Mike Tyson is an icon among heavyweight boxers, and he etched his legacy during the era of the 1980s and 1990s.
Spanning over three illustrious decades from 1985 to 2005, Tyson’s professional boxing journey comprised an impressive total of 58 bouts. Within this span, he won an astounding 50 matches and lost six matches. 44 of those victories came by way of knockout.
Despite his resounding dominance, Tyson encountered defeats at the hands of formidable opponents. Evander Holyfield secured victory over Tyson twice in the 1990s. Lennox Lewis delivered a knockout blow in their 2002 bout.
Additionally, Buster Douglas, Danny Williams, and Kevin McBride emerged as the victorious rivals who managed to knock out Tyson during his iconic career.
However, Tyson never once identified any of them as the opponent who could withstand his blows.
That honor belongs to Jose Ribalta, against whom Tyson competed in August 1986 in his 26th match at the tender age of 20.
In the tenth round of the match, Tyson won by technical knockout. The event took place at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
With this win, Tyson made 26 matches without losing any. Before losing his first professional match in 1990 against Douglas, he had been the unchallenged heavyweight champion of the world from 1987 until that point.
Reflecting on his career in a 2014 Q&A with Ring TV, Tyson unequivocally expressed his respect for Ribalta’s unmatched tenacity. He affirmed that Ribalta absorbed Tyson’s blows with unwavering determination, standing firm.
Recalling the bout, Tyson recounted: “I hit Jose Ribalta with everything, and he took everything and kept coming back for more. Jose Ribalta stood toe to toe with me. He was very strong in the clinches.”
Mike Tyson’s legendary career was woven with unparalleled wins and memorable encounters. Amidst his numerous victories and setbacks, the name of Jose Ribalta is a special one as he endured Mike Tyson’s punches and stood strong.