Today marks the 29th anniversary of George Foreman’s incredible KO win over Michael Moorer, the 10th round knockout scored by “Big George” seeing him become, at age 45, the oldest heavyweight king ever. Now a two-time champ, Foreman had added a whole lot of buzz to the heavyweight division. Along with Foreman’s epic and inspirational victory, the imminent released from prison of Mike Tyson was getting fight fans, and promoters, excited.
Just a couple of months or so after Foreman’s unlikely win, came news that former champ Tyson would be out of jail by March of 1995. To plenty of people, fans, ring experts, and Foreman himself, this meant one thing: a Foreman Vs. Tyson fight some time in 1995. For all the marbles (or two of the major heavyweight belts, Foreman having regained two of them by flattening Moorer; George the lineal king once again).
Foreman wanted the fight, Bob Arum said the fight could generate as much as $250 million, and the fans sure wanted to see the fight. But it never happened. To this day, fight fans the world over wonder about what might have happened had the youngest ever heavyweight champ collided with the oldest ever heavyweight ruler.
Foreman, who spoke with The Washington Post in February of 1995, said the Tyson fight was indeed one “all the promoters want.” And Foreman said the fight would result in he and Tyson going “toe-to-toe.”
“All the promoters want a Mike Tyson-George Foreman fight,” Foreman said, oddly giving his own name second billing. “It’s like a promoter’s dream. They start guaranteeing this and guaranteeing that. I’m an entrepreneur. To say no to money is not what I was born to do. I think Mike Tyson needs to get back on the right road. If he can get back and get into shape to fight me it would re-establish him. May the best man win. It would be a toe-to-toe match. He doesn’t really know how to run. I definitely can’t run.”
There would have been no running in this fight, that’s one thing we can all agree on. Tyson, who according to Arum, was “very interested in the fight,” instead came back to fight Frank Bruno for a belt, with “Iron Mike” winning in three easy rounds. Foreman struggled to defeat Axel Schulz, and he was then stripped of his two belts, the WBA and the IBF, and the Tyson fight was now dead.
To repeat, fight fans everywhere were left with one massive ‘what if?’ as a result.
Would Tyson’s speed have been too much for Foreman? Would Foreman’s sheer physical strength have been too much for the much smaller Tyson? Would Foreman have intimidated Tyson and would he have then made Tyson quit? Would Tyson’s power have been able to put a dent in Foreman’s legendary chin? Would this fight have been a long or short affair? Who would have won?
We could talk all day about this fight……one that was unfortunately confined to Dream Fight status as a result of it somehow failing to get made. One can imagine the sheer and raw excitement this fight, its build-up, it’s head-to-heads, its hype, would have generated! While the ring action would surely have been X-rated stuff. Just why this fight didn’t happen could be the biggest question of them all here.