The oldest heavyweight champion of the world, “Big” George Foreman, believes Mike Tyson got molded into the beast he was and wasn’t born with a natural talent.
Citing the efforts of top trainer and boxing legend Cus D’Amato, Foreman says Tyson had to work hard on honing his incredible skills.
Eventually becoming “The Baddest Man on the Planet,” Tyson was the biggest name in boxing through the mid to late eighties. Upon his release from prison, he was never the same fighter after fame took hold of him.
When comparing Tyson to Sonny Liston, the most feared heavyweight of his day until toppled famously by Muhammad Ali, Foreman aired his views on the pair.
“Mike Tyson never fought anyone of Sonny Liston sort,” explained George. “I loved Tyson’s speed and combos, [but they were] manufactured by Cus D’Amato.
“Nature put Sonny Liston together. The stuff you have to run from,” he added.
Foreman and Tyson never fought. This scenario happened despite the former coming back from a decade-long retirement when the latter embarked on returning to the sport.
At one point, they got tied to a world title battle. However, Foreman believes he got steered away from Tyson purposely.
Talking about Tyson recently, Foreman was candid in his thoughts on the matter when asked about Ali telling him to avoid Tyson at all costs.
Correcting the question, Foreman answered: “Ali never told me to stay away from Tyson.
“He did say, “Tyson can punch like a Blankety Blank.” He was really impressed with Mike. But for me, they (heavyweights like Tyson) were real fast (small with muscles). But they were no danger to me.”
Part of the new fad for older boxers making comebacks for exhibitions, Tyson fought Roy Jones Jr. last year. A second bout is yet to materialize.
At the age of 72, Foreman is quite content to be out of the equation. He still makes most of his money out of the sport.