Tyson v Foreman

This was after the Cooney comeback fight, with Foreman’s eyes squarely set on Tyson:

This account gives the context why Tyson never met Foreman in the ring:


Throughout the lunch Goodman, Duva, Benton, and myself shared stories and thoughts on the fight game. Out of the blue Goodman said, “Oh I remember why else Tyson wanted no parts of Foreman. He said that King had found out from Steve Lott that Tyson and Cus D’Amato used to watch the Frazier-Foreman fight over and over.”

He continued saying that Tyson loved that fight because he was awed by Foreman’s power and Frazier’s toughness and how he kept getting up after every knockdown. He also said that Lott told King that Cus sat alongside Tyson saying, “It’s suicide against Foreman if you’re short and fight a swarming attacking style like Marciano or Frazier,” never figuring that Foreman could be a possible Tyson opponent down the road.

He said that Cus said the only fighters who had a chance against Foreman were tall, rangy fighters who could fight him from a distance while moving away from him, and no way any swarmer could beat Foreman by going to him.

Perhaps that and not cowardice was the reason. Tyson continued to say Foreman was foxing, shamming that he was past it but wanting a shot. The Cooney fight would have done nothing to dispel Iron Mike’s view.

In an oft played vid here, Ali and Tyson met on set, Ali was scared of Tyson but Tyson was just awed by Ali. The three boxers Tyson was awed by were simple to name – Ali, Foreman, Frazier … and with good reason.

Mike Tyson was quite a student of the game, apart from his ring exploits.

They did box on the same card one night but never entered the ring together. IMHO, Tyson was quite right to do as he did, the omens with big George were not auspicious and remember Tyson was past his own peak by then.

5 comments for “Tyson v Foreman

  1. James Strong
    October 10, 2018 at 18:13

    Ali was scared of Tyson?


    There was no risk of Tyson assaulting him.

    And it should not be forgotten how hard Ali was during his career. Before his 3 year absence he was a beautiful mover and rarely took a clean blow.

    After the hiatus he was a bit slower, he got hit more, including clean blows from some fearsome punchers, and his punch resistance was awesome. As well as being the fastest ever heavyweight he was probably the hardest ever heavyweight.

  2. James Strong
    October 10, 2018 at 22:45

    Further to my comment about Ali, and bearing in mind that George Foreman mentioned Cleveland Williams –

    Ali fought Cleveland Williams and many people believe it was Ali’s finest ever performance. If you can view it anywhere you can’t help but be impressed.

    • October 11, 2018 at 00:08

      Oh I’m not saying he was not the greatest, I’m just saying both Ali and Tyson thought the other would win. You could’t rope a dope with Tyson.

      Tyson was one of the most astute about himself, his limitations and his strengths, he didn’t claim status he didn’t deserve. He was the best of his era. The Holmes fight was about that.

      I’ll look for the CW fight.

      • James Strong
        October 11, 2018 at 10:32

        The Holmes fight was only about money.
        Holmes, born in 1949, had no realistic chance against defending champion Tyson, born 1966.
        They were from different eras.
        Holmes, born 1949 beat Ali, born 1942. Was Holmes better than Ali?
        If Tyson Fury were to fight Lennox Lewis next week then Fury would win.
        If anyone thinks that proves anything about their respective merits as boxers then there’s no hope.

        If Tyson had fought Foreman at the time of this video Tyson would probably have won. As well as throwing punches from all sorts of angles Tyson had very good head speed. Peak Foreman would probably have dealt with peak Tyson the way he dealt with Frazier. But old, slightly slower Foreman might well not have caught Tyson accurately on the way in.

        And at elite level a couple of thousands of a second in loss of reaction time is significant.

        But, in reality, we’ll never know how these matches would have gone.

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