Muhammad Ali Was Secretly Scared Of One Boxer And ‘Didn’t Have The Confidence’ To Beat Him
Boxing icon Muhammad Ali secretly admitted that he didn’t believe he could beat a prime Mike Tyson in a dream super-fight.
That is according to boxing legend George Foreman, who asked his former rival if ‘Iron’ Mike “could beat anybody.”
Ali, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 74, called it time on his professional boxing career after defeats to Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.
Tyson, who is a huge admirer of Ali, would burst onto the professional scene during the mid-1980s and built a feared reputation inside the squared circle.
Tyson would become the youngest boxer in history to win a heavyweight title after beating Ali’s former opponent Berbick for the WBC championship in 1986.
The Baddest Man on the Planet famously promised Ali that he would avenge his defeat to Holmes, with Tyson sealing a fourth-round stoppage win in 1988.
Foreman, who was defeated by Ali in their historic Rumble in the Jungle showdown in 1974, made his return to boxing in 1987 after a 10-year hiatus.
The 72-year-old American star revealed that Ali told him he “didn’t have the confidence” that he would have defeated Tyson inside the ring.
“Muhammad Ali told me himself,” Big George told Fiaz Rafiq for the book Muhammad Ali: The Life of a Legend.
“I said to him, ‘Do you think Tyson could beat anybody?’ He said, ‘Man, Tyson hits so hard.’
“He felt Tyson hit harder than anyone he’d faced. He told me once that he didn’t have the confidence he could have beaten Mike Tyson.”
Foreman has previously claimed that Tyson would have been a “nightmare in the ring” and he “didn’t want anything to do” with him.
The former two-time world heavyweight champ believes he never stepped in the ring with Iron Mike due to the boxing legend’s revered trainer, Cus D’Amato.
Tyson’s 37-fight unbeaten streak came to an end in 1990 after a stunning upset caused by Buster Douglas at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.
The 55-year-old American superstar went on to win his next eight fights, including winning his second WBC title with a third-round stoppage win over Frank Bruno.
Tyson, who was plagued with issues outside of the ring, suffered back-to-back defeats to Evander Holyfield in the 1990s and a 2002 defeat to fierce rival Lennox Lewis.
The former undisputed world heavyweight champ retired from professional boxing after defeats to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride.
Tyson has admitted that he “wouldn’t win the real fight” with Ali if they had ever clashed inside the squared circle.
Iron Mike claimed “nobody beats” the Greatest in a fight, saying there was “no man like him.”