Who hit harder, George Foreman or Mike Tyson?

Who was the harder puncher between the two? Foreman was bigger, and could hurt you with arm punches, but Tyson was faster and had better punching technique.

Evander Holyfield, who fought both, said Foreman hit harder.

My take: George Foreman had more powerful individual punches, while Tyson’s speed meant he could deliver significantly more punches. As to who would win in a prime Foreman vs Tyson fight, I don’t know exactly, but I’m skeptical that Tyson’s typical technique (overwhelm with speed, power, and aggression) would have been as effective against Foreman as the rope-a-dope. Foreman had an unbelievable chin as well as power, and I don’t know if Tyson’s chin could have stood up to Foreman’s power. But who can know for sure?

I’m not going to argue with Mr Holyfield, even if he is now 55.

Foreman is much larger than Tyson (6’3" to 5’10"), so a solid punch by Foreman with his weight behind it is devastating. On the other hand, Tyson won is first 19 pro bouts by knockout, 12 in the first round. His body punches were as devastating as Tyson’s chin shots, and Tyson regularly put opponents on the canvas with them. His shorter frame seemed to lend a tremendous about of torque and power to his punches. I’d take Tyson as the winner in a tough fight.

What was the quality of the opponents that each faced?

Heh Foreman wins that competition hands down. Frazier, Norton, Ali, and Holyfield.

They both had power but Tyson was a combination of speed and power; Foreman was just raw devastating power. Because Foreman was naturally more powerful, he could use his power in more ways than Tyson.

Tyson’s most powerful punches were his devastating uppercut, his (usually left) hook, and his overhand right. Tyson would get close to fighters and use his explosively energetic compact frame to generate a shit ton of power in a split second. But one thing that the beast we call George Foreman could do that Tyson could not was rattle someone’s brain with his jab. Foreman’s long arms also gave him wicked angles, and he was frighteningly accurate even when it looked like he was swinging wildly.

In my mind, Tyson was a 1980s version of Joe Frazier. The Mike Tyson that we saw from 1985 to 1989 would have been successful against most fighters in any era, but no version of Iron Mike would have been successful against George Foreman.

Re: Foreman’s jab. I remember another fighter describing it as being hit with the end of a tree trunk. :smiley:

Tyson was faster, but Foreman hit harder.

Foreman has the edge in a Foreman-Tyson matchup. Tyson had problems with fighters who moved him backwards (Holyfield, Douglas). Foreman would push him off and keep that anvil-heavy jab in his face, and then launch him skyward with an uppercut. Foreman would run out of gas if it went past the fifth, but it ain’t gonna go past the fifth.


Foreman was a lot bigger and stronger than Tyson.

I don’t know who hit harder, but I know who bit harder.

Don’t count on that. George looks like a man who’d bite off more than an ear.

And grill it up.

Here’s what doesn’t get talked about enough when people talk about George Foreman: his timing.

Sure, when he was a rough guy in his 20s coming out of Houston and a successful Olympian, people expected his timing to be good. But his timing was fucking awesome when he was in his 40s. Yes, he lost a split second on his reaction time…but he was able to compensate for it. Whatever he lost in terms of reaction time, he compensated for by anticipating what would happen next. If you watch his fight with Holyfield, maybe you see what I’m talking about. It’s just fucking freakish. Holyfield put together combinations that would have finished every other fighter by the 2nd or 3rd round, including Tyson, including Lewis. Foreman was a tough guy who could take a punch, but he also knew how to roll with punches, how to defend himself, and how to throw counter-punches…and more importantly, he had it down to a science when to move his body. That’s why I think great athletes are more than just athletic; they have “athletic intelligence.” They know how to use every last fiber in their body in ways the rest of us don’t.

Yes, there was his jab. But if that didn’t rattle the brain, then he had wicked, wicked angles with his long arms. And if a fighter was on the wrong end of a clubbing left hook or a clubbing overhand right…good - fucking - night.

Foreman. No one could deform a heavy bag like Foreman could: George Foreman Hitting Heavy Bag ALL - YouTube

Foreman really should have had a bigger place in boxing history than he did. Not a lot of people remember just what a monster he was up to the point he stepped into the ring with Ali at the Rumble in the Jungle fight. He should have won that fight by all rights. But Ali beat him psychologically and really Foreman never recovered from that fight.

If you are really interested I highly recommend When We Were Kings doc. It’s a great look at Forman in his prime.

That clip is wonderful, first 4 seconds he isn’t really trying and still makes you wince, When he winds it up for the last 20 seconds it makes you wonder how anyone survived in the ring with him. Of course…most didn’t. Perhaps Shavers and Tyson were more concussive head-shot artists but in terms of power-punishment dished out - probably Foreman.

There is a solid reason why we think of Foreman as a cliche for power and it makes the punishment that Ali soaked-up all the more remarkable. I reckon the only boxer who could’ve stopped Foreman that night (outside of a puncher’s chance) was Ali at the height of his cute skills.

First 45 seconds that should read

For comparison - Tyson vs bagin slow motion.

And Anthony Joshua.

Either bags were a lot weaker back in the day or Foreman was freakishly powerful.

Some of those roundhouse rights were downright scary!