There are certain boxers that everyone knows regardless of whether or not they’ve actually watched a fight before. Muhammad Ali is known as the greatest even to those who have never actually witnessed him “fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” His bouts with Joe Frasier are known to be legendary even to those who have no idea how devastating a Frasier right hook was. George Forman is famous the world over even if it is has more to do with grilling than beating the living crap out of people.
A great heavyweight boxer can transcend the ring and become part of our popular culture. In this regard, the greatest boxer of all time has got to be Iron Mike Tyson.
The argument can be made (and frequently has been) that Tyson in his prime was the greatest boxer ever to step foot in the ring. In his hayday he went through heavyweight boxers like a buzzsaw cutting through paper. You could see the fear in his opponents eyes before the fight. For my money, that was always the most fun part of a Tyson fight. The pre-fight staredown. I remember watching and thinking. “aww man, this guy is about to shit himself on live TV!”
Whether or not you agree that Tyson was the best fighter, can there be any arguing that he was the most fascinating? Tyson has been anything but boring throughout his career. His story is tiumphant, tragic, humorous, and dramatic all at the same time. He always kept us on our toes. This is why I say he is the greatest. He is pound for pound the most entertaining man in the history of the sport.
A short while ago I watched the new Tyson documentary. I highly recommend it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. It was done very well. So well in fact that it inspired me to do this little tribute to the man myself. Hope you enjoy…
My Tribute to Mike Tyson