Mike Tyson: How hard does Iron Mike punch? Opponents reveal all

  • Max Emes
Mike Tyson: How hard does Iron Mike punch? Opponents reveal all

Mike Tyson is one of boxing‘s hardest hitters.

Many fighters have had to endure Iron Mike’s wrath in the ring, but the question we all want answers to is just how hard does the legend actually punch?

Well, thanks to talkSPORT, here is a collection of what several boxers have had to say on the American and the power behind his punch.

In 1986, Tyson knocked out Jesse Ferguson in six rounds. It was the first time he had been taken so far into a boxing fight. Talking to the Ring Magazine, Ferguson said: “Tyson was unstoppable when we fought. He caught me with a great shot. He hit me with an uppercut that made my eyes water.

“Tyson was strong and fast, but everything was in his favour as we were in his hometown.”

Following that same year, ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ fought Marvis Frazier in July. In the early days, Tyson made a massive statement by achieving the quickest win of his fantastic career.

Marvis was knocked out in 30 seconds, and this short comment he made to Boxing News says it all: “I threw a jab, and I don’t remember anything else.”

Mike Tyson: How hard does Iron Mike punch? Opponents reveal all
Mike Tyson jabs at Francois Botha in the fifth round at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas January 16. Tyson knocked Botha down later in the same round, and referee Richard Steele stopped the fight, giving Tyson the knockout. SM/SV/KM

After claiming the WBC heavyweight belt against Trevor Berbick, Tyson fought Michael Spinks in 1988. Spinks was the only man left disputing Tyson’s reign at the time.

Another relatively quick knockout, Spinks was on the floor in just 91 seconds. He told the Ring Magazine shortly after the fight: “I knew I had a tough fight on my hands and tried to get through it as best I could and I came up short.

“He had good hand speed. That was one of his biggest assets. He had power and hand speed and that was hard to beat.

“He was very strong. I don’t know what made him so strong. Mike Tyson was mots definitely the biggest puncher I ever fought.”

Mike Tyson: How hard does Iron Mike punch? Opponents reveal all
British heavyweight champion Julius Francis (L) staggers back after a recieving an uppercut from former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson at the Manchester Arena January 29. Tyson beat Francis after the fight was stopped in the second round. DJM/PS/WS

The year 1992 took a significant toll on Tyson’s career and reputation. ‘Iron Mike’ was convicted of rape and was sentenced to prison for six years.

He was released in 1995 after serving less than three years. He immediately came back into boxing as he beat Peter McNeeley in 1995 within one round.

McNeeley told Ring Magazine: “He was all speed, he had blinding fast speed, it surprised me how fast.

“I don’t care what fighter you are – any fighter over 200lbs can punch – but with him, the power and that speed? Deadly combination.”

Mike Tyson: How hard does Iron Mike punch? Opponents reveal all
Heavyweight Mike Tyson (R) punches Andrew Golota during their heavyweight fight in Auburn Hills, Michigan October 20, 2000. Golota refused to come out for the third round and Tyson was awarded a TKO for the win. PP05060142 PJ

Tyson would take up the task of having a final shot of overthrowing Lennox Lewis in the ring in 2002. Lewis had come off a victory over Evander Holyfield to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Unfortunately for Tyson, he was knocked out in the eighth round. Lewis told Boxing News: “Everyone makes the argument that I didn’t beat a young Mike Tyson.

“That argument is wrong because he wasn’t fighting a young Lennox Lewis either. Tyson’s fighting style hadn’t changed. I felt his power in the beginning of the fight.

“He threw a couple nice shots that clipped me and my trainer Emanuel Steward said, ‘Why are you fighting like that? You’re giving him a chance.”

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Below are a few more comments on Mike Tyson and his punching power from some more opponents he has faced in his career.

Larry Holmes: “Tyson’s a good puncher, he’s down low. He was good, he was short and he had to get up to get to you.

“I should have had a tune-up. No excuses, Mike Tyson whupped me fair and square.”

Evander Holyfield: “He was a good fighter, a very talented fighter and he had some skills that other people didn’t have.”

Mike Tyson: How hard does Iron Mike punch? Opponents reveal all
Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield 6-9/11/96 Las Vegas Pic : Sergio Dionisio / Action Images Mike Tyson (rt) and Evander Holyfield (Lt) Boxing

Julius Francis: “I’ve lived a relatively good life and been able to say I became a professional boxer and fought one of the baddest guys who ever boxed.”

Lou Savarese: “The thing about him that’s amazing is there are guys that are strong and there are guys that are fast. He’s strong and fast.”

Danny Williams: “The first thing that shocked me was his punching power. He was so fast as well, it was scary.”

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