You do not need to be a boxing follower to understand that Mike Tyson is as he’s conveniently one of one of the most well-known professional athletes ever before to stroll the planet. Yet I would certainly venture a guess that not many people, consisting of several boxing fans, do not know that Jose Ribalta is. And it’s absolutely OK if you do not.

For those uninformed, Ribalta was Tyson’s 26th challenger as an expert and his second-to-last opponent prior to he came to be the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history at age 20. He’s also the man Tyson says was his greatest opponent as well as had the most effective chin of any guy he ever encountered Just how’s that for some full marks from a person that conflicted the likes of Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis?


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But the amusing thing is that Ribalta, that took whatever Tyson had at that time as well as still desires an additional chance at him to this particular day, says that Iron Mike isn’t the hardest hitter he ever before stepped in the ring with.

Mike Tyson claims Jose Ribalta was the best challenger he ever before faced.

Tyson and also Ribalta met at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City on August 17, 1986. Tyson, the top-ranked competitor by the WBA and also the second-ranked challenger by the WBC, had been annihilating the heavyweight division since his very first pro battle in March 1985 as well as came into the battle with an ideal 25-0 record that featured 23 knockouts. Ribalta, a 23-year old Cuban who transformed professional in 1982 at the age of 18, was available in with a 22-3-1 mark and also was placed 8th by the WBC.

Many presumed Tyson would certainly end the battle rapidly, and also it appeared that would be the case when he landed this ferocious uppercut in the 2nd round.

But to the shock of everyone, most likely also consisting of Tyson himself, Ribalta bounced right back up, and the battle was on from there.

Both landed a number of tough shots as the battle took place, and Tyson again knocked down Ribalta in the eighth. Once again, the young Cuban returned for even more. Iron Mike knocked Ribalta down again in the 10th as well as last round, yet Ribalta made it to his feet again. Tyson proceeded his attack, and referee Rudy Battle evidently assumed Ribalta had had enough as he called the round at the 1:37 mark, much to Ribalta’s dismay as he wished to continue.

Tyson later told Ring Publication Ribalta was the toughest opponent he ever before encountered and additionally had the best chin, claiming, “I struck Jose Ribalta with every little thing, and also he took whatever and also maintained coming back for even more.” Yet this had not been the last time both would go across courses.

The Cuban idea he was going to get the title shot Buster Douglas received and also was later on Iron Mike’s competing companion

Simply over five months after his TKO victory over Ribalta, Tyson notoriously knocked out Trevor Berbick to end up being the WBC heavyweight champ. Three and a half months later, he defeated James Smith to win the WBA title, as well as simply a few months afterwards, he became the indisputable heavyweight champion of the globe by taking the IBF title from Tony Tucker. Iron Mike racked up knockout success in each of his following 6 fights, leaving him with a 37-0 record as the 1980s ended.

Meanwhile, Ribalta closed out the decade with a winning touch of his own. After his loss to Tyson, he racked up eight successive victories, including a first-round ko of former heavyweight champ Leon Spinks, and closed the ’80s with a document of 31-4-1.

Feeling he ‘d done sufficient to get one more shot at Tyson, Ribalta believed he was going to get his chance in Tokyo in early 1990. But he claimed Don King had not been having it (h/t

” Don King did not desire me to fight Mike Tyson so what Don King did was choice Buster Douglas, yet he undervalued Douglas. He did not want me to eliminate Tyson due to the fact that he knew I would give him a hard battle.”

King certainly wasn’t the only one to undervalue Douglas. Tyson entered into their February 1990 battle in ordinary shape and paid the rate for it, losing by means of 10th-round ko in what many think is the greatest upset in boxing background.

Ribalta never did get his title shot yet did reach step in the ring with Tyson once more, just this time as a competing partner when Iron Mike made his return following a three-year prison sentence. But Ribalta is still holding out hope for one more match.

Ribalta says Iron Mike isn’t the hardest hitter he ever before faced and intends to action in the ring with Tyson one more time

After not obtaining his shot at Tyson in 1990, Ribalta’s profession worsened, and he came to be called among those journeyman fighters that was constantly willing to step in the ring at a minute’s notification. In the third-to-last battle of his job, he was knocked out by Vitali Klitschko, who won the WBO heavyweight crown just over a year later on. Ribalta lost to Chris Byrd, who later on upset Klitschko to win that exact same title, in his following outing. He was after that knocked senseless by Razor Ruddock in October 1999 as well as called it quits, ending his job with a 38-17-1 record.

When it comes to that Ribalta thinks was the hardest hitter he ever encountered in his 56 battles, that honor remarkably does not belong to Tyson but to James “Bonecrusher” Smith, who defeated Ribalta using split decision in April 1985.

Tyson, certainly, retired in 2005 after an embarrassing loss to family member unknown Kevin McBride yet made his go back to the ring late last year in an extremely publicized exhibit bout with Roy Jones Jr. Ribalta, currently 58, was not impressed as well as genuinely assumed he would be selected as Iron Mike’s opponent.

” I assumed I was going to be chosen because even after we boxed in 1986 you had countless individuals intending to see the rematch between me as well as Mike Tyson. Especially after paying so much cash, people want to see individuals obtain struck … it was a good fight but there needs to have been extra call.”

Jose Ribalta on Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr
. Ribalta, who currently functions as a security personnel and also maintains himself in good shape, states he’s still going to step in the ring with Tyson or any other big-name heavyweight taking the exhibit course these days. While the possibility of that happening is slim to none, you simply never understand in boxing these days.

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