If you didn’t read the first part of this article describing the rules for these real life boxing matches with characters from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, you can read it here.
We’ve reached the portion of the game where I have virtually no shot of beating any of these characters in an actual boxing match, but let’s look into it anyway.
Bald Bull, 36 years old
It’s time for the heavyweight portion of the lineup of boxers. Bald Bull is 6’2″ and between 290-298 lbs. He and I would see eye to eye but he’s easily got 80 pounds of solid muscle on me. Bald Bull throws three different punches: a spinning jab, a quick hook that he hitches before unleashing, and an uppercut that is delivered so smoothly that it’s difficult to judge when he’s beginning to throw it. He also does his Bull Charge, and given that 75% of the time I can’t time my counter correctly in the game there’s no way I’m slipping in a body blow in real life if he does one.
Could I have beaten Bald Bull at 36?
An emphatic no. I’m not even going to entertain the possibility. At 36 I was essentially how I am now at 39, except I recovered from athletic activity a little more quickly. I was old, weak, and out of shape. Given Bald Bull’s weight and strength advantages, as soon as he puts leather to a soft and flabby portion of my body I’m going down. I could weather the jabs and possibly his hook given that he telegraphs it, but he quickly follows with the uppercut and I’m not going to be able to get out of the way. I don’t even need to worry about the Bull Charge because I’m not lasting that long.
My prediction: Bald Bull KOs me in the first round
Soda Popinski, 35 years old
At 6’6″ and 237 lbs, Soda Popinski is the first fighter who truly towers over me, even at 6’3″. Soda has a fairly eclectic repertoire of punches, including a jab that he throws in sets of three, a variety of lazy hooks, and an intense uppercut thrown from an impossible 90 degree angle. A lot of what he throws isn’t terribly difficult to deal with except for the uppercut, which he throws from so close to you that you have next to no time to dodge it.
Could I have beaten Soda Popinski at 35?
Ah 35. I was finally old enough to be President of the United States, something more likely to occur than me beating Soda Popinski in a boxing match. All of my mid-30s were a blur of body mediocrity, lethargy, and couch sitting. Despite all of this, Soda Popinski offers the best opportunity, albeit a very remote one, for me to win one of these final five matchups. Soda’s hook isn’t too difficult to deal with. He doesn’t put a lot of effort behind it and it’s easy to see coming. I can work in a few combinations before he gets to the uppercut, at which point it’s over. Even though Soda has a natural reach advantage he negates it by getting so close to you, but as I mentioned this hardly matters because the close proximity makes it very difficult to dodge him. My only chance of winning would be by getting enough damage in to take him down before he starts throwing uppercuts.
My prediction: Soda Popinski KOs me in the first round unless he forgets that he can throw uppercuts, in which case I win by KO in round two.
Mr. Sandman, 31 years old
Mr. Sandman is gigantic. At 6’5″ he’s nearly Soda Popinski’s height and he weighs 284, so he’s built like Bald Bull on an even larger frame. Everything I said in the section related to Bald Bull also applies here because they have the same fighting style. Like trainer Cus D’Amato said about fighting and his trainee Mike Tyson echoed, Mr. Sandman’s punches are thrown “with bad intentions.”
Could I have beaten Mr. Sandman at 31?
No. Of course not. At 31 I was a slightly spryer and thinner version of my current self. Plus I had just gotten married so it was time to stop trying and full on go to seed. Mr. Sandman would punish me, and quickly. I do not think I’d be able to even slip in a counter-punch.
My prediction: Mike Tyson’s 91 second knockout of Michael Spinks in 1988 would feel like an eternity compared to this fight. Mr. Sandman KOs me inside of 30 seconds in the first round.
Super Macho Man, 27 years old
Pfft, 6’4″ 242 lbs. I thought I was fighting actual fighters at this point. He doesn’t even top 250! Super Macho Man fights like Soda Popinski but better. On top of throwing uppercuts from ridiculous angles, his arsenal contains the Super Spin Punch, which is only slightly more difficult to time than anything else I’ve unsuccessfully face up to this point. This twisting Adonis outclasses me.
Could I have beaten Super Macho Man at 27?
Yeah no. I will say that 27 was probably the last time I was actually in shape. I moved to NYC and started law school, spent most of my hours in the library and learned how to drink whiskey. Despite my last gasps of youthful vitality, Super Macho Man would make quick work of me. If by some chance he laid off the uppercuts long enough to give me a false sense of security, the Super Spin Punch would send me into the first row, UNLESS I take the opportunity to punch him in the back of his head when he’s about to wind up.
My prediction: If I punch him in the head I lose by DQ in the first round. Otherwise Super Macho Man enrolls me in the 27 club in round one.
Mike Tyson, 21 years old
At 21, Mike Tyson was the best boxer in the world. 5’11 1/2″ 220 lbs, a combination of speed and power that bowled over people who did this for a living and did this well. I know he threw uppercuts. He might have had other punches but I never lasted long enough to see them.
Could I have beaten Mike Tyson at 21?
Could I have beaten one of the best heavyweight boxers in the history of the sport as he was entering his prime? Well, let’s see. What was I doing at 21? I was a senior in college. I was writing a senior thesis about the Postmodern Road films of David Lynch and working as a Resident Assistant in Gibbons Hall at the Catholic University of America. Also 9/11 happened, which doesn’t really have any bearing on this but is one of those things you’re supposed to mention. Aaron Carter may have beaten Shaq in basketball, but no, I do not think I could have beaten Mike Tyson. I never beat Tyson in the video game, and the animated version never tried to kill anybody in the ring.
My prediction: Tyson wins one of two ways: 1) I run away, or 2) Moe Szyslak swoops in wearing the Fan Man apparatus and airlifts me to safety. Bonus is that I keep my face.
So that’s it. I acquitted myself much better than this on Wednesday.
Who were your favorite fighters in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.