Join Date: Oct 2004
No fighter could do what Foreman did in his career.
Is there a fighter that ever lived who could replicate what big George did in his career?
I dont think there is.
For a start, when big George won the title, he absolutely ripped through everybody. He destroyed the man who had just beaten arguably the greatest fighter ever, who was himself an undefeated all time great and top 10 all time heavyweight. Didnt just beat him, but completely thrashed him, and while not in perfect shape, he was still very close to his prime condition. Dempsey, Corbett, Louis, Homes, Liston, Tyson etc never had to beat such a fine champion in their prime to win their title. And the couple that did, Like Ali or maybe a Jeffries, as good as their performances were, they were not as impressive as Alis.
Next up He absolutely destroyed his opposition including top contenders like Norton. This is the same Norton, who had not just beaten a great like Ali, but had actually broken his jaw. He bombed him out and literally obliterated him. It is on par with Listons win over patterson or Louis over Schmelling. And Foreman was dominating other opponents every bit as regularly. At best only a handfull of guys have such dominant wins over such guys, after becoming champion (and presumably losing that little bit of fire). Say maybe Louis or Tyson off the top of the head.
Then comes the fight that generally kills off his case for number one, but is this fair. In ali, he fought one of the best figthers ever who was seasoned and hardened and in great form. He fought in the worst conditions possible - heat, Mentally not coping, loose ropes etc. And even though Ali was clearly making it a good fight, it is often forgotten that after putting up one of the worst fights of his life against a champion putting up one of the best fights of his life, he still took that champion to absolute life and death, and came within in an inch of Knocking out that champion. Imagine if he had fought in good form. There are very , very few people who you would pick to push Ali so strongly on that night. And most of those, who you would pick to do it have already been decimated by george anyway. Is it really fair to penalise george for one bad fight after his prime, against a fighter whom he arguably underestimated. And whose conquerors he had already not just beaten but decimated.
AFter this, George was refused a rematch but he pretty much took a full year off, before coming back and decimating most of the top opposition including Frazier who had just gone liffe and death (and this was no fluke) with Ali. Clearly George was more impressive than Ali against common opponents. This was all done despite him not really having the heart and desire in his career and even his eventual next defeat, was against a fighter who had just pushed the champion (muhammed ali) to the limit beaten other top contenders and who would go on to go with an inch of beating Norton. It was a past prime George who was unlucky in losing a fight that you would certainly expect him to reverse in what in reality was a close decision. It is hard to view his condition in so far as it related to being too his prime to being too far differnt from the Ali was starting to struggle to better contenders and would eventually include the likes of leon spinks. or the Dempsey that fought Tunney, The Joe louis that was struggling with Walcott, the Johnson that was fighting Moran, Johnson or even Willard etc. Foremans performance was every bit as good as these guys.
This leaves us with the second career. I know many try to say he improved. But even if this were the case (and i dont see how it could be on film or just common sense), which other fighter was capable of taking 10 years off and then coming back to fight another all time great fighter holyfield and going the distance with him. compare this to Jeffries effort against Johnson, Jackson against Jeffries, Louis against Marciano, All of them were dominated and KOd as soon as they fought an all time great. Holmes came close, but he was nowhere near as long with his layoff as Foreman was. And let us not forget that Foreman actually when on to beat the man who actually dethroned Holyfield! I mean 10 years, it would literally be like Lennox Lewis coming back today and going the distance with Wladimir Klitchsko and then knocking out the man who beats Wladimier Klitchsko!
Even the controversial defences that followed, were still a string of wins against solid contenders, all of whom were forced to abandon their natural game and jab and run. It really is quite astonishing to think about it.
I dont think that their is a fighter who lived that have done what George Foreman did and still win. Maybe Sullivan but it is doubtful especially given the way corbett outclassed him. An old Ali couldnt do what George did. Louis is a half a chance, but to be honest, i am not that confident he gets past Frazier and norton. And certainly not as impressively as Foreman did, And i think Holy would be a great chance of Repeating Rockys feat especially against a much further gone version of Louis. And i dont know that Joe would have caught Moorer.
Fitz might be a chance because of his longevity, but not many would believe him any chance against Frazier Norton and many of the contenders Foreman beat. His record says maybe but his size says no way. I couldnt see Rocky or Dempsey 9who had already been outclassed by Tunney worse than Foreman was against Holyfield. All in all , no one could do what George Foreman did.
is this enough to make him the greatest fighter of all time.