Lions are always at the top even when they lose
Most tiger fans make me laugh: they are ignorant. Mostly are Chinese and/or Asians whom they never saw a male African lion in a fight.
The size of the tiger is not a guarantee, as much as the lion’s mane, for winning a fight.
Lions have a very vital advantage; pound for a pound an African (male) lion is much stronger, especially at the forward area.
Let me clarify ‘pound for pound’:
Imagine an ant (insect) the size of an 80kg adult man, since ants can lift at least dozen times their body weight, that’s like 80kg x 12 which is almost 1000kg, now for an adult human that’s impossible. That’s the advantage of lions. Of course, that doesn’t mean that tigers are weak: they are not, though lions are stronger, despite the fact lions are slightly smaller.
Plus, lions tend to fight to the end while tigers tend to run from a fight (not because of cowardice, but a strategy.)
One should never go further, lions in Africa hunt and bring down one of the largest land mammals in the world, while tigers mostly hunt gazelles, antelopes and occasional big bovines, nothing impressive.
Here you have it, they don’t say “brave like a lion” nor “king of the beast” for no good reason.