Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who knocked out a diminished version of Mike Tyson back in 2002, told fans via Twitter on Tuesday that he’d have beaten any version of Tyson ever.
The debate started off when a fan tweeted a question to Lewis asking how the bout would have gone had both fighters met during in their prime years.
“The same,” Lewis replied.
“I’d have to dispute that, no disrespect to you,” argued a particularly passionate Tyson fan. “You beat everything that was put in front of you, but Tyson was a different level.”
Lewis simply wasn’t having it.
“Really?” asked the heavyweight champion of social media. “So tell me…when was his prime?”
Next up, Lewis tagged Mike Tyson into the conversation and told him he was about to have a debate with fans about whether or not Tyson would’ve KO’d Lewis in his prime.
“First, let’s establish his prime years,” said Lewis. “What were they?”
When the particularly passionate Tyson fan in question didn’t reply fast enough, Lewis filled in the dates for him.
“If you say 1985-1990 Tyson, we would have never fought. I was an amateur until 1989. When I was going for gold in the Olympics, Mike Tyson was conquering the heavyweight division.”
Lewis told fans he never would’ve faced Tyson in the 1980s anyways, and that the two never would have fought while Tyson was in his prime unless “Tyson pulled an Ali-Spinks.” Moreover, Lewis took umbrage to those saying Tyson’s competition during that time was better than what Lewis faced during his runs as champion in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“He never faced anyone like me,” said Lewis. “So knocking out Mike Spinks is quite different.”
Lewis said Tyson’s win over Larry Holmes couldn’t really be counted, and that the other guys Tyson fought when unifying titles in 86-87 “were solid fighters…but not of historical levels.”
Lewis ended things by saying he recognized Tyson’s accomplishments as one of the best heavyweights in history.
“He was a great fighter and youngest [heavyweight] champ ever,” said Lewis. “Mike and I made history together and apart. That can’t be taken away from either of us. Me versus Mike Tyson, prime vs. prime, is no more reality than me vs. Jack Johnson. We made history together. [That’s] all that counts.”
Well that, it seems, and laying the wood to fans on Twitter who disagree with him.