Greatest Battles: Mike Tyson vs Joe Frazier

Published on 13 February 2023 at 21:59

Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former pro boxer. who competed from 1985 to 2005. Nicknamed "Iron Mike"and "Kid Dynamite" in his early career, and later known as "The Baddest Man on the Planet”, Mike Tyson had a reputation as a ferocious and feared competitor.

Joseph William Frazier (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011), nicknamed “Smokin’ Joe”, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1965 to 1981. He was a master of the left hook and first man to defeat Muhammad Ali.


Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier are the two most stylistically compared boxers of the modern era. Both were short, undersized powerhouses who moved down the opposition with brutal left hooks and pressure. Both were heavyweight champions. But, the question is always there. Who was better? Let’s s examine, who had a better career. Let’s find out.


Real name Joseph William Frazier

Nickname Smokin’

Weight Heavyweight 205 lbs prime

Height 5 ft 11.25 in (181 cm)

Reach 73.5 in (187 cm)

Stance Orthodox

Boxing record

Total fights 37

Wins 32

Wins by KO 27

Losses 4

Draws 1



Real name Michael Gerard Tyson

Nickname(s) Iron Mike, Kid Dynamite, The Baddest Man on the Planet

Weight(s)Heavyweight 218 lbs

Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)

Reach 71 in (180 cm)

Stance Orthodox

Boxing record

Total fights 58

Wins  50

Wins by KO 44

Losses 6

No contests 2


Both fighters are of a similar height and reach. Mike Tyson has a 13 pound weight advantage. Let’s see how these bodies worked against the fighters of their respective eras.


Best wins of Joe Frazier: Muhammad Ali, Eddie Machine, Oscar Bonavena, George Chuvalo, Jimmy Ellis, Jerry Quarry

Best wins of Mike Tyson: Trevor Berbick, Larry Holmes, Pinklon Thomas, Michael Spinks, Marvis Frazier, Tony Tubbs.

Thanks in part to instability of the heavyweight title picture and the title being fractured, Mike Tyson has defeated more world champions than Joe Frazier. But those champions were…bums. Joe Frazier was the first fighter to defeat Muhammad Ali. He also is the only man to stop George Chuvalo in 93 fights. Ali had two tries and failed to do so.

Score: Joe Frazier 1 Mike Tyson 0


Losses of Joe Frazier: Muhammad Ali and George Foreman ( Both twice)

Losses of Mike Tyson: Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield( twice), Lennox Lewis, Danny Williams, Kevin McBride

Joe Frazier’s only losses were to the best of his era and one of those names is the greatest of all time. Mike Tyson was defeated by greats in Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, but the rest were unheralded and caught an unmotivated, or older Mike in the cases of McBride and Williams.

Score: Joe Frazier 2 Mike Tyson:0

Power: Joe Frazier won 27 out of his 32 wins for an 84% clip. Mike Tyson won 44 of his 50 wins via knockout for an 88% rate.

Score: Joe Frazier 2 Mike Tyson 1


Durability: Joe Frazier has been floored by Oscar Bonavena twice and George Foreman eight times. He was also defeated by Muhammad Ali in their trilogy by technical knockout. Even in these defeats, Joe Frazier stood up every time. He even won the Bonavena fight.

Mike Tyson has been knocked out by Buster Douglas, Lennox Lewis, Kevin McBride, Evander Holyfield, and Danny Williams.. Tyson has never won a fight when he was down on the canvas.

Score: Joe Frazier 3 Mike Tyson 1

Speed: Joe Frazier was a pressure fighter who lobbed high a variance of f single shots at opponents. However, he often lost the early rounds of fights. Mike Tyson was a combination power boxer who threw an array of hard punches at all angles to overwhelm an opponent. Tyson created a cultural event by knocking opponents out early.

Score: Joe Frazier 3 Mike Tyson 2


Career  Accolades: Joe Frazier was a one time heavyweight champion. Mike Tyson resigned twice with the gold.

Score: Joe Frazier 3 Mike Tyson 3

Defense: Frazier’s opponents landed 27.7% overall, 16% jabs and 35.8% power while Tyson’s foes connected on 34.1% overall, 28.1% jabs and 39.6% power. Frazier was harder to hit.

Final score Joe Frazier 4 Mike Tyson 3


Though, I recently wrote an article believing that Mike Tyson would wipe out Joe Frazier had they fought, their careers as boxers statistically show Joe Frazier having a competitive and contentious edge. I guess you can’t knock the original. But I still think Mike gets the knockout. But personal feelings aside, the data says the better career goes to Smokin Joe Frazier.








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