drake asked in SportsBoxing · 1 month ago

Who was better in their prime, Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield?

8 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    This is difficult because it is kind of hard to define Hollifield's prime.  I suspect it was around the Bowe trilology.  The first 2 very close with each getting a win and fan man losing.  Evander was very sick for the 3rd and should not have even been in the ring.  But I still say his prime was around this time. However he still looked pretty good during the Tyson fights and in the second Lewis fight.  Yes Lewis was the bigger man who was in his prime at the time , but Evander looked good even though he came up short against an all time great.

    Can we agree Mike's prime was from Berbick to Spinks.  He may have reached his prime a little before Trevor and he could have been on a unnoticeable decline before Spinks. I mean Spinks was beat before the first punch was thrown.  But Mike's prime was around this time.

    Prime Tyson never fought anyone as good as Bowe and probably not as good as the old George Foreman. But Tyson was an incredible force for a short time and I personally think prime Tyson would have knocked out prime Bowe. It is about styles, and I see Tyson killing his body and then coming up for the finish.

    Hollifield did not match up as well with Bowe and often made the foolish mistake of trying to stand toe to toe and outpunch him.  Evander may have won the first fight if he would have boxed more and not trade with the much stronger man.

    So in their prime it is hard.  Tyson was more exciting because of his incredible power.  He also was just very intimidating. Like a young Liston or a young Foreman, Tyson beat most of his opponents before the bell even rang.

    Evander could be exciting too.  He had incredible heart and stamina.  He feared no one and would fight with all he had.  He had great skills but often foolishly did not use them to his advantage.  And yes, he knew some of the dirty tricks of boxing.  Many great fighters did this so don't be too hard on Hollifield for this.

    If I had to pick it would be Hollifield.  But it could be either. Now if we put the prime versions of each in the ring, I favor Hollifield.  He simply was not intimidated at all by Tyson.  That is a huge psychological factor.  But his style was unlike anything Mike faced in his prime.  I see prime Hollifield hurting prime Tyson late in the fight and either gets a unanimous decision or late stoppage.  Styles make fights and Evander was all wrong for Mike.  But I still think prime Mike knocks out prime Bowe.

    Great question and I am sure others  will have different opinions.

  • 1 month ago

    @onthe45- You did a nice write up on the question.  But Tyson was not more than a couple years older than Holyfield.  I really believe that Holyfield would have beat Tyson when both were in their early 20s.  Holyfield was not a big heavyweight, but the had style and craftsmanship.  The man knew how to fight.  Tyson also had a rather weak jaw I believe, and that is why he always went after his opponent immediately; he knew if it went too long he might be ko'd.  Buster (whatever the name was) also was not afraid of Tyson and knocked him out.  The return match was different as Tyson went quickly after Buster, and he being slow, Tyson was able to punch him out. Tyson's character was evil, and he displayed that in his fight with Holyfield.  Personally, I never thought Tyson to be such a great boxer, and better boxers lost to him because they did not fight him smartly.

  • 1 month ago

    Tough question. By the time they fought in 96 Tyson was definitely past his prime, even so he was comprehensively beaten by Holyfield. The thing was, in his prime so many fighters were intimidated by the aura of Tyson but Holyfield absolutely was not. At that level it's about how styles clash and Holyfield knew how to fight Tyson, he counter-punched beautifully in that fight. Having said that, we'll never know what would have happened if they'd met when Tyson was in his prime, say about 88 or 89. And they were due to meet in November 91 but Tyson had to pull out injured. So in answer to your question, I think Tyson was probably more powerful and devastating in his prime but Holyfield was a great fighter himself and knew how to beat him. So ultimately, I would say in the history of heavyweight boxing in the late 80s and 90s they were about even. 

    Antonius; Tyson never had a rematch with Douglas. Also, Holyfield is 4 years older than Tyson. 

  • 1 month ago

    Evander Holyfield.. Tyson was nothing without Gus !

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  • 1 month ago

    Holyfield and it took me less than 2 seconds to decide.

  • Adam
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Tyson was better but wasted it. Holyfield achieved more with the talent he had

  • 1 month ago

    Evander holyfield was better in my opinion. I picked him to beat Tyson back then and that is what happened. 

    They wasn't in their prime when they fought each other, but they were still elite heavyweights going at it. 

  • 1 month ago

    they were probably both good

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