Friday, May 15, 2015

Quotes About Power: George Foreman Speaks

In January of 1990, George Foreman, trying to score a match with the heavyweight champion of the world (Mike Tyson), fought a name, Gerry Cooney. Gerry hadn't fought in about two and a half years, after getting obliterated by Michael Spinks. In essence, he was just a name. But Cooney was trying to pull his career back together for one last try, with Hall of Fame trainer Gil Clancy in his corner. Mike Tyson was geared for a fight the following month with Buster Douglas, so Foreman's apparent certainty on beating Tyson for the title got completely turned on its ear, even when he was still on his own winning streak. It would be Cooney's last match. But for George, he was in the middle of his legendary second career, and they were building up his record much like in his first career.

The opponents were fairly careful at this point. Cooney was likely to get knocked out, but because of his size and power, the danger was palpable from the opening bell of a rowdy 2-rounder that left Gerry in a heap. Not before he made an impression on Big George as a puncher, however. The following quote exchange happened between George and David Letterman, when he took his fresh shiner to Late Night. These days, George Foreman's son (Monk) is the boxer in the family and David Letterman is about to end his own historic run, as a talk show icon.

Here are the power quotes:

Foreman: "This is the hardest hitter I've ever been in the ring with. You fight-say, I've had about sixty or more boxing matches, and you only meet three genuine punchers throughout your career. Gerry Cooney, Ronnie Lyle, and a kid I worked with, by the name of Cleveland Williams. And, they hit so hard that it vibrates your body, even if you block it, it just goes right to you."

Letterman: "So, you would say Gerry Cooney was one of the hardest punchers you've ever met in the ring?"

Foreman: "No doubt. He's been-of the three. He hit harder than Joe Frazier with his left hook."

Letterman: "Harder than Joe Frazier?"

Foreman: "Harder."

Letterman: "What about Earnie Shavers?"

Foreman: "I never fought Earnie Shavers. . .Thank goodness."

Everyone knows about Earnie Shavers. But what's interesting is that he mentioned Cleveland Williams in sparring, but not Sonny Liston here, who he also sparred. Also, he doesn't consider Frazier in this instance as one of the three "genuine" punchers he's met in the ring? Then again, maybe he was still suffering from Cooney's left hook! It's always interesting to hear these guys rate their opponents, even if you take some things with a grain of salt.

Full interview currently on Youtube:

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

Thanks for stopping by our place. Here are some other pages you might enjoy: 

George Foreman On Max Baer

The Great Exchange On Foul Acting, with George Foreman & Jim Lampley

George Foreman's Happy Reaction GIF

George Foreman threatens Bill Cosby and takes his shirt off.

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