Mike Tyson vs Deontay Wilder – Who would win?
Since the beginning of human existence we have engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Fighting is a universal language all cultures and nationalities understand. Boxing, in particular, has been an Olympic sport since 688 BC when it was performed in ancient Greece. About 300-500 years ago boxing evolved from its origins into “prize fighting.” After the creation of the London Prize Ring Rules, the sport evolved into the more popularly known Queensbury Rules system. Throughout the sport’s history there have been a plethora of greats in every decade and every century of the sport’s existence. A prevailing question throughout time as been, “Can fighter ‘X’ beat fighter ‘Y’ in each of their prime?” This series will pit several of the sport’s best against each other and we will evaluate the potential results of these fantasy matchups.
Mike Tyson (late 1980’s) vs Deontay Wilder (current)
Mike Tyson-Brief Glance
“Iron” Mike Tyson (50-6) struck fear in the hearts of fighters during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In 2003 The Ring magazine conducted a list of the 100 most powerful punchers of all time in which Tyson was named the 16th most powerful puncher of all time. Experiencing a troubled childhood, Tyson (age 16 at the time) would eventually come into the care of famed boxing coach Cus D’Amato. D’Amato stated from the beginning he felt Tyson would become the youngest heavyweight champion of all time. D’Amato was known for creating the “Peek-A-Boo” style and coaching such legends as Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres.
He was unable to see his belief come to fruition as D’Amato passed away in 1985, about one year and three weeks prior to Tyson winning the WBC heavyweight title. Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history at 20 years and four months, a mark that still stands to this day. By the end of his career, which ended in June 2005, Tyson earned 50 career wins with 44 of those via TKO/KO. That equals to an 88% win rate via knockout.
Tyson’s X-Factors to Victory
One word can be used to describe Tyson. Power. Known for stringing together some of the deadliest combos in the sport’s history, one of Tyson’s keys to victory over Wilder is power. Utilizing the “Peek-A-Boo” style, Tyson uses lots of dips and slips while on defense, eliminating the chance to be caught by a Wilder right hand. Tyson would want to use his quick, pressuring footwork and ability to avoid shots to move in on the “wild” Wilder who can get caught up in swinging for the fences. Frank Bruno, former WBC heavyweight champion who Tyson defeated for the title stated, “To be hit that hard- I deserved that payday.” The prominent question of Tyson’s ability is, “How hard does he really hit?”
Measuring the Power
In 1985 a group of researchers in Great Britain conducted research of Bruno’s punching power. An exact excerpt from the research states, “Within 0.1 s of the start the punch had travelled 0.49 m and attained a velocity on impact of 8.9 m/s. The peak force on impact of 4096N (0.4 ton), attained within 14 ms of contact, represents a blow to the human head of up to 6320N (0.63 ton). The transmitted impulse generated an acceleration of 520 m/s2 (53 g) in the target head. For comparison an equivalent blow would be delivered by a padded wooden mallet with a mass of 6 kg (13 lbs) if swung at 20 mph.”
Many of that era saw Tyson and Bruno’s strength to be pretty even though Tyson owns two TKO victories over Bruno (round 3 and round 5.) That force also equals about 1,600 joules which is similar to standing on seven foot high stilts and falling to the ground, face first. Another of those to experience this level of Tyson’s strength first hand is former champion Larry Holmes. Sporting a career record of 69-6 only one of those losses is by way of KO. It came to the hands of Tyson in the 4th round of their January 1988 bout. Another of those prominent champions of the time, Trevor Berbick, was a professional boxer for 24 years. In the last 21 years of that career, Berbick suffered one TKO/KO. That was his bout with Tyson where Tyson won via 2nd round TKO in November 1986.
Deontay Wilder-Brief Glance
Deontay Wilder (42-0-1) is arguably at the peek of his career. The “Bronze Bomber” earned a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the heavyweight division. Wilder began boxing at the age of 20, the same age Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. Wilder’s lone victory via decision came on the day he won the WBC World Heavyweight Championship in January 2015. In December 2012 Wilder won his first title, winning the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title. Since defeating Bermane Stiverne for the WBC world title, Wilder has successfully defended the title 10 times heading into his February 22, 2020 rematch with lineal champion Tyson Fury.
The 6’7″ Alabama native stands with an impressive 83″ reach. Wilder’s training comes from a strong pedigree, learning from 1984 Olympic gold medalist Mark Breland. Currenly Wilder trains under Jay Deas, who created Skyy Boxing in 1995 in Northport, Alabama. Deas and Wilder have been on quite the journey since Wilder strolled into Deas’ gym in 2005 looking for a full time trainer.
Wilder’s X-Factors to Victory
Similar to Tyson’s biggest strength, it boils down to power. Known for having the most dangerous right hand in boxing for this era, many can attest to it’s power. Lineal champion Tyson Fury stated, “It’s no secret Anthony Joshua did not want this [Wilder] fight and he didn’t want it for a reason. Because Deontay Wilder is the most fiercest puncher in boxing history, in the heavyweight division. And I saw that and I felt that. No wonder AJ didn’t want no part of that right hand!” Former title challenger Luis Ortiz stated of Wilder’s power, “His right hand is more powerful then one could imagine. His power is like a whip type of punch, like Thomas Hearns. He’s got long arms ya know. Wilder is the best heavyweight of this millennium and deserves everything he gets. He’s earned that in the ring.”
In addition to his 98% knockout for victory ratio, Wilder has gone to the seventh round or later in seven of his last 11 bouts. During that span he earned a record of 10-0-1 (6 KOs) with two late knockouts over Ortiz (rounds 10 and 7.) Wilder also should his ability to pour it on late with his highlight reel 11th round knockdown of Fury in their first bout. Wilder’s dynamic punching power seems to stick with him even deep into bouts.
Tale of the Tape
Mike Tyson Deontay Wilder
50-6-2 Record 42-0-1
44 Wins by Knockout 41
5’10 Height 6’7″
71in Reach 83in
30 seconds Quickest Knockout 26 seconds
16 World Title Fights 11
Who Comes Out on Top?
This fantasy matchup is all about power. Both of these boxers are considered two of the fiercest power strikers of all time. This bout could boil down to Wilder’s defense. Can you defend the Tyson onslaught and deadly combos? Wilder shows tendencies to be more of a “brawler” than a boxer per se. It is very unlikely Wilder can keep up with the speed and pressure of Tyson early in the bout but Wilder has shown he has true one punch knockout power. In the mist of his dominant reign, Tyson’s downfall began with a 10th round knockout to Buster Douglas. As previously mentioned, the very elusive Tyson Fury was dropped in the 11th round with a huge shot that shocked everyone he was able to survive. Does Iron Mike rise from the same shot?
Quotes From the Fighters
Recently Wilder stated on the matter, “My hand speed, I’m too long, I’m too tall, my athleticism, my feetwork, all that gives me an advantage, it plays a big part. No disrespect to Mike Tyson. In his era he was the best but this is a new era. No old-school fighter should beat a new-school fighter. Look at the technology we have. Nobody has a natural killer instinct as I do, ain’t anybody could ever knock me out. I’m very confident in what I say and I speak what I do.”
Tyson responded by stating, “I don’t know (whether I’d beat him). I love the fact that he thinks that, because that’s the way I would think as well. He’s supposed to think that way, he is the heavyweight champion of the world and that’s something very special.” Former champions Lennox Lewis and Shannon Briggs have a differ of opionon with Wilder, siding with Tyson in the duel.
Let us know at MyMMANews who you think would win this dynamic fantasy matchup. In my opinion as the writer I think I’ll side with Mike Tyson via round 6 TKO. Tyson’s pressure and defense will overwhelm Tyson not giving him the space he needs or wants to land that huge right hand.