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12 Rounds with Big George (cont.)

Posted: Friday August 26, 2005 1:45PM; Updated: Friday August 26, 2005 2:53PM
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4. You launched your career after winning an Olympic gold medal in Mexico City in 1968. Do you think Olympic exposure -- and experience -- is still important for a fighter?

Foreman: Definitely. As far as the exposure is concerned, there's nothing to match an Olympic gold medal. It makes you a household name. Promoters are always looking for something to make their life easy, and they just love to be able to say, "See the Olympic gold-medal winner!"

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As for experience, it doesn't help that much as far as in the ring. I had only 25 amateur fights -- and four of them were in the Olympics. But the experience in terms of handling the Big Moment, with the crowds and the reporters and the cameras going off in your face, it's invaluable.

5. You have five sons, all named George. Who was your favorite Beatle: John, Paul, Ringo or ... George?

Foreman: [Laughs] I really would like to say George, but Paul was always my favorite. He was good-looking and cool.

6. As a commentator, what one great historic bout do you wish you could have called?

Foreman: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling II! [Louis KO'd Schmeling in one round in 1938.] That fight had everything. You would only need to say a couple of words, just be quiet and get out of the way of the action. I would love to have been part of that.

7. What one fighter do you regret not having had the opportunity to face?

Foreman: When Mike Tyson was champion and on top of his game, he made the boast that he was the baddest man on the planet. I started thinking that would be a great match. Neither of us would have to worry about finding the other one in the ring. It would have been spectacular.

People said it would be like me fighting Frazier -- and that's why that fight never happened! People told Tyson, "Look what he did to Joe Frazier," but Tyson at his best had a better repertoire of punches than Frazier. It would have been a great fight.

8. Should Evander Holyfield still be fighting?

Foreman: I think not. He's already accomplished everything there is in the ring. The only thing he can accomplish that he hasn't yet is getting seriously hurt.

Still, you never know the truth about a guy's finances. I know how it is: You start thinking, "If I can just get one more million, then I'll be set!" But that's the most dangerous thing. When you start fighting for the money, that's the death sentence.

9. Who gave you more trouble on the inside, Jimmy Young or Larry Merchant?

Foreman: [Laughs] Merchant, hands down! He's a body puncher. You got to watch him, 'cause he'll get you to drop your guard and then, Pow!

10. Who's the best heavyweight in the world right now?

Foreman: The big Klitschko [WBC champion Vitali, brother of Wladimir]. He can beat anyone right now.

11. Any chance of a ring comeback?

Foreman: Never! I was thinking about it, getting back into shape. I said I wouldn't get back in the ring unless I was under 225 pounds, and I was getting there. Even now I'm in the 240s. But my wife saw me doing that and talking about it and she said, "You are not going back!" That was a new experience for me. I was used to being in control, but here I didn't have any comeback! When you get to the point you can't win an argument with your wife, you might as well give up.

12. Let's go back to Cooney. I've been sparring with him once a week at a gym in New Jersey. Can you give me some tips on how to handle him in the ring?

Foreman: Stay away from his left side! He hit me with his hook. That hurt me. He might kill you.


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