• July 23, 2024

“Which a Lot of People Felt Was Being Justified Wrongly,” Mike Tyson Goes Back in Time to Pick His Favorite Knockout

A boxer trains in isolation, and the sport per se offers an individual journey. The solitude triggers an appreciation for those who went before. Even some of the greatest looked up to names in the era bygone, drawing inspiration as they create their legacy. Mike Tyson broke the thirty-year-old record of Floyd Patterson by becoming the youngest Heavyweight champion at age twenty. He inspired a generation of boxers and fans as the most formidable knockout artist of the era. But which knockout he took as an example?


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Muhammad Ali remains the signature representative of boxing. Mike Tyson often quotes Ali as one of the greatest influences of his life. In the post-Ali era, boxing and the Heavyweight division, in particular, lacked a face, a symbol to carry forward the greatest’s legacy. Mike Tyson emerged to fill in the vacuum. The youngster refined his techniques at Cus D’Amato‘s workshop. He rode on the back of twenty-five knockouts when he became the WBC Heavyweight champion on November 22, 1986.

The ‘Iron’ knockout, which a young Mike Tyson held in high regard


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If given a chance, one might wonder who the boxing wonder, in his prime, will hand-pick his favorite knockout of all time. During an interview, he was asked, “What was your favorite knockout of all time?” ‘Iron’ Mike responded, “My favorite knockout, I have to recall, is Jersey Joe Walcott, when he was knocked out by Joe Louis in the eleventh round. My reason because a year previous, they fought, and Walcott gave him a beating, outboxed him, outsmarted him, and at the end of the fight, they gave the decision to Joe Luis, which a lot of people felt was [being] justified wrongly.


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On December 5, 1947, Joe Louis, then thirty-three, met Jersey Joe Walcott in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Despite being the underdog, Walcott surprised everyone by sending Louis down to canvas twice during the initial rounds. But it took the winds out of everyone upon learning that Louis won by a split decision despite what looked like an apparent underperformance. Hence to dissuade all naysayers and retire as a title holder, Joe Louis agreed to a rematch next year.

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