Boxing


Don't Laugh, But If George Foreman Came Back Now, Could He Beat Valuev!?

by James Slater - There's absolutely no chance of it happening, but for last Saturday's awful fight that was only surpassed in the awful stakes by its decision, this writer would never bring it up - but could "Big" George Foreman, all 59 years of him, come back now and be able to beat Russian behemoth Nikolay Valuev?

george foremanDue to the stunning ineptitude he displayed in his "winning" fight with Evander Holyfield, think of such things I have. The idea, I must confess, first popped into my mind whilst watching the movie Rocky Balboa - itself an unlikely project pulled off only by an actor/director capable of making a great comeback of his own. Many fans called the depicted notion of a 50-something former great making a return to the ring, and holding his own against the current heavyweight champ while doing so, absurd. But I ask, couldn't Foreman come back and at the very least go the ten-round distance against Valuev? Hell, couldn't today's version of "The Punchin' Preacher" win a decision over the limited man mountain?

Basically, aside from his sheer size, Valuev has nothing but a decent left jab and a chin that smallish heavies struggle to reach. Even the 60-year-old Foreman (the age George would be after training for a couple of months) could match that, surely? Foreman, were he to push himself in camp, and drop down to around 270-pounds after having done so, would be in with a shot against a 35-year-old with virtually no talent for movement in the ring. George would still have a more than reasonable jab of his own, and at 6'4," the former two-time king would not be dwarfed the way Holyfield was. And to all those who say this (admittedly fun) proposition is foolish - would there be that much difference between a 60-year-old Foreman going in with a 35-year-old, to a near 50-year-old Foreman having gone in with a 25 or 28-year-old?

As I say, it won't happen. But if it did, I'm convinced a determined and motivated Foreman would, at the very least, come to no harm in a scheduled ten-rounder with the punch-pushing Russian. And I bet there would be enough curious fans willing to tune in to find out. Let's be honest, could a Foreman-Valuev fight possibly be any worse than the spectacle we were forced to endure in Switzerland on December 20th? It's not like this prospective dream fight (call it a bad dream if you wish) is the first crazy-looking possibility we have seen suggested this year.

Wasn't the recent Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao match-up laughed at when first it was put forth? Also, we have seen heavyweight curiosities in the past - Foreman's own unlikely comeback was doomed from the start in many eyes, and fellow grandfather-turned come-backing fighter Larry Holmes also took the im out of impossible. Take a look around, and you will see ancient guys like Riddick Bowe, Holyfield and Ray Mercer still fighting and winning. No, these guys are not as old as Foreman, but would the man who made a new name for himself by defying logic be unable to come back and win at least one fight? This writer has made a suggestion that is likely to be widely ridiculed, but it seems to me anything is possible in today's heavyweight division.

Foreman often joked in the past about fighting again while in his 60s. Wouldn't it be fun if he actually did so, and gave the Nikolay Valuev who failed to have the decency to hand Evander Holyfield the WBA belt he clearly lost via decision this past Saturday, a beating in the process? Hey, it won't happen, but I can suspend my disbelief as effectively as Sly Stallone can!

Article posted on 22.12.2008



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