“He Was A Punching Machine” – Heavyweight legend George Foreman knows his fighters. The former two-time heavyweight king often takes to twitter to converse with fans, speaking about all things boxing. It’s always interesting to hear (or read) what “Big George” has to say about this fighter or that fighter. Just this week, the 71-year-old all-time great was asked his opinion on former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe.
Foreman shot back with some very, very high praise for “The Pride of Wales.”
“Joe Calzaghe was a fighting machine,” George wrote. “Other than Henry Armstrong, boxing has never seen such. No-one could beat him; not even the great Roy Jones Jr. Roy Jones was about as good as they come.”
Again, high praise indeed for the warrior who was indeed never beaten, retiring with a perfect 46-0 record shortly after his 2008 win over Jones Jr. But is Calzaghe really deserving of being right up there with the truly incredible “Hammering Hank,” Henry Armstrong? Calzaghe certainly had a great punch output, superb stamina, and fitness and a very exciting style. But there have been other fighters who turned into human windmills when in the ring – Manny Pacquiao, for example, and Jeff Fenech.
It’s tough to disagree with Foreman, on anything, but is the living legend guilty of giving Calzaghe a little too much praise? Calzaghe beat Jones Jr, yes, but it was a faded version of the one-time “Superman.” And Calzaghe got knocked down in the fight he won over 12 rounds. Calzaghe struggled mightily with Bernard Hopkins in his fight before that, being sent south in that fight also; B-Hop being a fighter who had aged far better than had Jones.
Has boxing really “never seen such” other than Armstrong when it comes to the rate of punch output Calzaghe was capable of? Fans still talk about Calzaghe, some arguing how the Welshman is one of the all-time greats, others insisting his overall resume is just a little too thin for that – wins over Chris Eubank, Jeff Lacy, Mikkel Kessler and Hopkins (a debatable decision win) and Jones being his highlights.
It’s clear from Foreman’s recent tweet where he stands. How about you? Is Calzaghe deserving of being ranked with the superlative Armstrong? Was he THAT good?