Two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman offered to help train Deontay Wilder for the American’s assumed third fight against Tyson Fury this summer. Foreman took to social media on Tuesday to post an old-school picture of the all-time great heavyweight legend holding what basically looks like a giant tree stump on his massive shoulders.
“Maybe it’s time for Deontay Wilder to come to spend two to four weeks with me,” Foreman said. “Happy for Fury, but I see a need for Wilder.”
Foreman and Wilder’s Careers Eerily Similar
The two fighter’s careers are eerily similar.
Wilder didn’t start boxing until October 2005 when he was 20 years old. Amazingly, he won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Foreman experienced something just like that, and what the two heavyweights have in common is super rare in boxing.
Foreman told Heavy his first boxing match was in February 1967 and that by the summer of 1968, he was standing on the podium as the gold medal winner at the Olympics. For a boxer to achieve such heights in such a short amount of time is extremely rare.
“Yeah, isn’t that something crazy?” Foreman said.
But the parallels don’t just stop there. Because like Wilder, who wisely took his time after his short amateur career to learn the trade more fully, Foreman did something very similar after his amazing Olympic run.
“I didn’t even want to be a professional boxer because I only had 25 boxing matches as an amateur,” Foreman admitted. “The gold medal match was my 25th boxing match.”
But Foreman was convinced by manager Dick Sadler he could travel around the world and compete in exhibitions to get more ring time under his belt. Foreman did exactly that, and by 1969 he started his professional boxing career in earnest.
Additionally, both Wilder and Foreman share another crazy attribute: their tremendous power. In fact, before Wilder’s outrageous ability to knock out his opponents took the boxing world by storm, it was Foreman who was the most feared puncher of his era.
Let me put it this way. If you think Wilder is a scary monster and devastating puncher, check out Foreman’s epic destructions of Joe Frazier in 1973 and 1976.
Foreman was also one scary dude.
Did Wilder Just Experience His Own Rumble in the Jungle?
Before the fight, Foreman told me for a piece I wrote for Bookies.com that the hardest thing for him to get over after his 1974 loss to Muhammad Ali was that he couldn’t knock out his opponent. That had never really happened to him before, and it was a bigger deal to him than the loss itself.
In fact, Foreman said he didn’t really get over that experience until many years later.
So before Wilder vs. Fury 2, I pondered whether Wilder might have suffered the same thing back in December 2018 when Fury amazingly got up from the punch Wilder had used to knock just about every other opponent out. After all, Foreman told me he wasn’t the same fighter after The Rumble in the Jungle. Would Wilder really be the same after seeing Fury rise from the canvas like no man before him?
Fury dominated and stopped Wilder over seven one-sided rounds on Saturday night in the rematch. I know he blamed his 45-pound outfit after the loss, but there might also be something to my theory that binds him to Foreman there. Both fighters believed their power could get them out of jams. Both experienced tough bouts that proved it wasn’t always true.
Foreman’s Secret Weapon During Epic Comeback
Foreman retired from boxing in 1977. He returned to the sport ten years later and shockingly won the heavyweight championship again in 1994 at age 45 by knocking out 26-year-old champ Michael Moorer.
How’d he do that?
How’d he even manage to win enough fights at that age to get the title shot in the first place?
Foreman revealed to Heavy that the secret weapon he used was hard work on his ranch.
“It was something that made certain that I became the heavyweight champ of the world again,” Foreman said.
So Foreman’s offer to help Wilder would absolutely include things like carrying giant tree stumps around on his back. It’d also include Wilder tending to cows, chickens, pigs and all the other animals out there. He’d move giant boxes around. He’d dig holes. He’d build fences. He’d carry bags of feed.
And he’d do all those things at the huge ranch Foreman owns in Marshall, Texas. The place remains one of Foreman’s premier passions alongside his latest business project, an over-the-counter rub-on pain relief cream called Real Time Pain Relief Knockout.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Wilder to seriously consider Foreman’s offer. Because Foreman credits all the hard work he did there on the ranch as the thing that helped him win the title back.
“Men would get into the ring with me, and I was another breed because of the extra work I had done,” Foreman said.
Besides, the two heavyweight champs have too much in common to be ignored. If anyone can help Wilder right now after his tough loss to Fury, it’s probably Foreman.
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