Unmasking Mike Tyson’s Most Formidable Foe: The Little-Known Boxer Who Collapsed in Their Fight, Earning Tyson’s Respect

Mike Tyson still reigns as the youngest heavyweight champion in history, following his 1986 knockout over Trevor Berbick aged just 20.

The American legend went on to face some of the biggest names in boxing history.

That includes Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis – but none stand out to Tyson as much as Pinklon Thomas.

Iron Mike knocked out Thomas in round six of their 1987 bout, but one onslaught of combination punching sticks in the memory.

Asked by History Bites on what his hardest fight was, Tyson revealed: “I thought it was Pinklon Thomas, he was my toughest opponent.

“I never thought him, but two years ago I watched the tape of him, a friend of mine told me to watch it.

Mike Tyson Was the Boxer Hollywood Taught Us to Love. What Happened? - The  New York Times

“I hit him with seventeen punches, flat, on the face, he went down but it was seventeen punches!

“Seventeen punches, flush, all of them were as hard as they could be and the last one he just passed out.

“I thought ‘God, that is my toughest fight, he took seventeen on the chin!’”

Thomas, now 65, had a respectable career, winning the WBC title against Tim Witherspoon in 1984.

He went on to retire following defeat to Lawrence Carter in 1993, after bouts against Berbick, Holyfield and Riddick Bowe.

Tyson, 56, meanwhile hung up his gloves in 2005 in the aftermath of dismal defeats to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride.

But he made a shock comeback in 2020 for an exhibition bout against Roy Jones Jr.

And despite speculation over a similar spectacle bout against YouTube star Jake Paul, 26, Tyson confirmed he is staying retired.

He said on his podcast: “No way. I’m not fighting nobody, I’m just chilling.”

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