George Foreman Would Have Beaten Mike Tyson
In boxing, every hardcore fan knows that styles make fights.
Certain boxing styles tend to match up well with certain styles, and certain fighters simply beat other fighters due to style differences.
That's just the name of the game.
And that's why sometimes a less-skilled, less-accomplished fighter can beat a great or very good fighter -- simply because of styles.
And in no other match-up would stylistic differences matter than in a heavyweight fight between George Foreman and Mike Tyson, two of history's most electrifying and powerful fighters.
As great as Mike Tyson was, and he was indeed a great fighter, his style would be all wrong against the menacing, brooding George Foreman.
Tyson was a monster against guys he could overpower, scare, or cause to retreat.
So much of Tyson's success was due to his ability to back fighters up, to make them fight in retreat.
Tyson was a monster if you let him come forward. He had the hand speed, the punching power, and the dazzling explosiveness to do damage if he was in charge of a fight.
But against George Foreman, Tyson would find himself trying to back up a brick wall. Foreman, for all his flaws and defensive holes, was a master at cutting off the ring and keeping opponents on the back foot, where Tyson would be ineffective.
And as great as Tyson was at coming forward, Foreman was spectacular against guys he could back up and stalk.
No doubt Tyson would score against Foreman early; his hands were much faster, and Tyson was a much better combination puncher.
But after a few explosive exchanges, and after a scary moment or two, Mike Tyson would find himself in a strange position: going backwards.
George Foreman would push, shove, and maul Tyson, and after tasting Foreman's immense physical strength (not just his punching power), Tyson would start to self-destruct.
With Tyson going in reverse, his punches would lose steam. So much of Tyson's great offense was due to his ability to impose his will on other fighters.
But that wouldn't happen against George Foreman.
Tyson did not have the height or reach or boxing style to box from long range. That type of fighter, a guy like a Larry Holmes or a Lennox Lewis, could fight effectively in retreat.
But for a short, stubby guy like Tyson, fighting while in retreat against the force of nature that was George Foreman would spell doom.
Tyson basically had one fighting gear: fast forward. Outside of that, he didn't have a lot to fall back on.
He couldn't pot-shot Foreman from long-range like Muhammad Ali did.
Look for Tyson to surprise and even stun Big George early, possibly staggering him with his explosiveness. But as soon as Foreman got into gear, Tyson's night would end quick.
More than likely, Foreman traps Tyson in a corner and stuns him with a left hook or left uppercut. Soon, a finishing combination would leave Tyson sprawled on the canvas.
And if Tyson rose on unsteady legs against Foreman, there would be no weathering of the storm.
Mike Tyson would finish a fight face down against George Foreman!