George Foreman - Was He Better When He Was Young?

02.07.06 - By Karen Belford: Recently, I sat down and watched a lot of George Foreman's fights, one after another, and I was completely shocked and impressed with how good he was, especially when he was younger. Honestly, he was an incredible fighter when he was young, even though he lost a couple of fights due to bad fight strategy. While it's a given that Foreman found success during his comeback, winning a heavyweight title against Michael Moorer in 1994, does that mean that he was a better fighter in his forties than he was in his twenties?

Surely, if a a 42-year-old Foreman could come close to defeating a prime Evander Holyfield then a young Foreman could have certainly accomplished that feat, wouldn't you think? I know, Foreman said many times that if he had been able to fight his younger self, using his older body, he would beat the younger Foreman every time. However, I don't believe it and I never will. For those of you who have seen video of Foreman after his comeback, the older Foreman had dreadful stamina, and was only capable of fighting in brief spurts, totally different from the way he was in his youth. When he was young, Foreman could pour it on non-stop for 10 rounds, if he had to, although few fighters could stand up to his power to last that long.

In a fight with Alex Stewart in 1992, after having Stewart down and hurt early in the fight, Foreman seemed to get tired practically from nothing, seeing how he threw very few punches. He then took a lot of punishment for the rest of the fight, and by the end of the fight, his face was swollen and badly disfigured by Stewart's heavy punches. However, there's just no way on earth that Stewart would have been able to go even a few rounds with a young Foreman, no way. Granted, Foreman was capable of tiring out in his youth, but that was only after he'd thrown a lot of punches. He wouldn't tire out of one round, or try to conserve himself round after round, for fear of gassing out, something that he appeared to do when he was in his 2nd career.

In another fight that Foreman lost in his comeback against Tommy Morrison in 1993, it was terrible how slow and lethargic Foreman was in losing a lopsided 12-round decision. The thing of it was, Morrison looked afraid to mix it up with Foreman, and used a tactic of walking Foreman in circles to keep him from punching. After watching this fight, and comparing it to a young Foreman, I just don't see how Morrison could have lasted more than a round or two at the most. No way, could I see him being able to keep Foreman off him, no matter what tactic he deployed, it would be impossible, in my estimation.

So, if you readers had a choice, which vesion would you pick as being the best? For me, you know the answer.

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Article posted on 02.07.2006

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