Heavyweight legend George Foreman turns 65 – “Big George” now a senior citizen

George Foreman - George Foreman

George Foreman, undeniably one of the most amazing prize fighters of all-time, celebrates his 65th birthday today. Having now been retired for well over fifteen years, Foreman has probably forgotten all about the rigours of heavyweight boxing, and is thinking only about his religious and business enterprises. But on this day of his birthday, this article asks the question: where exactly does the two-time heavyweight ruler rank in the history of heavyweight greats?

Foreman, a freakishly strong (both mentally and physically) human being, proved himself against the best in both chapters of his astonishing career. In fact, George shocked us and defied all common logic many times in both of his careers. Back in the 1970s, Foreman was a terrifying brute of a fighter, a man capable of intimidating the very best. And if an opponent wasn’t scared, Foreman’s powerful fists and underrated ability at cutting off the ring got the job done.

Read more

Almost 40-years on: “The Rumble in The Jungle” remains Ali’s finest hour

In some ways, the epic interview/speech the great Muhammad Ali gave immediately after he had shocked the world in regaining his heavyweight crown with an incredible 8th-round KO over an “invincible” George Foreman in October of 1974 was as memorable as his ring performance. Ali, who had been stripped of his crown unfairly in 1967, was now back on top of the world and he would be damned if he didn’t let his emotions out in words moments after he’d regained what was rightfully his!

“All of you bow, all of you crawl, all you suckers who write Ring magazine, Boxing Illustrated, never again make me an underdog; until I’m about 50-years-old – then you might get me,” Ali bellowed into the microphone held by the late David Frost. And how he was entitled to say such words.

Read more

Why I think George Foreman would have beaten Mike Tyson: The 1990’s super fight that never was!

foreman33There are, and probably always will be, rumours among boxing folk that say Mike Tyson wanted no part of George Foreman. The two heavyweight greats fought their peak years in different eras, yet due to Foreman’s astonishing 1987 comeback, there was serious talk as early as 1988 that the two lethal punchers would one day meet in the ring. The fight would have been a huge money-spinner but it never happened. Why? Was Tyson, far more mentally fragile than fans, at the time of his reign of terror (and even beyond), could ever have guessed, scared of “animal” Foreman? Or was the fight lost for some other reason? Without getting into that – and what does it really matter why the fight never happened – I make my case for what WOULD have happened had the two legends collided, as talk of the fight peaked, in late 1990.

Read more

Foreman Vs. Tyson: The Heavyweight Explosion Of Heavyweight Explosions!

George Foreman - George ForemanBy James Slater:

“Boxing is the theatre of the unexpected,” Larry Merchant

“Fighting Tyson Would be Like Bird hunting for me; a bird’s nest on the ground,” George Foreman

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard Mike Tyson talk about potential 1990’s rival and fellow former heavyweight king George Foreman. Never once. Maybe, just maybe, this is because at no time did “Iron Mike” want anything to do with the old warrior he is famously alleged to have referred to as “that animal” when telling Don King what he could do with his lucrative idea of fighting Foreman. Maybe not.

Still, to me, and millions of other fight fans, Foreman-Tyson, Tyson-Foreman is the ultimate Dream Fight; one that was tantalizingly close in 1990. The two greats fought on the same bill in June of 1990 – Foreman taking out Adilson Rodrigues in quick time, Tyson rubbing out Henry Tillman ever faster – and the idea being floated around then was for the two to engage in another double-header that September (Tyson Vs. Alex Stewart, Foreman Vs. Francesco Damiani) and then meet in a blockbuster in December.

Read more

“Big” George Foreman and what awaited him after his Olympic triumph in 1968

by James Slater: Back in 1969, a young fighter who had managed to capture an Olympic gold medal was not assured the million dollar contracts that abound for such talent today. No, the sport was different to young talent such as Cassius Clay, Joe Frazier and George Foreman – to mention three Olympic gold medallists from the swinging sixties. Back then, a young Foreman was paid a few hundred bucks (if that) for his debut – far, far less than guys and gals like Anthony Joshua, Nicola Adams, Katie Taylor and Jose Ramirez (who failed to win a medal) can look to pocket should they go pro.

Read more

Exclusive Interview with Boxing Photographer Tom Casino (Rare Photos Inside!)

George Foreman - George Foreman

“In every Tyson fight you could feel the electricity in the air” – Tom Casino

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I recently had the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with one of the best boxing photographers in the business, Tom Casino (pictured alongside Mike Tyson circa 1985). A master of his craft, Casino has captured the imagination of boxing fans for almost thirty years, bringing the action up close and personal while freezing single moments that shall forever live on in the annals of boxing history. Casino spoke about his experiences as a photographer and also shared some of his views as a fan. At the conclusion of the transcript, Tom has provided readers with an inside look of some of his work over the years, including images of Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Carl Froch, James Toney, and more! Here is a complete transcript from the interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing, and I am joined here today by one of the elite photographers in all of professional boxing, Tom Casino. How’s everything going today, Tom?

TOM CASINO: Very nice Geoff, thank you, and I appreciate that introduction. It was very nice of you.

Read more

All Time Historical Survey Series Recap – The Original 8 Weight Classes & P4P

George Foreman - George Foreman

by Geoffrey Ciani – Over the course of a sixteen month period beginning in June 2009, I conducted a series of surveys that all began with a very simple question: Who are the ten best heavyweights of all time? While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a ‘true’ top 10 list should look like. Now of course this is not an exact science by any means. In fact, quite the opposite, it is an extremely subjective topic that is often skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, individual tastes and preferences, and most importantly the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria with which to judge past fighters. Even with these inherent obstacles playing their natural role, however, we can still establish some degree of consensus.

The guidelines were simple. I had every person who voluntarily participated in each survey provide me with a chronological list of who they considered to be the ten best (heavyweights, middleweights, etc) in boxing history. Ties were not permitted, just a straight-forward list from one to ten. I then used a weighted-points system to assign values to fighters based on where they appeared on each individual’s list. First place votes received 25 points. Second place votes were worth 15 points, third place votes were 12, and fourth and fifth place votes were worth 10 and 8 points respectively. After that, the point differential was constant, with sixth place votes getting 5 points, seventh place votes getting 4, eighth getting 3, ninth place 2, and tenth place 1.

Read more