Mitch "Blood" Green took Tyson to a decision in Tyson's prime, and Frank Bruno had Tyson out on his feet, but was too stupid to follow up with a headshot in the middle rounds. Tyson was a great fighter early, but he was also fighting a lot of tomato cans. The guys who weren't just trading shots and actually knew how to move like Green never saw a chance in the ring with him after the Green and Bruno fights, Tyson would only have guys like "The Truth" put in front of him. Paper champions who had never done anything.
Tyson would have gotten beaten in his prime by Chris Byrd because the kid was 100% defense and a lefty, and Ike Ibeabuchi and David Tua likely would have killed him if they both hadn't completely self-destructed.
The real amazing talent was Don King, who was able to so rig the system that the best guy Tyson ever had to fight was a washed up Trevor Berbick and a brain damaged and genuinely completely disinterested and decimated Michael Spinks (who had been punched nearly to death by Holmes in their fights but won on his ability to move and jab). Tyson did that and was labeled as the GREATEST.
Then things went south and he HAD to face guys that were actually top 10 fighters like Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, and even losers like Franz Botha.
Tyson is one of the most interesting, quotable, crazy-lifed, open, honest athletes that ever lived. But he was given the keys to the kingdom at a young age and really blew it by just fighting everybody. His opponents were VERY carefully picked early. After he fought Blood then everything changed, and the type of opponent he fought was even more narrow (usually tall lanky guys like The Truth) that he could get inside and decimate. Near the end there was really nobody left for him to fight. Anybody that was bigger than him physically like Douglas and could push him around was not even considered. Holyfield was his only option because they thought his heart problems would end it early, and Tyson would dominate him because Holyfield was a natural cruiserweight who fought at Light Heavy (much like Roy Jones eventually did). That Douglas fight exposed Tyson and laid out the blueprint for guys of any size to beat him. Move, counter, jab, move. Frustration sets in because he can't get inside. Holyfield is the next guy to fight him who isn't scared for a second and does the same thing that the much larger Buster Douglas did and dominated as well. Career over. It's a shame. Tyson could have gone 50-0 and retired as the greatest. But hey... at least once he loosened himself from the Don King death grip he actually took fights people wanted him to take, and didn't make excuses when he got his ass kicked (like Don King did for a year after Douglas beat the holy hell out of him).
R.I.P. Dad. I miss you. You will never be forgotten
1/12/39 - 8/7/08