As a young boxer, jabbing his way up the ranks, Mike Tyson was often compared to Joe Frazier.
High praise? Indeed.
But a side-by-side comparison of the two isn’t that far-fetched.
The two pugilists were very similar in height — Tyson, at 5-foot-10, Frazier, around 5-foot-11 — and both men possessed lethal left hooks, perhaps the two best in the sport’s history. They were also extremely athletic, aggressive and explosive.
“I was very aggressive, and I always took that as an honor,” Tyson told ESPN Las Vegas. “Because when Smokin’ was smoking, he smoked.”
Tyson said he met Frazier on several occasions and shook his hand many times. He remembered him as a remarkable man.
“The way he fought in the ring was the way he lived his life,” Tyson said. “Just very confident. He was always a pleasure to have around and just a wonderful man. He is someone that the boxing world will never forget.”
Tyson said he’s still in awe of what guys like Frazier and Muhammad Ali meant to the boxing world.
“He and Ali were like the vanguards of apex competition, the best fighters in the world fighting with every ounce of blood that they possess,” Tyson said. “It was just amazing just to know that human beings possess that kind of intentional fortitude.”
Tyson’s bout with Marvis
As much respect as Mike Tyson had for Joe Frazier, it didn’t stop him from pummeling the icon’s son, Marvis.
In 1986, Tyson knocked the younger Frazier out in less than 20 seconds, after unleashing a series of jabs and uppercuts. The ref looked at Frazier’s beaten body on the canvas and ended the fight immediately.
Joe Frazier served as his son’s trainer. Marvis finished with a career record of 19-2.