Just like Iron Mike, Tiger’s run atop is over. Forever!
Do you agree? See the below facts:
Their Rise To Greatness
Tyson – From 1985 to 1990 Mike Tyson crushed opponents to the tune of 37-0 by early 1990. He was devastating, knocking most of his challengers out in the first few rounds. He put fear in opponents’ souls, as evidenced in the Spinks fight. While the heavyweight era was not as dominant as in years past, he completely destroyed guys like Tucker, Biggs, Tubbs, an old Larry Holmes, and Carl ‘The Truth” Williams. Those 5 years were the greatest of any fighter ever. In terms of pure destruction and ability, Iron Mike was in a class of his own………until February 11, 1990.
Tiger- Coming onto the scene to dominate the 1997 Masters with his unique power and soft touch, Tiger Woods quickly rose to #1. The Tiger Slam from 2000 – 2001 was probably some of the greatest golf ever played. He was unstoppable. His US Open victory at Pebble Beach will continue to be one of the most impressive and dominating victories for many years to come. Tiger did not slow down much and kept knocking off majors. While ’03 and ’04 include no Majors, he was still #1 and quickly got a few more towards Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Major Tournament victories in 2005. By mid 2008, Tiger had collected 14 Majors, winning the last on a broken leg. Popular opinion saw Woods as a lock to pass Nicklaus in the record book. Not so fast my friends……….
February 1990 – Mike Tyson loses to Buster Douglass, a 42 -1 underdog, changing the future of boxing and his legacy forever. Iron Mike never returns to his former glory.
November 2009 – Tiger Woods’ wife, Elin, chases Tiger from house, where he crashes into tree, changing golf and his legacy forever. Woods is yet to return to his former dominance.
The Immediate Aftermath
Tyson – After losing to Buster Douglass, Tyson reals off two 1st round KO’s against Stewart and Tilman. Then he has back-to-back fights with Razor Rudduck, who people forget was actually pretty good. Still, Tyson did not look the same. The 2nd fight went for a Tyson decision. That fight on 6/28/91 was his last until 8/19/95.
Tiger- After the November 2009 incident, Woods takes time off from golf until April 2010, when he returned to Augusta to play in the Masters. Finishing T-4, this would not be a show of things to come, as 2010 ends with no victories for Tiger. 2011 was much of the same, with injuries and non-Tiger-like play, he did not win in 2011 either on the PGA tour.
Sound different? Well the similarities are actually very much there. Let us look at each of their careers after said incidents.
Tyson – In July of 1991 Tyson was arrested and did not fight until 1995. Upon his return he destroyed stiffs like Peter McNeely, Mathis Jr, an aging Frank Bruno and then Bruce Seldon. These guys were just warm ups for an angry Mike Tyson.
Next, Iron Mike gets ready for Evander Holyfield, which at the time was probably the biggest hyped fight of all time. Everyone was talking about it. It had record Pay-Per-View ratings as well. Evander beats Tyson in 11 rounds, but a rematch is declared after much complaining about headbutts.
Tyson vs Holyfield II was bigger than the first. The hype that is. By the end of round 3, Tyson bit Holyfield on the ears twice and was disqualified. This was the beginning of the end of his career. A few more mediocre wins, then in 2002 he was totally dismantled by Lennox Lewis, effectively ending any future title shot. After losing to some journey men fighters, Tyson hangs it up for good.
Tiger- After a few years of injuries and mental fatigue, Tiger bounces back to win some more tournaments. Torrey Pines, Firestone, Bay Hill, etc., his favorite courses where he always seems to win. Tiger racks up some wins in 2012 and some more in 2013. Great golfer for many, but this is Tiger.
Still, one of, if not the best golfer in the world up until late 2013. More injuries, no majors, and major questions regarding if he can pass Mr Nicklaus’s 18 majors. He has posted some top 5’s since the 2009 incident, but has not been in serious contention. Is it in is mind? Is it from swing changes? Are these due to the four knee surgeries and other health issues? I guess only Tiger knows that answer. And now, he fires another swing coach in August 2014.
Tyson – Not much else to say for Iron Mike. Some movie roles, a few interviews, a book, etc. but overall his legacy as one of the better heavyweights of all time. While he was the best for 5 years or so, he did not have the staying power of the greats like Ali, Frasier, etc., so I cannot call him the greatest heavyweight of all time. Still an icon and always will be. Too bad his greatness was so short.
Tiger – ????… However, I see if unfolding as such:
2015: Tiger wins 3 tournaments. Probably Bay Hill and Firestone. But ZERO majors.
2016: Tiger starts off with Masters win. Looks to have gotten momentum back. Injured again. DNP rest of year.
2017: Tiger rebounds for 1 victory and a few close finishes. ZERO majors.
2018: More injuries. A win. A few top 3’s.
2019 – 2030: He has the heart of a champion, but will his body hold up………..
As you can see, it does not take much to have a great year and have no majors. Tiger can still be a top 5 or top 10 golfer and never even be in contention on the back 9 of any major. The game is hard. The game is a battle.
And Tiger lost the battle to beat Jack that November night in 2009.
(image sources: Tiger = wikipedia.com / Tyson = viparmenia.com)