View Full Version : Prime Foreman vs. Prime Tyson

01-17-2006, 02:24 PM
I double-checked it, and this question has not been posed before in this section.

So, who would have won this WAR and why?

Roberto Aqui
01-17-2006, 08:21 PM
I've always felt like Tyson would beat any heavy in history save George. Tyson's good defense would not be serviceable in this bout. He'd be outmuscled and outslugged although he'd likely rock George early before succumbing.

Steve McV
01-18-2006, 12:07 AM

Hmm... terrific power on both sides... Tyson had better defense, at least in his early days... more accurate puncher... I think George took a punch better... If we're talking about Foreman after comeback vs. Tyson after prison, I'll take Foreman; Iron Mike seemed to forget everything he ever knew about boxing. However, I think the Tyson of the pre-championship days beats Foreman before the Ali bout.

I'll take Tyson, but I wouldn't give any odds of more than 6-5. Either man could land a crusher at any time.

01-18-2006, 01:20 PM
I've said it before, probably say it again in the future, but we mustnt forget the Mental/physclogical contest as well ! Tyson revelled in Destroying Frozen with Fear opporsition, but in a "Destructive Prime" George ( Circa Frazier Nortion) he would be up against a Getto-Blaster who would not be Fazed by Tyson Threats or Challenges About Cellers, Back Alleys, Turning George into his Girlfried, Etc - George would accept the challenge THERE AND THEN !! Big George was not the cuddy bear of Later Years - But a Nasty piece of Work full of Glowering Menace, Now how would the 23 - 24 Year old Man-Child, who had up until this time, Had things Completely his own Way cope with this Pressure, (if Altas wasnt Around would he find someone else's Shoulder to Cry on ??? ) He wouldnt Intimidate Surly George one iota
Mentally i think George is Victor from the Off, as to the Physical Battle, George is not going to seek to "OutBox" Tyson, even with Joe King Roman in the other Corner, and The Japanese Hosts and Tv Co's looking for a Little bit of a Show. George Just Comes right out and Destroys Roman - Theres no Mercy in this Man, Tyson is not Effective when Moved Backwards, He is Sleightly Knock-Kneed, Has his Toes Pointed inwards, and Often has his Feet too close together. And George will Simply Push him Back - And Launch, Once George has his opponent Aleigned, Those Big Arcing Hooks-Cum-Uppercuts Start to Fly. - And People forget this above George, once in the Kill-Zone He had Very Fast Accurate Hands, Remember How he found time to Add an uppercut to Norton when he was on the way Down, or how an Old George took out Cooney with two Power-shots, the second of which was done on the Turn ! on a more Techincal Level Tyson is a Streight Line Fighter Forward or Stopped awaiting to Launch, George will not have to Look for Mike. he would be right in front of him, a timid Bonecrusher and Tucker and Slow Bruno put the Tremors into Tyson - What foreman would do is off the Ricter Scale !! George before 4

01-23-2006, 01:58 PM
Foreman would probably win in about five rounds, but he would definitely feel the heat a few times before that, being that Mike is not like Joe Frazier, and with his speed, would connect a few times.

Fat Abbot
09-25-2006, 07:35 AM
Pretty obvious matchup imo.

Their power was similar, reguardless of who hit slightly harder and both had good chins. That's where the similarities end, Tyson had such big advantages in handspeed, technique, defense and stamina that Foreman wouldn't have much of a chance at all.

Kid Achilles
09-25-2006, 10:40 AM
Right, pretty obvious matchup. Foreman crushes Tyson. The only smaller aggressive fighter I see beating Foreman is Jack Dempsey, who was quicker on his feet, taller and rangier, and a better boxer (retreating, coming forward, moving laterally) than Tyson and could actually fight and do damage on the inside.

Tyson was quicker, but Foreman had a lot of reach on him as well as more heart. Tyson does not survive Lyle if he gets tagged and stunned as Foreman did IMO.

Foreman in around 4 or 5 rounds. Once he has Tyson hurt, he takes him out with stunning ease. I don't see Tyson getting up as many times as Smokin' Joe did.

Fat Abbot
09-25-2006, 11:59 AM
Yep, obvious matchup, similar power, similar chins, with one fighter being infinitely faster and more skilled with better stamina. Obvious match.

Jack Dempsey was a great fighter, he was one of the first fighters to use a somewhat modern style that incorporated lateral movement and punching from angles. But let's get real here, his skills were crude compared to todays fighters and he weighed 190lbs. Tyson and Foreman would both knock him out inside 2 rounds.

Foreman would come straight at Tyson, in which case his longer reach would put him at the disadvandage in a collision. Lyle was a good fighter, but his stamina was poor and his chin wasn't that good either. Interms of skill he was slow and was a poor boxer, yet he was outboxing Foreman so bad in their fight early that he was making George look like a novice.

Lyle couldn't do a thing to the CW sized Jerry Quarry in a slugfest, I doubt he could land on Tyson period, let alone land hard enough to hurt Mike. Tyson would have fun against a fighter as slow and uncoordinated as the plodding Lyle.

Tyson vs foreman would look a lot like tyson vs Berbick, with Foreman hopelessly trying to push Tyson backwards and getting met with counters as his arms are extended. Foreman was just too easy to hit.

09-25-2006, 04:31 PM
Here is an interesting article written by boxing historian Frank Lotierzo in 2003

Tuesday Sep 16, 2003
Why We Never Saw Foreman-Tyson
by Frank Lotierzo

On March 9 1987, former heavyweight champion George Foreman stopped journeyman Steve Zouski in the fourth round. Foreman's fight versus Zouski was the official beginning of the second leg of Foreman's 18-year career, after being retired for ten years. Foreman's bout with Zouski was his first fight since losing a decision to third-ranked contender Jimmy Young back on March 17 1977.

Foreman said he came back to reclaim the title he lost to Muhammad Ali back in October of 1974. After beating Zouski, Foreman fought on a schedule that had him in the ring just about every other month. He would constantly tell anyone with a microphone after each fight that, he came back because he knew he could beat Mike Tyson and wanted to fight him for the title. Through Big George's first ten to fifteen fights, he was laughed at for the quality of the fighters he was fighting and wasn't taken seriously. Foreman never made excuses for them and admitted that he was fighting guys who had no chance of beating him. He said that he wanted to get used to being back in the ring and was in no hurry. In 1987, Foreman fought five times; in 1988, he fought nine times and in 1989, he fought five times. After 19 fights, Foreman was 19-0 (18). During the course of those 19 fights, Foreman only fought two name fighters: former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champ Dwight Muhammad Qawi (formerly Dwight Braxton), and fringe contender Bert Cooper, stopping both.

On January 15, 1990, Foreman fought former heavyweight title challenger, the hard-hitting Gerry Cooney. Cooney was making a comeback after not fighting in almost two and a half years. Cooney viewed Foreman as an easy win and figured he could capitalize off of Foreman's name and jump to the front of the heavyweight picture with an impressive victory. Going into the fight neither Foreman or Cooney were perceived to be a real threat to any of the top heavyweights in the world, let alone Tyson who was just 23 and the unbeaten, undisputed champ.

By January of 1990, Foreman had built up such a following and fan base that the Foreman-Cooney fight was only seen on PPV. It took Foreman less than two full rounds to mutilate Cooney sending him back into permanent retirement. Foreman displayed accuracy and devastating power in stopping Cooney. It wasn't until after Foreman's destruction of Cooney that he was taken as a serious title contender. Before the boxing world had time to digest Foreman's showing against Cooney, it was dealt an even bigger shock 26 days later.

On February 10 1990, 42-1 underdog James "Buster" Douglas literally turned the boxing world upside down when he traveled to Tokyo and knocked out undisputed heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. Don King promoted Tyson, at the time of his defeat. After Tyson's loss to Douglas, King wanted to have Tyson fight in a high profile fight. He figured a spectacular knockout win over a name opponent would get Tyson back on track to being the man in the heavyweight picture again. King thought he found the perfect opponent in Foreman who was all over television after beating Cooney. Foreman never passed up an opportunity to take a shot at Tyson and throw out challenges to him while doing the talk show circuit.

In the subsequent months following Foreman's victory over Cooney and Douglas' upset of Tyson, there was much talk of a Foreman-Tyson fight. It was a potential fight that captured the public's imagination, and not just the boxing public. In fact, there were several reports that the fight was signed and about to be announced. ESPN Sportscenter devoted numerous segments on the fight assuming it was going to happen. Shortly thereafter, there was an announcement that Foreman and Tyson were going to fight on the same card. In late April of 1990, it was announced that Foreman and Tyson would be fighting a co-main event on June 16 to be broadcast on HBO. Foreman's opponent was Adilson Rodrigues, who was ranked in the top ten by two of the major sanctioning bodies. Tyson's opponent was the unranked Henry Tillman. Tillman was best known for beating Tyson twice in the 1984 Olympic trials.

At this time, Evander Holyfield was getting ready for his sixth fight as a heavyweight against Seamus McDonagh on June 1 in Atlantic City. On the day of the Holyfield-McDonagh fight, I went to grab something to eat with Georgie Benton, Lou Duva and Bobby Goodman. At the time, Goodman was, and still is, Don King's matchmaker. I've known Benton for many years, through him I met Duva, and was introduced to Goodman a couple weeks before Tyson fought Larry Holmes at the Convention Center in Atlantic City in January 1988.

While we were eating, Benton said, "Bobby, what's up with Foreman and Tyson, how come they're not fighting each other on the 16th? Isn't that the fight that King was trying to make?" He said, " Georgie,You'll never believe this but, Fuckin' Tyson is scared shit less of Foreman and wants no part of him. I was there when Don was trying to make the fight. He was telling Tyson that Foreman represented huge money, plus he was old and slow and would be no problem. Tyson got up and screamed at King saying, 'I'm not fight in' that Fuckin' animal, if you love the motherfucker so much, you fight him!'"

Goodman stated that Tyson said Foreman was much better than people thought, and was a dangerous fight for any of the top heavyweights. Goodman proceeded to explain how Tyson was calling Foreman a big con man, and explained that the grandpop act was just a front. He said Tyson saw Foreman as trying to set up the boxing world into thinking he was a pushover, knowing that he really wasn't. Tyson said Foreman was a wolf in sheep's clothing. Goodman continued to say that after seeing Tyson's response to King trying to push him into a fight with Foreman, he had no doubt that Tyson had fear of Foreman. He also said that from that point on, he felt that if Foreman and Tyson ever fought, Foreman would knock Tyson out!

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.

Those are the words of the man who actually had a hand in trying to make the Foreman-Tyson fight, and was in the room when the negotiations broke down. Over the years, I've talked to many people who were involved with Tyson and Foreman and they all verify the story, every one of them. I have also talked to people who were involved with promoting Foreman, including Ron Weathers who promoted a few of Foreman's comeback fights. He told me the same story. The fight didn't happen because of Tyson being fearful of losing to George. Bob Arum also said that he dreamed of making Foreman-Tyson. He said it would be huge money and that Foreman would stop Tyson easier than he did Frazier. This is something Arum often repeated to the press. I have also heard this from George's brother Roy who was his business manager. I co-hosted a boxing show with Roy in Atlantic City for a little less than two months and this was a regular topic when discussing Tyson. Anyone who covered boxing at the time or knew any of the involved parties knew of this. It's not breaking news.

It is absolutely a fact that Mike Tyson was afraid to fight 41-year-old George Foreman--the same Foreman who Evander Holyfield would fight and beat in April of 1991. I have not a doubt that had Foreman and Tyson fought anytime between 1990 and 1997 that Foreman would have knocked Tyson out inside of three rounds. Tyson just has nothing to beat Foreman with; his edge in hand speed would have been a non-factor. He can't beat him by backing away, and he would have gotten his head handed to him if he brought the fight to Foreman. In addition, Foreman was bigger, stronger, tougher and hit harder. Not to mention the fact that Foreman had a better chin and no fear or doubt, unlike Tyson, who was full of fear and self-doubt.
Think about it, Foreman-Tyson was the biggest fight that could have been made in 1990. Foreman was perceived to be an easy fight for Tyson, and it would have been his biggest payday to date. There can only be one reason why Tyson didn't fight Foreman, and that's because he feared losing to him.
I haven't a morsel of a doubt that Tyson just doesn't match up with Foreman, and he knows it. If Tyson of 1990 was afraid of an old Foreman, think how petrified he would of been of a prime Foreman, the one who stared down both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in 1973 and 1974.
Writers Note

The above account is of a quick get to together for something to eat between myself and the above mentioned parties. The only thing I can't recall for certain is if it took place after the Holyfield-McDonagh final press conference, or the weigh in? However, the above quotes are just that, quotes. Everything there is exactly how the conversation unfolded. Whether you chose to believe it or not is up to you. All I can say is that is exactly what was said. To disbelieve this you have to assume a lot of people close to both Foreman and Tyson are lying. Remember, Tyson is a student of boxing and boxing history. If there ever was a fighter who understood styles and match ups, its Tyson. He was smart enough to know that Foreman was all wrong for him. You can talk about his speed and defense for the next 100 years. The fact of the matter is he had nothing to beat Foreman with! Sometimes the truth is very hard to believe and accept, but the truth is the truth. And the truth is, Mike Tyson was fearful of fighting George Foreman in 1990. The only reason why Foreman-Tyson was never made is because Tyson was afraid Foreman would beat him.

Find this article at: http://www.thesweetscience.com/boxing-article/1145/why-never-saw-foreman-tyson/

09-25-2006, 05:20 PM
agree with the kid--foreman. and tyson would not want to fight him.

09-25-2006, 08:40 PM
Extremely interesting matchup. I don't know the answer to this one. Foreman was physically stronger and bigger in size, though they weighed about the same. Unlike Frazier, Tyson dipped left and right, not straight forward, so Foreman would not be able to uppercut him as easily. See how Mike dealt with the hellacious uppercut of Ruddock. Also, Tyson took bombs better than Frazier. He took all out bombs from the massively built Bruno and Ruddock. Tyson's speed was such that Foreman with his slow reacting defense would not pick up too well on Mike's punches, and he would get nailed. And even a guy nowhere near as fast as Tyson in Ron Lyle had George on serious queer street and swinging wildly and amateurishly. That said, Foreman had a way of pushing you off and keeping you at his range, and a guy like Tyson moving in, could potentially run right into punches the power of which he had never seen. Also George proved he could win a gut check war with Lyle. That said, Tyson and Ruddock and Bruno went at it pretty good, and those guys took pretty good beatings. Could just be a matter of guts, will, determination, who was in better shape that day, whose defense was more on.

Fat Abbot
09-25-2006, 09:23 PM

From Mike Tyson Money Myth and betrayal written by Montieth Illingworth:

pg 393

"By late june both parties were trying to use the prospect of a match with george foreman to force their respective terms. Finkel and duva offered him 12.5 million-for a rematch. King came in with a $20 million offer. within hours of the 2nd Ruddock fight he gave foremans brother a $1 million check as an enticement.
Foreman preferred to fight Holyfield. The faster more powerful Tyson would not only beat him, but do it far more decisively and Foreman knew that would diminish his aura as a contender and thus limit the size of his purses in future fights. The smaller slower lighter punching holyfield he could keep at bay and with luck quite possibly defeat.
Foreman though made the mistake of playing hard to get, and lost a 12.5 million payday. He used Kings offerto get the money up from Finkel and duva, but they wouldn't budge. a smug Foreman decided to wait it out. He assumed and was told by his promoter Bob arum andadviser Ron Weathers that the deal for holyfield tyson couldn't be made."

Glad to clear that one up for you guys.

Yep Tyson was definitely ducking him, 20 mill was a chump offer. :D

Cojimar 1945
09-26-2006, 01:40 AM
Foreman apparently came out of retirement because he felt sure he could beat Tyson. In interviews he indicates he would like to fight Tyson. Foreman apparently campaigned a great deal to get the fight. In his autobiography Foreman mentions that he felt Tyson's style was perfect for him.

Cojimar 1945
09-26-2006, 01:41 AM
I fin it interesting that Foreman did better against Holyfield than Tyson did. Foreman was able to last the distance whereas Tyson folded under the punishment he recieved.

Fat Abbot
09-26-2006, 01:59 AM
I find it interesting as wellHolyfield was one common opponent between the 2, how did you feel Tyson performed against Stewart and Savarese in comparison to Tyson?

Foreman certainly was a good salesman, he fooled ppl into believing he wanted Tyson, turned down a 20 million dollar payday when Tysons team accepted the fight and still has some ppl believing he was actually serious about it.

God bless the gullible!

Cojimar 1945
09-26-2006, 02:58 AM
A 38 year old Tyson was unable to kayo Danny Williams or Kevin McBride so I woulden't be surprised if Tyson had difficulty with Stewart and Savarese if he fought them when in his 40s.

Foreman clearly no longer had the power he once had in his comeback but he demonstrated greater durability than Tyson has shown against Holyfield.

02-15-2007, 01:23 AM
foreman would back tyson up and tyson couldnt get any leverage on his punches on foreman........i say first 2 rds tyson survives but foreman breaks him down by 7th rd tko

Michael Frank
10-03-2007, 07:52 PM
This is a juicy match. It's nearly all been said above already, however. I agree with Sage and Kid. Foreman will just push Tyson off if in trouble, but I doubt it will come to that.

I think this one will come down to a word used by Tyson's mentor D'Amato, "character." George has a lot more. If they were each to get hurt, I think Tyson folds before George does. Their respective fights with Holyfield are in my view good proxies for how their character will show.

George by murderous KO inside of 5. Tyson will have sufficient character to take it like a man, as he did vs. Lennox.

10-04-2007, 04:22 AM
Yes, but I really think that the peak Tyson who had the great Rooney as his
coach, mentor and friend, had the mental strength as well as the amazing ability. When Rooney went and King and Givens took HOLD, Tyson went to the gutter. This is peak-peak. So the Tyson of 1986 who beat Berbick is going to be a hell of a man to beat. He had speed, stamina, a great CHIN and obviously a huge puncher with the killer instinct. I think Foreman had a hell of a lot too, but Tyson had the speed to nail him so hard and clean. I think Mike wins this in a KO, early.....

Foreman had a great chin, but Tyson's power was a little too much....

10-04-2007, 06:32 AM
There is a great series from the BBC called "my greatest fight". Foreman's comments about his preparation for the first Frazier bout and what he was going to do against Smokin Joe is simple but is it ever effective.
And I'm convinced it works in a Tyson fight. And Mike Tyson isn't going to absorb like a Frazier.

Jab and move 1 step. That's what Foreman said they practiced over and over again. Jab and move a little. Joe Frazier--and Tyson does this also--is going to follow him in. That gives George the chance to load up & fire those big shots when the other guy is walking into them. Then George had the strength to shove just one shoulder and Frazier is off balance and out of range and has to reset and start over. Same thing happens to Tyson--he doesn't have the footwork to fight going laterally or backwards. He simply has to go forward. If Tyson could fight out of a crouch better he might slip that jab that's coming from a long long distance away. But the guy was always more upright than Frazier and a ton more upright than Marciano.

And Foreman threw the best uppercuts in the business. Either hand and how many heavyweights have a killer left uppercut? Most don't have the balance to even throw it. Foreman could throw uppercuts off the wrong foot and they were not something easy to shake off. That's one of the reasons Foreman never did well with the boxers---they aren't giving him that uppercut. And just who is going to land a clean uppercut on Ali or a prime Young anyway?

I don't see anyway in the world Tyson is going to handle Foreman's shoving. And with that footwork, Iron Mike will be squared up > getting pushed. Tyson was also an easy guy to tie up anyway even if he gets to that area he can effectively throw those big shots. Tyson falls in after throwing those lead right hands of his from the outside & Foreman shoves and punches or holds whenever he wants to. It'd take an awful lot of upper body movement to avoid that kind of thing and Tyson just did that clockwise rotation movement, like all those D'Amato fighters. It's predictable.

Foreman is given credit for destroying Frazier allright. But there is a lot of tactics and strategies at work. He was just a guy that finished his work real quick.

10-04-2007, 11:21 AM
I don't know if there was any ducking, but if there was it was more likely Tyson. Foreman ducked slick boxers but not sluggers that came to him. According to Fat Abbot the "Mike Tyson Money Myth" says George turned down a huge payday with Tyson to face Holyfield. If this is so it is probably because George wanted to win the tltle back. As for the fantasy match I think young George would have had an excellent chance to beat primeTyson. Old George although wiser was way to slow to deal with Tyson's power and speed. IMO old George had a lot of success due to the poor state of the heavyweights just as old Larry Holmes did. Foreman/Holmes was a fight that could have been too, but George didn't want to face slick boxers. TIP

10-22-2007, 07:37 PM
This fight is like John Wayne vs. Clint Eastwood in a bare fisted saloon brawl. The prime Tyson had great skills and power, while Foreman in his prime or the comeback Foreman had great power, heart, and strength. Foreman may have been the most powerful heavyweight of all time. Tyson was faster, stronger, and punched harder than Ron Lyle, and Lyle nearly beat Foreman in their great slugfest. Ali kayoed an exhausted Foreman in 8 rounds. Tyson-Foreman would be Foreman-Lyle cubed. I see a barely standing Tyson stopping Foreman in 7 rounds of both fighters knocking each other down several times, but a double kayo would not surprise either.

10-22-2007, 08:25 PM
I'd take Foreman in 5 rounds. I think Tyson would make it interesting in the first 3 rounds but, after Foreman absorbs Tyson's best punches and is still standing, I think Tyson winds down and George takes him out.

If Holyfield could stand and trade w/Tyson so could George. Yes, I know Tyson was past his best when he fought Holyfield but he still had his punch.

Michael Frank
10-22-2007, 10:17 PM
"...If Holyfield could stand and trade w/Tyson so could George."

I picked George to beat Tyson in this thread earlier, but as to Tyson-Holyfield #1, Evander was virtually never hit cleanly on the chin, and when he was, he appeared stunned (at the opening of the first round). I'm not sure anyone can truly "trade" with Tyson. Not if trading means being hit cleanly on the chin.

10-24-2007, 09:03 PM
I picked George to beat Tyson in this thread earlier, but as to Tyson-Holyfield #1, Evander was virtually never hit cleanly on the chin, and when he was, he appeared stunned (at the opening of the first round). I'm not sure anyone can truly "trade" with Tyson. Not if trading means being hit cleanly on the chin.

I think George would take Tyson's punch and survive. He might be hurt, he might get knocked down, but I think he would get up and Tyson would get discouraged before getting stopped.

Be a great fight though.