The Battle of the Ages
I remember watching this fight as a teenager. There is one thing about this fight that I've never forgotten. The amount of punishment that these two men inflicted on each other was like something from a Rocky movie. Holyfield later said, "It felt like I was being hit by railroad ties." The fight went the 12 round distance and incredibly neither man ever went down. Even as a youngster I knew I was watching greatness. It was everything you could hope for when watching a fight for the heavyweight title.
Foreman was considerably slower than Holyfield, but when Big George hit him the effects were undeniable. The two men continued round after round to rock each other. Normal fighters would have gone down, but these two guys and this fight, was far from normal. Fights such as this one can take years off of a fighter's career. Both Foreman and Holyfield would go on to rewrite the record books.
This was Holyfield's first defense of the heavyweight championship. Holyfield had taken Mike Tyson's belts away from Buster Douglas. Holyfield didn't have to take on Big George, but I think he wanted to take on a big heavyweight to prove all doubters wrong. Holyfield had moved up to heavyweight and he was legit. Michael Dokes had hit him with some hard shots in their fight, but it was nothing compared to the punches he'd take against Foreman. There were some good possible heavyweight matches that weren't being made. Holyfield wanted to be a great champion that took on all comers. He always fought the next man up and took on the toughest opponents. Most fighters would not have taken Big George as their first title defense, but Evander did and gave us one of the best fights in boxing history
Big George was never going to get his title shot as long as Mike Tyson was champion. Tyson was not going to fight Foreman. His handlers had been told upon George's comeback not to fight him. It was a horrible match up for Tyson. It wasn't just Mike Tyson. Big George had trouble getting guys to fight him. At one point a decade earlier George was thought to be unbeatable. He'd find out against Muhammad Ali that he was invincible. That did something to him at that point in his career, but it made him what he'd become in the second part. Holyfield was giving him what he wanted. He had another shot to become heavyweight champion again. George had beaten everyone he'd faced, and that list of names wasn't all-world-beaters. None of them were on the same level with undefeated Evander Holyfield. Finally Foreman had a quality opponent in front of him. That made for one helluva fight.