Tyson Rates The Greatest

 

Ex-champ lauds his boxing heroes

If there’s one thing that Mike Tyson knows besides pigeons (and pop culture), it’s boxing. As an up-and-coming

Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson

pugilist, a teenage Tyson spent hours in the fight film library of his late manager Jim Jacobs. So it’s not surprising when you ask him about some of his favorite fighters, he’ll start rattling off names ranging from well-known names including Sonny Liston, Sugar Ray Robinson, George Foreman and Joe Frazier to more obscure boxers like Jim Jeffries and Jimmy Wilde. After plenty of going back and forth, these are the names the man once known as Kid Dynamite came up with.


Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali

1. Muhammed Ali (Fought professionally from 1960 to 1981. Record was 56-5 with 37 KOs)

 

“Ali was just the guy because he inspired people from all different spheres of life. That’s what makes him the Greatest of All Time. It’s what he could do. Everyone knows who Helen Keller is, but nobody knows who Anne Sullivan is. Anne Sullivan was the inspiration to Helen Keller, but she’s lost to history. I’m the guy who looks at who molded people. Muhammed Ali inspired so many people from so many different fields of life, nationalities and colors.”

 

Henry Armstrong
Henry Armstrong

2. Henry Armstrong (Fought from 1931 to 1945. Record was 101-21-10 with 101 KOs)

“He defended the welterweight championship 20 times in two years. That’s a big thing. He did it five times in one month. I like those thoroughbred fighters who’ll fight a guy two months later. I had 15 fights in one year. He had something like 35 fights in one year on the way to the championship.”


Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey

3. Jack Dempsey (Fought from 1914 to 1927. Record was 65-6-11 and one no contest and 51 KOs)

“You have to put Dempsey down there because he made boxing a big business. It was a business before that but he was the first guy to start charging people to come see him train. Dempsey is big because he made boxing a conglomerate where the bankers had to get involved like J. P. Morgan and guys like that. All those guys came to see his fights. We owe so much to him.”


Roberto Duran
Roberto Duran

4. Roberto Duran (Fought professionally from 1968 to 2001. Record was 103-16 and 70 KOs)

“For a little guy, he changed the sport of boxing. He came at the right time when I wanted to be a boxer. When I went in the street all confident, I had no confidence but when I watched him, he was like an absolute madman. I knew I could do that.”

 


Joe Gans
Joe Gans

5. Joe Gans (Fought professionally from 1891 to 1910. Record was 145-10-16. Also had six no contests and 19 no decisions with 100 KOs)

“I know I’m a hater of Floyd Mayweather, but Joe Gans helped invent boxing. He invented the jab. He was so monumental to boxing. Floyd Mayweather really reminds me of Joe Gans—he’s so in control. Gans fought everybody and fought the best in every division. He was the only black person in Baltimore with a car. He might have been the only person in Baltimore with a car.”

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Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of Massapequa Observer and Hicksville News, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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