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Old 01-15-2010, 11:24 AM
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Exhibitman Exhibitman is offline
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Which Tyson--pre or post prison? The pre-prison, Kevin Rooney-trained Tyson was phenomenal. He was shifty, slick and stunningly powerful. Physically, Tyson was a bigger man than Mrciano. Marciano was 5'11" and around 185-190. He had a very short reach. Tyson was 5'11.5" but roughly 20# heavier. Marciano was never the boxer Tyson was in the Rooney years. It would have been a great fight but I think Iron Mike would have won it. Another fellow I put right there in this class but who never gets mentioned is Joe Frazier. Watch the Ali fights, especially the Thrilla in Manila. Frazier's style and skill set are very similar.

I feel any boring-in style smaller man would have had trouble with some of the heavyweight behemoths of late, especially Lennox Lewis [6'5", 250# w/an 84" reach] as trained by Emanuel Steward. Lewis was the best at using size and his arm length jab to his advantage. You're talking a reach disadvantage for Marciano of nearly a foot and a half and 70+ pounds to a guy who isn't a slob like Carnera or Valuev. I don't think any of the small men would have gotten inside enough on Lewis to do real damage but would have gotten cut to pieces in the process of trying, much as Klitschko just cut up Arreola. I'd give them a puncher's chance. That's not to say that Lennox Lewis was the greatest of all time. It is simply that styles make matches. Joe Frazier could not handle George Foreman because he could not adapt his style to a banger like Big George. Ali handled Foreman by adopting defensive tactics to wear him out. Yet Frazier gave Ali fits. Ali versus Marciano or Tyson would have been very similar to Ali-Frazier.

Jack Dempsey would have been a good match for either of them given his ferocious, aggressive style--it would have been very entertaining. I'm not sure who'd have fared better facing the 1919-1920 version of Dempsey. The man was so hardened by that point, he was like a piece of iron. The way he busted up Willard leaves me thinking that he had a jackhammer punch too.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 01-15-2010 at 11:28 AM.
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