KEY POINTS

  • Mike Tyson named the only boxer who can take his punches
  • Tyson's only regret in his career is not fighting George Foreman
  • One of Tyson's past opponent said an uppercut lifted him up the floor

Mike Tyson has named the only boxer who can stand in front of him and take his vicious punches.

As far as hitting hard goes, nobody can deny that Tyson really ruled the said category. Back in his boxing days, Tyson made a living out of knocking people out cold inside the ring. Boasting a KO record of 44 out 50 wins, Tyson was definitely a freak of nature. But aside from Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and the few heavyweight legends who were able to withstand Tyson ’ s lethal power, there was one boxer in the 80 ’ s who, even “Iron Mike” thinks, was built to with an iron chin.

In an exclusive interview with Ring TV, Tyson named Holyfield as the best overall fighter among all his past opponents. However, based on Tyson’s calculations, it was a boxer named Jose Ribalta who ate his punches and stood in front of him like a man as he unleashed a flurry of his killer combinations.

“I hit Jose Ribalta with everything, and he took everything and kept coming back for more. Jose Ribalta stood toe to toe with me. He was very strong in the clinches,” Tyson revealed.

Despite lauding Ribalta’s chin, Tyson still stopped him in 1986 via TKO.

In the same interview, Tyson revealed that his only regret in his career is not fighting George Foreman. According to Tyson, he always wanted to “put an end” to conversations about who hits harder between him and Foreman. For some reason, Tyson vs. Foreman never actualized. But Foreman recently revealed that “serious negotiations were going on with the Tyson fight.” However, he thinks that “Iron Mike” was ducking him back then.

The 71-year-old said he had “a feeling, Tyson’s first original trainer and manager, Cus D’Amato, must have told him about George Foreman’s punching power as though he would never come back.”

Mike Tyson Mike Tyson in a white suit. Photo: Reuters

Tyson’s incredible power instilled fear among most of his heavyweight peers. In fact, Julius Francis, a former heavyweight boxing star from Britain who went toe-to-toe with Tyson in 2000, admitted that despite coming into the fight confident, he ended up on the deck just like most of Tyson’s past opponents.

Looking back, Francis honestly said that his impressive physique and brutal fighting pedigree honed on the back streets of south east London could not protect him from Tyson. But ultimately, the one punch that sticks to Francis’ head was an uppercut from Tyson which saw him literally lift his feet off the floor.

“Towards the end of the fight there was one upper cut that lifted me off the floor. That sticks in my memory,” Francis said of Tyson.