Englishman, and with rumors circulating that his opponent wasn’t taking their meeting seriously, many close to the game thought we had a real chance of an upset. But even half-fit – if that – with the weight of the world on his mind, Tyson always carried the great equalizer, a knockout punch. His chin was no fine china either, sitting on a fantastic shot by Bruno that got the crowd out of their seats.
Bruno touched down in the first round, and was penalized for holding on for dear life during the same three minutes, an early finish looking likely. It’s testimony to his heart he was able to get to the fifth round, vs a shark with the scent of blood.
Would Joshua have beaten a prime Frank Bruno? Probably, but it would’ve been fun finding out. Would he have beaten an in-shape, hungry, focused, clean Mike Tyson? I certainly wouldn’t have any money on it.
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