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The night Mike Tyson was the baddest heavyweight ever

The formidable Pay Per View legend Mike Tyson holds a claim to fame today. He’s the youngest heavyweight champion of all time.

And for one moment in the history of boxing, a fighter named Tyson was – on a single night, simply the most menacing heavyweight fighter that’s ever been.

That’s the view of former trainer Teddy Atlas. It’s hard to disagree with him. The date was June 27, 1988. Iron Mike Tyson was a wrecking machine.

Already the unified and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, many thought a 31-0 Michael Spinks would undoubtedly offer a stern test for ‘Iron’ Mike.

Mike Tyson – The Baddest Man on the Plant

Not so, as Tyson ran over Spinks in a minute and a half of a terrorization never seen before. As Atlas remembers it, ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ was entirely unstoppable.

“That night, Tyson was as good as any fighter has ever been when they got in that ring,” said Atlas when reviewing the ESPN replay of the 91-second demolition on Sports Center.

“Complete supreme confidence, power, aggression, command, being a boss, and smart, too.

“That first knockdown, he hits him with an uppercut. He goes off and finds the opening. He’s calm enough to see the opening for the body shot.

“Then later, he understands after he (Spinks) gets up, when he goes in for the finish, he knows Spinks’ best punch is the right hand. So he’s ready for it, and he makes the right-hand miss and bang. He counters with his right hand.

“That’s intellect. That’s the whole package. Tyson was as good as any heavyweight has ever been that night,” he added.

The Greatest for one night

Could any of the greats from the pre-1980s day have stood up to Mike Tyson that evening? – It would take a brave man to argue that fact.

Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Joe Louis, and Rocky Marciano, to name a few. Would they have been able to withstand a human battering ram with the totally unrivaled speed at that point in time?

It’s a fascinating debate. One of which Atlas is in a prime position to air his ever-inciteful views.

The fear factor of Tyson alone had opponents quivering in their boots as they waited nervously for him to enter the ring.

It was Tyson’s time of dominance and the peak of his powers. Yet he was still three days shy of his 22nd birthday.

Who knows what Tyson would have achieved had he kept his swelling ego and party lifestyle under control for long enough?

As the hunger and desire waned, the need to take out his rival dwindled with it, and in 1990 culminated in fans witnessing the end of an era.

Furthermore, Tyson was never the same again, having hit a stratospheric level at the tender age of 21.

The fact Michael Spinks never fought again tells its own story.

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