Mike Tyson was Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali – that good for one night

Mike Tyson Michael Spinks


‘ The Baddest Man on the Planet’, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson has again been compared to any of the greats in any sport for his performance on one fateful night in 1988.

Teddy Atlas, who trained Tyson during his early days before the pair had a falling out, had lauded Tyson before for his victory over Michael Spinks.

In a recent episode of his ‘The Fight With’ podcast, Atlas reiterated those words and elaborated considerably.

He said: That particular night he was as good as any heavyweight in the history of the sport. That night, he was calm, controlled, and supremely confident.

“Tyson was like Michael Jordan in basketball. You can’t beat me. I control the universe.

“When you’re at that level, even in a chaotic place, you see sense. You’re calm in an uncalm place and that was Tyson.

“That night Mike Tyson had it all. Calmness, speed, and power. I don’t think anyone could beat him that night.

“Tyson knew that he wanted to convey a feeling to Spinks so he came out hot and fast, but calculating. He wanted the guy to be on the back foot and be set for that right hand.

“He was sending a message. When he backed him into the ropes in the first round he hits him with a left uppercut and he goes over and he finds the body boom!

“The first knockdown. Clean and brilliant. No one gives credit for that. Then Spinks gets up he gets the count he’s ready.


“Tyson starts coming in casual like he’s going to get his kid ice cream, but he knows what he’s doing he is completely in control of his moment. He knows the guy is desperate.

“He’s gonna throw his signature punch, the ‘Spinks Jinx’. He (Tyson) moves and makes him miss. In a millisecond, he counters back with his own right hand.

“Spinks never saw the punch it was perfect. Spinks fell threw the ropes trying to get up.

“That night he was Jack Dempsey, he was Joe Lewis and he was Mohammad Ali. You pick any guy he was all of them. He was that good.

“Maybe I should have said this a while ago, but Tyson was as good as any heavyweight that night,” he added.