“Height Does Not Make You a Good Fighter”: Highlighting Anthony Joshua’s Loss Against Much Shorter Andy Ruiz, George Foreman Explains What Creates Difference in a Fight

Published 10/25/2023, 1:57 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

In his time, very few men struck fear in the hearts of hard men the way ‘Big’ George Foreman did. In terms of sheer toughness, he remained unparalleled. Else, what could explain his continuation till the last decade of the twentieth century, when most of his contemporaries were in retirement to varying degrees? Modern-day boxers can learn from his vast experience and knowledge.

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It was at age 45 that Foreman became the oldest man to become a Heavyweight champion in the sport’s history. Over the years, he fought some of the meanest and physically most imposing opponents one could ever come across. While he lost a few battles, there were many that he won. One of his biggest takeaways is that the boxer’s heart matters most, not how tall or big he stands. In an interview, he even quoted the most recent example that stunned all boxing lovers.

George Foreman: What matters most in a fight?

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George Foreman was in conversation with ESPN’s Max Kellerman four years ago. While discussing heavy-set boxers such as Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, who are 6′ 9″ and 6′ 7″, respectively, Hellerman said, “…six six seven six nine, and they can fight when you look at you guys, like you and Muhammad Ali, who were giants back then (6′ 3″ -220), and now you’re looking at guys who can fight, maybe not quite like you guys, but they’re so much big..”

‘Big’ George immediately said, “But height does not make you a good fighter. At all. Bigness does not. It’s right here. This is what makes you a fighter…size has nothing to do with [it], as you saw with Ruiz and Joshua. Size [has] nothing to do with it.

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Andy Ruiz Jr. met then-unified champion Anthony Joshua on June 1, 2019. The latter entered the ring as a clear favorite; however, the clash proved anything but the usual.

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‘The Destroyer’ gets the last laugh

The British boxer, an Olympic gold medalist, stood 6 feet and 6 inches tall with a massive reach of 82 inches. In contrast, the American boxer was 6 feet and 2 inches tall and had a reach of 74 inches. Ruiz Jr., the heavy underdog, nevertheless stunned the world when he won the match via a technical knockout, stopping ‘AJ’ in the seventh round. Most fans and followers still count the fight among boxing’s biggest upsets, alongside the Tyson-Douglas and Lewis-Rahman bouts.

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Do you agree with ‘Big’ George Foreman’s opinion? Please share your views with us in the comments below.

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

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

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Jaideep Unnithan is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports. With over 400 articles authored at ES, Jaideep has built a reputation for diving deep into stories and producing detailed reports. Jaideep's passion for the sport of boxing was ignited when his father shared his experience of watching Ali vs Frazier live in the US.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha

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