Foreman Fix?

24.06.06 - By James Slater: I am a huge George Foreman fan and I have written quite a few pieces on this great and legendary fighter in the past. His amazing comeback, in which he regained his world title an astonishing twenty years after losing it to the one and only Muhammad Ali, is more than likely the greatest comeback in ALL of sports - not only in boxing. However, there does seem to be one continuing slur on Big Georgeís comeback resume. According to quite a few internet surfers, George purposely lost his 1993 fight with Tommy Morrison.. As long ago as this fight was, the topic still gets mentioned from time to time. Some people claim wholeheartedly that the fight was fixed. Was it though?

Firstly, what would be the motive for Foreman to let the big hitting but suspect chinned Morrison beat him? The conspiracy theorists claim that George was offered a deal by promoter Bob Arum, to ďgo easyĒ on Tommy and then reap the rewards by way of a shot at the real heavyweight title some time in the near future. The Morrison fight, if you remember, was a bout that contested the lightly regarded WBO heavyweight championship only.

As we know, Foreman did get an unexpected - not to mention undeserved - crack at Evander Holyfieldís conqueror and new champion Michael Moorer, some seventeen months after losing his decision to ďThe DukeĒ. Was this payment for services rendered? Letís face it, George hadnít done anything to earn a chance at Moorerís belts. He had been idle since losing to Morrison. I have to admit, it does make you wonder.

Also, George, as a young man, idolised and modelled himself on Sonny Liston. I need not go into the questionable manner in which Listonís two fights with Ali are held. Most think that if not both, then at least one of the Liston v Ali fights were certainly fixed. My point is, if George so admired and looked up to Sonny, could he not have thought - even three decades on - that if going into the tank was ok by Sonny then it was ok by him? Hence the massively tempting advantages of letting Tommy Morrison defeat him? It is possible.

But thatís as far as it gets - being possible. It didnít happen. Not in my opinion. Hereís why. Firstly, Sonnyís fights with Ali were NOT fixed. He was simply an old man at that point in his career and this, along with the fact that he badly underestimated his young opponent and trained in a lazy manner as a result, led to his shock defeat. Therefore George would not have had a couple of fraudulent fights from his role model to think of as a way of easing his conscience when he agreed to participate in some shady dealings. And, more importantly, George was always a very, very proud man. There is just no way he would have ever agreed to a fixed fight - against anyone. Not a chance. After all, Foreman had to live with himself afterwards didnít he? What would have been the consequences if it came out? No, what actually happened was this. Tommy fought a very smart fight. Letís give the guy some credit, after all. He boxed and moved away from Foremanís power, never letting George get set, and Foreman had a bad night. He looked sluggish and he couldnít seem to pin Tommy in any corners where he would have been able to unload his big shots. Morrison more than likely fought the single finest fight of his entire career. There was nothing underhanded about the bout - Morrison was simply too fast for George on this night.

As for Michael Moorer, he was hoping to both cash in on his new title as well as collect a relatively easy payday in a straightforward first defence against the ancient and washed up Foreman and he did exactly the same thing that Sonny Liston had done some thirty years ago - he took his opponent for granted. His perceived easy title defence became a nightmare and Big George made history with his crunching right hand in round ten.

To in any way put a slur on Foremanís logic defying achievement - even if it is aimed at the way in which George was granted the opportunity to make his dream come true - is simply unacceptable.

George Foreman is no cheat!

Article posted on 24.06.2006

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