Muhammad Ali Vs. Mike Tyson: Who Would Win?

Barney CorkhillSenior Writer IDecember 12, 2008

Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson are two names synonymous with the sport of boxing, and were two of the most exciting, dominating heavyweights of all-time.

But who would win in a dream fight between the two, if both were in their prime?

Well, in my countdown of the Top Ten Greatest Boxers of All Time, I placed Ali ahead of Tyson, and I still agree with this. Ali, in my view, had a better career than Tyson. That is not to say, however, that Ali was better than Tyson when in their respective primes.

Now, it is widely regarded that Ali's best years would have come between 1967 and 1970, when he had been banned from boxing. It could also be argued that Tyson could well have hit his prime while in prison.

But, due to the uncertainty of this happening, we will have to judge on the best both fighters have actually fought.

Ali's legacy is certainly greater than Tyson's, and in a war of words, there would only be one winner. But in a one-off fight, I really am struggling as to who I would pick as a winner.

On the one hand, you have "Iron" Mike Tyson.

He was once called "The Baddest Man on the Planet," and opponents were rumoured to be scared to even hit him, such was his strength and hand speed. When Tyson landed an unprotected punch, very few stood standing.

"The Greatest" Muhammad Ali, however, has shown himself to be capable if defending against sheer punching power. His rope-a-dope tactics against George Foreman, tiring him both physically and mentally, are stuff of legend. Ali could certainly take a punch as much as he could give one.

Ali's attack was swift and unpredictable, and he would certainly have the upper-hand when it comes to speed. As he so famously said, he floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

Tyson, however, was notorious for having a very good, strong defence, which could counter-act Ali's attacks.

Both fighters cancel each other out in so many ways, it's almost impossible to choose a winner.

But I couldn't write this and then not make my mind up.

So, I'm going for...Mike Tyson! I think Tyson would be able to knock Ali out. Never has a single fighter been as feared as Tyson was, and I think even Ali would be a little intimidated.

If, however, it went to a judge's decision, Ali would probably just nick it.

So there you go, I've predicted both of them to win! I really can't choose between them, but I would be interested to hear who the readers think would triumph in a one-off match with both fighters in their prime.

Let the debate begin!