MUHAMMAD ALI would have “kicked the butt” of Mike Tyson had they met in their primes.
But the boxing legend would have probably struggled against kung-fu king Bruce Lee!
That is the opinion of Ali’s eldest son — one of his nine children — as the debate was sparked recently about which heavyweight figure was better.
In a virtual simulation run by the World Boxing Super Series, Tyson was victorious against the late, great Ali.
And current heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua reckons Tyson, now 53, would have won a hypothetical fantasy fight — a remark with which Iron Mike later disagreed.
But Muhammad Ali Junior believes his famous father, who died in June 2016 aged 74, would have prevailed.
Ali Jnr said: “My father would have kicked his butt. Everybody says Mike Tyson would have kicked my father’s butt. I said no.
He’s not a boxer. He’s a street fighter. He’s a knockout artist. He can never hold up to my father!
“Tyson can’t go the distance. He couldn’t go fifteen rounds.
“He’s not a boxer. He’s a street fighter. He’s a knockout artist. He can never hold up to my father!”
Earlier this week, after beating Ali in a simulation run by the World Boxing Super Series, Tyson said: “I know it’s a fantasy game. Most likely I would win the fantasy.
“I wouldn’t win the real fight. Ali’s the greatest there’s ever been.”
Tyson may have accepted defeat but Ali Jr reckons his dad might have had trouble against a surprise opponent — martial artist Lee. He said: “That would have been a good fight.
“They were both young, they were both agile and both took it to the limit with their training. They both were the best at what they did.
“He’s like the Muhammad Ali of karate. I think it would have been a good fight between my father and Lee.”
Ali Jnr was born in 1972 in Philadelphia to Ali’s second wife Belinda.
The 47-year-old had an unusual upbringing until his parents divorced in 1977, claiming his mum used to “babysit Michael Jackson”.
He has contributed to a new book about his father called Muhammad Ali: The Life of a Legend, written by British journalist Fiaz Rafiq.
Asked what he thinks when he sees the three-time heavyweight world champion on TV, Ali Jr said: “It seems like a dream.
“But I just look at him as daddy. He’s my daddy. I love him and he’s my father.
He said, ‘I care about people being human and not what colour they are’. He said, ‘Look at people and respect them as human beings’.
“I don’t see him as the ‘Greatest of All Time’. I don’t see him as the great humanitarian. I see him as daddy.
“We had a brother-to-brother relationship. His personality is unlike anybody else’s. I’ve never met anybody who had a better personality.
“He said, ‘I care about people being human and not what colour they are’.
“He said, ‘Look at people and respect them as human beings’.
“Another thing he taught me, he said, ‘I don’t care if it’s a Jew, Christian or a Muslim in the same room, as long as they believe in God’.
“My father believed wholeheartedly in Islam. He was ready to die for it. He said, ‘I’m not going to denounce my religion. If I have to face gunfire, I will’.
“Let me put it this way: if my father was a bomb, he’d be like the Hiroshima bomb. That’s how much impact he had on a lot of people.”
The book involves anecdotes from the Ali family, including the time Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta was invited to Deer Lake training camp.
According to daughter Hana, Travolta was told to dance but would tease Ali by saying: “Man, you’ve two left feet.” To which Ali replied: “I only dance in the ring.”
It also recounts the moment he met the Beatles in Miami before fighting Sonny Liston.
According to one journalist, Ali remarked “So, who were those little sissies?” after the Fab Four departed.
Muhammad Ali: The Life of a Legend by Fiaz Rafiq, foreword by Rasheda Ali, is published on May 7 by Arena (£16.99).
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