Mike Tyson Inducted into Boxing Hall of Fame: Tyson's Greatest Knockouts
Today, Mike Tyson took his rightful place amongst boxing's immortals as he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
By the numbers, Tyson wasn't the greatest heavyweight of all time or even a top-10 heavyweight. The numerous disappointing losses and upsets don't allow Tyson to stand anywhere near the likes of Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano or Joe Lewis.
But the story of Mike Tyson is not about wins or losses, upsets or disappointments. No, the story of Tyson is the way in which he captured the imagination, and fear, of the nation.
In his prime, Tyson was simply known as the "Baddest Man on the Plant". The fear in which Tyson struck into his opponents was evidenced the second they stepped into the ring.
Tyson turned heavyweight champions into scared little boys, crying for their mommy.
No statistics, knockout streak, highlight videos, or old fight footage will fully encompass what Tyson was. You had to live it to understand.
When you saw a young, muscular, mean-looking, killing-machine version of Tyson, you knew what you were witnessing was greatness.
The history books will say that Tyson was a bully, who used a long and impressive knockout reel of bums, to intimidate opponents to the extent that, when they stepped in the ring, they had no chance of winning.
The records will show that when Tyson was faced with an unintimidated opponent (Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis...) he was out-boxed, outclassed and out-bullied.
The complete story of Mike Tyson is one of unrealized potential. Tyson's greatness was never allowed to fully mature, as money grabbers and hanger-ons did nothing but steer Tyson in the wrong direction. A lack of commitment to the sport and dedication derailed what was the greatest heavyweight of all time in the making.
So we don't have the resume to substantiate Tyson's greatness.
For a fighter who was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he has very few signature wins. His win over Michael Spinks was against a true light heavyweight and a fighter on the last fight of his career, while "Iron" Mike's victory over Larry Holmes was against a 38-year-old version of the Hall of Famer.
But for those who saw Tyson fight and dominate, no justification is needed. Tyson scared us with his speed, agility and his unseen before punching power.
For those who saw him, that's enough.
Here's just a bit of Tyson's greatness with a highlight reel of, what else, his knockouts.
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