Is Mike Tyson Badder Than Wladimir Klitschko?

Troy SparksColumnistJuly 22, 2010

MALLORCA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 18:  Wladimir Klitschko during a training session on November 18, 2008 in Camp de Mar on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, Spain. Wladimir Klitschko of the Ukraine will fight Hasim Rahman of the United States in a IBF/IBO and WBO World Heavyweight Championship fight at the SAP Arena on December 13, 2008 in Mannheim, Germany.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Earlier in Mike Tyson's boxing career, "Iron Mike" knocked out almost everybody he fought, dropping the first 19 fighters he faced.

14 KOs or TKOs followed before his first professional loss to Buster Douglas.  Before the Douglas loss, many boxing fans considered Tyson the baddest man on the planet.

But if he were boxing in the heavyweight division today, would he be badder than Wladimir Klitschko?  Right now, Klitschko is the baddest man on the planet in my book.

The brawler from Ukraine won the gold medal in boxing at the 1996 Olympics.  After he turned pro that year, Klitschko slapped around 19 American boxers in his first 24 wins.

He lost to low-life American boxers, Ross Puritty and Lamar Brewster, and also South African Corrie Sanders.  Those were the only professional losses of Klitschko's career.

After Klitschko hired legendary trainer, Emanuel Steward, he dominated again.

Do you think that Tyson in his prime would want a piece of Klitschko now?

This man is 6'6".  They call him "Dr. Steelhammer."  He holds three heavyweight titles.  Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir's brother, is the WBC heavyweight champ, but I don't think the brothers will fight each other.

So Tyson would be at a height disadvantage against Klitschko, but he was at a height disadvantage against a lot of fighters he knocked out.  Names like Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, Marvis Frazier, and Carl "The Truth" Williams come to mind.

On the other hand, he lost to taller fighters like Evander Holyfield (twice) and Lennox Lewis.

If both Tyson and Klitschko boxed in the same era, that would be the superfight of the year.

Tyson was once the baddest man on the planet.  Now that's Klitschko, who's 54-3 with 48 KOs.

Some boxers are scared to fight him, with the exception of England's David Haye, who might be the next man in line to fight the Ukranian.

My bet is Klitschko will do what he does best: Another KO.