I've noticed that in some of the Tyson threads, we always go back to how prime Tyson failed to knock out limited journeymen fighters like Mitch Green, James "Bonecrusher" Smith, James "Quick" Tillis and Tony Tucker. Tyson's critics say that if Tyson couldn't knock out these fighters, he wouldn't be able to beat Ali or Lennox Lewis, even at his best. I've watched all of these fights recently and here are my assessments. You can agree or disagree but this is what I've seen with my own eyes.
Tyson versus Mitch Green-- Green ran and held all night. Fortunately, Green had an above average chin. Tyson landed some hard shots on him, even knocking his dentures into the third row with a savage left hook. Green never allowed Tyson follow up with combinations. He fought a cowardly fight but never gave Tyson the chance to finish him off. By holding, Green wouldn't let Tyson unleash a barrage of punches.
Tyson versus Bonecrusher Smith--All he did was hold. It's a shame too because Marvis Frazier and Tyrell Biggs both said that Bonecrusher punched harder than Tyson. This fight should have been a bloodbath but it wasn't. Smith hugged and slow-danced with Tyson all night, simply to survive.
Tyson versus James Tillis--In my opinion, Tyson lost this fight. He couldn't figure Tillis out. Tillis kept moving and punching from awkward angles. At the time, Tyson was still getting seasoned; Tillis was one of the first ranked contenders Tyson fought. If they had a rematch Tyson would have done better, but prior to this fight, he had never fought a man of Tillis' size that could move so well. Tillis should have won by split decision.
Tyson versus Tony Tucker-- Tucker did well against Mike early on. He staggered him with an uppercut and was winning the rounds until he injured his right hand in the fourth. That's when he stopped throwing that uppercut and right hand, relying only on the jab. If he were 100 %, Tucker would have done much better. After hurting his hand, he did what the other guys did...run and hold.
I have to throw Pinklon Thomas into the mix as well. He was giving Tyson hell with his jab. In my opinion he was the ring general. Tyson had trouble getting near Pinklon because of that jab. Tyrell Biggs also did well against Tyson...for one round. After he tasted Tyson's power, he went into survival mode and was afraid to punch back.