Is George Foreman a champion or con man?
That question will be answered Friday night when 42-year-old, 257 Analysispound Foreman challenges heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.Foreman would like to answer it by upsetting Holyfield to become the oldest heavyweight champion in history. But Holyfield will answer it for him, cutting him down to size a lot faster than people think.
"I look at George as a tree," Holyfield says. "I've never seen a tree that was too tall to chop down."
Holyfield will win so impressively, people will wonder how Foreman even received a chance at the title. The answer is, he conned his way into it by fighting 24 overmatched foes and telling funny stories.
He is still at it.
"They've studied tapes of me," Foreman said of Holyfield's trainers. "But how in the world can you study a miracle? What I do isn't on tape."
What he does in the ring is as little as possible. He is slow of foot and hand. Foreman's punches are heavy, but no smart fighter should get hit with them.
Holyfield does not expect to. He also says he will ignore advice from people who tell him to stay away from Foreman for as much of the scheduled 12-round bout as possible. He wants to attack.
"Everbody knows I'm quicker than George Foreman, and I should be hitting him four punches to one," said Holyfield, who is 28 and weighs 208.
Holyfield will prove from the opening bell he is several levels above the guys Foreman has fought on his comeback. Holyfield may be easy to hit, but he hits back. And he hits hard enough that Foreman's biggest weakness - stamina - may have no affect on the bout.
"The first two rounds should be very explosive," Holyfield said. "George looks to put pressure on and when pressure meets pressure, something has to pop. I'll do what it takes not to let him overwhelm me in the first two rounds. I'll make him make mistakes and capitalize on those mistakes."
Foreman hints he will use weapons nobody has seen yet to take Holyfield's crown. He maintains his experience will be a big help, and points to the odds dropping as hard evidence he has a chance.
Foreman claims his getting hurt by Gerry Cooney, Ken Lakusta and Carlos Hernandez in comeback victories was part of his act.
"I've almost had guys knocked out and I played like I was hurt," Foreman said. "The act is over, the time is at hand. George Foreman is going to be heavyweight champion of the world again."