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Despite Devastating Losses, George Foreman Snubs Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield to Give These Two the “Most Hardest Punchers” Crown

Published 09/17/2023, 9:19 AM EDT

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If there was ever a boxer whose punches echoed throughout time to leave a lasting mark on the sport, it has to be George Foreman. Though ‘The Hollywood Gaint’ had fought against numerous great fighters at the time. His two most notable fights have to be when he fought Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield. Despite his incredible punching power, he lost both of those fights. One stripped him of all his titles, and the other crushed his chances of ever retaining them. With that said, why did Foreman name two other boxers as the hardest hitters?

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In a recent X (former Twitter) post, the former world Heavyweight champion shared a picture alongside Archie Moore, Sandy Saddler, and Joe Frazier. However, the nostalgic post prompted a question from a follower. Surprisingly, the answer from Foreman did not include two of the biggest opponents of his career. Instead, the answer included two other legends of the sport. So, the question arises – who are those two fighters?

The Hardest Hitters, according to George Foreman 


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In response to Foreman’s post, a user asked him about the hardest hitter among his opponents. Foreman soon wrote back, “Ron Lyle was  #1, Cooney was 2. No one had power like them.” It’s a hell of a compliment because Foreman fought in over 80 professional fights in his career. Not to mention, Foreman himself was known for his powerful punches. However, it’s important to note that Foreman defeated the two fighters despite picking them as the hardest hitters.

Foreman faced Ron Lyle in 1976 following his loss against Ali and had to go through hell to attain a fifth-round knockout against Ron. It was a slugfest, to say the least. On the other hand, Foreman and Gerry Cooney came face to face well after they crossed their prime. It wasn’t a long-drawn fight, even though Cooney stunned Foreman in the first round with an inside left hook. However, Foreman recovered and defeated Cooney in the second round via technical knockout. However, these fights were nothing compared to Foreman’s fights against Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield. 


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Foreman’s two biggest fights: Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield


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Foreman had the biggest fight of his career against Muhammad Ali, which was named Rumble in the Jungle. In the lead-up to the fight, Foreman was the crowd favorite, but that did not last long. Initially, Foreman was able to corner Ali and deliver devastating blows. But Ali quickly caught up and used his rope-a-dope technique to absorb or deflect Foreman’s shots, tiring him in the process. By the time the sixth round rolled around, Foreman had lost all his energy. So, all Ali had to do was end the fight with a hook, sending Foreman to the ground.

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However, in his fight against Holyfield, things were a lot different. Foreman came out of a decade-long retirement and defeated over 19 fighters to get a shot at the title. When Foreman and Holyfield finally came face to face, the latter was the crowd favorite. But to everyone’s surprise, Foreman put on a hell of a fight against Holyfield. Foreman even landed some shots that made everyone think he had a chance of winning. But that was not the case – in the end, Holyfield won via unanimous decision. 


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Regardless of the fights he lost or the fights he won. Foreman gave the Hardest Hitter trophy to someone he won against. But as for Foreman’s fights against Ali and Holyfield, they went down in history as the biggest fight of his career.

Watch This Story: George Foreman Snubs Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield to Give Mike Tyson the “Most Spectacular Athlete” Crown



Sudeep Sinha

108 articles

Sudeep Sinha is a Boxing Writer at Essentially Sports. He is an avid fan of the sport and remains in awe of the fighters. He is inspired by the grit and the passion that boxers possess and feels that those are essential elements in order to do well in all spheres.

Edited By: Arijit Saha