Frank Warren doesn’t believe Mike Tyson is in the running when it comes to selecting the greatest heavyweights of all time.
When Tyson was in his prime, he was one of the fiercest knockout artists that boxing has ever seen, and even now, aged 55 and long retired, Iron Mike is one of the most popular boxers to date.
In 2020, when he made a comeback for an exhibition against Roy Jones Jr, he was met with a rapturous reception.
However, the debate arises when his overall greatness is brought into question.
Warren spoke to talkSPORT last year ahead of Tyson’s return and was pretty scathing in his analysis.
“Mike Tyson, when he was young and first got into boxing, he was exciting. He sort of captured the public’s imagination in devastating style.
“He won a world title, and everybody was talking about him. For me, he was one of the most exciting young heavyweights.
However, he doesn’t get in my top 10 because he did not last the course. He was sodding around, drugging it and boozing, went to prison. He just didn’t do it for me.
In 1986, at only 20 years of age, Tyson was crowned the youngest heavyweight champion in history.
Just two years later, he had accumulated all the relevant titles, but following a loss to Buster Douglas in 1990, the boxer was never quite the same again.
“A lot of the fights that he had, he beat the guys before they got in the ring,” Warren continued to explain.
“He intimidated them. He was a street guy. Most guys in boxing come from the streets, and he had the beating of them. But he could never intimidate Evander Holyfield and he didn’t intimidate Buster Douglas.
“When I put him in with Danny Williams in the latter stages of his career, I said to Danny, ‘just tuck up for a couple of rounds. He’ll be like vintage Mike Tyson for a round or two rounds, then you’ll do a job on him.’ That is what he did.
“As a young man, he was very, very exciting and you’ve always got those fights that you think about. At his best, would he have beaten Muhammed Ali at Ali’s best? They would always have been great fights.
“But I don’t think he would’ve beaten Sonny Liston, I don’t think he’d have beaten Larry Holmes, I don’t think he’d have beaten Ali, I don’t think he’d have beaten Joe Frazier, and I certainly don’t think he’d have beaten George Foreman.”
Whilst his legacy and brilliance cannot be denied, there is clearly some merit behind the debate into his overall greatness.