I always dislike taking a fighter from a particular night tbh. 'Duran of Montreal' for example, for me it's sufficient to just consider a 'Duran at 147', who only lost one fight at the weight and had more fights there than most people like to remember. '147 Duran' was a great fighter over the balance of his tenure at the weight, so it's all good. Same here, I mean, it's just 'prime Tyson' vs 'prime Louis' imo, which means Louis of Schmeling, and other fights and also Tyson of Spinks, of other fights. If I consider them only on their very most impressive nights, then it clouds my judgement and makes me think of them as somewhat invincible, which they are not. What I'm saying is, Tyson may be able to take advantage of things that Schmeling couldn't on thst pariticular night, and Louis may be able to what Spinks couldn't on that particular night. Sorry if that was too much text for what I'm trying to say there.
Anyhow, on the surface, I would say that stylistically Tyson has more positives than Louis does. Tyson, over the balance of his career, has shown that one style which is potentially bad for him is a mauling and or physically imposing fighter who fights with stiff jabs and pushes Tyson on the back foot. This can only be done with quality however, I don't think a guy like Dereck Chisora could simply waltz in there with no fear and a good chin and get the job done, I don't thinkl even someone like Joe Frazier would do it. I think Sonny Liston would beat the shit out of Tyson in the same vein as Buster Douglas did, and yes, I credit Douglas with a win over prime Tyson. Tyson is my favourite fighter of my lifetime, and my favourite man in boxing, and I've been a Tyson apologist for many years, but some time ago I ditched that, and had to rate the win for Douglas well. If Tyson has mental weakness issues and Douglas has mental strength issues then it is what it is. Credit to Buster. On Tyson taking advantage of Louis, I think that Louis is not the swarming figure that would mean really bad stylistic problems for Tyson, although his jab is one of the heaviest of all time, he took his time and scanned his man well before letting go, rather than marauding in with caution to the wind. A great boxer was Joe Louis, fine footwork, a better defense than some give credit for, and maybe the best finisher of all time for pound for pound, which is derived from how great a combination puncher he was. He was equipped with the tools to dispatch at the first spotting of the opportunity, and he was absolutely out of this world when he took that opportunity. I think this is actually a good thing for Tyson in the most sense that that can be possible for a Joe Louis opponent. Tyson was a fantastic counter puncher. when men tried to box him at range in his prime, he loved it, because his head movement in conjunction with his fantastic combination punching meant that he would slip a jab and effectively begin the fight ending process, due to the devastating punishment he would dish out for his opponents mistake. Joe Louis standing at range and assessing Tyson with jabs could lead to Tyson landing heavy heavy bombs all over Louis' chin and body.
Tyson has a stronger chin that Louis. Tyson has heart, people sometimes confuse heart for will to win in my experiences discussing boxing down the years. Tyson took many lumps like a soldier, you didn't ko this man with one punch and or even hurt him and see him curl up in a ball running for cover. What he did lack though, was will to win, he took his punishment with the air of a warrior, and that's brought tears to my eyes when I've watched it over and over again. But he never won a fight which took a turn for this worse, ever. He lacked the will to win that Nigel Benn called upon from deep within against Gerald McLellan, the will to win that Marvin Hagler showed against Thomas Hearns, the ability to turn a losing situation into a winning one. Joe Louis won great fights, which had great drama in the interests of both fighters, not just for himself. Joe Louis had a great will to win. It's this that makes me HAVE to entertain the thought that any stylstic issues in favour of Tyson may be ultimately rendered academic.
Not only am I going to entertain them, I'm going to give them weight.
Consider this- Louis flashes a jab at Tyson, Tyson slips and closes the distance fast, his feet are in like lightning and he lands a three punch combo that has Louis down. Louis is up and Tyson moves in to finish it, Louis trades, because he has combinations to match Tyson and in the heat of a not so one sided exchange he even holds the trump card. Tyson eats the greatest combination he has ever had the privelege of tasting and gets cut. In these scenarios I know in the back of my mind that things go down hill for Mike Tyson.
It's hard for me to say. We're seeing probably the two greatest finishers in heavyweight history in the ring together, Tyson probably has the first opportunity to actually finish it, but he is facing someone that is more difficult to finish than he is himself. It's just that when Tyson is finished the process just takes longer than we like to admit. Sometimes the process takes multiple rounds, but the fact is, when facing a great fighter who can impose his will, Tyson surrenders mentally a good few rounds before he actually takes the knock. He always took it like a man and this would be no different.
I think that Tyson could ko Louis outright, he has the power, he has the skills, and he was a counter puncher as good with both hands as Max was with the right.
I think that Louis can win a war of attrition and beat the will to win out of Mike Tyson, just as Buster Douglas did.
I can always speculate that if Tyson would have dropped Douglas for the count in the infamous long count incident then Tyson would have overcome mental weaknesses in the future, due to the fact that he would have been credited with an atg come from behind ko win in his prime. He might have went on to be able to turn losing situations into winning ones in the future and he may have grown a great will to win to match his great heart. As a life long Tyson fan it hurts me to conclude that this will have to remain speculation, because it never happened.
It isn't etched in stone, I think that either man can take it, and on paper I sway towards Mike, in reality, I have to sway that extra bit towards Louis.
Great thread Sports, I respect your posts and opinions my man.