George Foreman Says Mike Tyson Can Get A Heavyweight World Title Shot
Heavyweight great George Foreman has said that Mike Tyson can get a world title shot - and has tipped Iron Mike to win by knockout, if he gets the right opponent.
Tyson surprised many people with how fit and strong he looked, at age 54, in Saturday's exhibition against Roy Jones Jr. The eight-round contest was unofficially scored a draw, but many fight fans feel Tyson landed the more effective punches.
"If he gets in shape like he's in now, and then gets his timing back, and all the other things fall into place, he can have an opportunity to fight for the title," Foreman told USA Today after Tyson's display in California.
"If he can be managed right, a champion, the right champion, will come to him. And if the right one comes, he can knock him out."
Foreman is actually an expert in these matters, having made the most famous heavyweight comeback of all time. Big George was heavyweight champ in his twenties, lost his title to Muhammad Ali in 1974 - but made a comeback in his forties and sensationally won back the his crown 20 years after he had lost it, by knocking out Michael Moorer.
But naturally there is a big difference between 45 years old and 54 years old. Especially as Tyson looked a washed-up fighter at the end of his pro career 15 years ago, and has had his battles with drink and drugs since.
But Big George is clearly having none of that. "Tyson looked great," he said. "He really did. And Roy Jones had to use every old skill out of the book to keep himself from being knocked out.
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"I just couldn't believe what I saw. And that was just an exhibition. Just think if [Tyson] had some activity the last two years. He'd be in line to be the champion of the world again at 54, 55.''
Most would say there's a clear difference between fighting eight, two-minute rounds in an exhibition against a 51-year-old and taking on Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury (boxing's current heavyweight title-holders). But not Foreman.
"You have to have a really good manager to navigate you who to fight and who not to fight," he said. "But if he gets someone who can do some creative moves, he can be in the big time quickly."
"What impressed me most, he missed a lot of shots. He found himself out of position. He recaptured it and got back on track. Roy Jones had him confused the first round or two, and he fought through that... That impressed me more than anything he did. Keeping his mind in the game."
Tyson is apparently keen to keep on fighting - but likely in another exhibition, against a man of similarly advanced years. Which seems far more sensible to us than plotting a professional comeback.
But Foreman, the 71-year-old who famously defied Father Time, clearly believes that Iron Mike isn't as rusty as most of us think. And we would never argue with Big George.
All imagery: PA Images
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