Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali vs Mike Tyson: He might have knocked me out, but only if he could catch me

In 1989, the pair discussed the matchup that never came to fruition

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali once admitted that he might not have been able to handle a punch from Mike Tyson if the two had ever fought.

Ali is widely considered as the greatest heavyweight boxer there has ever been. As far as notoriety goes, Tyson is not far behind at all.

Their careers did not overlap and they never met in the ring. Back in 1989, though, they did meet on a talk show in the USA which is where the revelation took place.

The pair were on the Arsenio Hall show along with fellow boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and the topic of whether Ali could handle a punch from Tyson started to be discussed.

“I was the dancing master and I wasn’t that powerful,” Ali began.

“But I was so fast. If he hit me… [falls asleep]. [But] that’s if he catches me.”

Tyson refused to let all the praise be for him and countered Ali‘s point.

“I’m vain [laughs], I know I’m great, but can I tell you something?” Tyson said.

“In this situation, every head must bow, every tongue must confess: This [Ali] is the greatest of all time.”

That is when Ali arguably paid Tyson the greatest compliment of all.

“He can be modest, humble and nice, but this man is a great and I don’t know what would have happened if he hit me,” Ali stated.

The point was then raised by Tyson that Ali faced punches from other boxing legends that were likely harder than what he could produce.

“You know, I don’t believe that,” Tyson countered.

“The champ [Ali] is very modest because I’ve seen him in the ring with killers.

“Like [George] Foreman[Ernie] Shavers, they hit much harder than I.

“He takes these guys’ greatest punches and that’s what made him such a champion.”

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