George Foreman names toughest puncher he’s faced

George Foreman has fought some of the toughest hitters in heavyweight history – but there is one who stands out the most.

The American boxing the legend shared the ring with Mohamed Ali in their historic “Rumble in the Jungle”.

After mixing it up with Joe Frazier and Evander Holyfield, “Big George” boxed some of the all-time greats and also took a few hits along the way.

But despite being unceremoniously dropped by The Greatest, Foreman has revealed the hardest hitter he has ever faced was former world title challenger Ron Lyle.

Reply to a fan on Twitter, he wrote: “Ron Lyle – I’ve never been hit so hard; and he started again.

Foreman beat Lyle in 1976 but had to overcome adversity in the fourth round after finding himself on the canvas for only the second time in his career.

But he rallied in the fifth round before unloading a barrage of unanswered blows to the head, leaving Lyle lying in a heap on the floor in sheer exhaustion.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman poses for photographers during a news conference in Johannesburg April 20,2001. Foreman is in Johannesburg for Sunday’s world heavyweight title fight between Britain’s Lennox Lewis and his American challenger Hasim Rahman. Foreman was the upset loser of the first world heavyweight title fight held in Africa when underdog Muhammad Ali knocked him out in the eighth round in 1974 in Kinshasa, the capital of former Zaire. JN/AS

Former world champion Foreman then faced Smokin’ Joe the same year, winning again in round 5.

Foreman also shared memorable battles over the years with Everett Martin and Tommy Morrison, in 1989 and then 1993, before coming out of retirement to beat Michael Moorer for the WBA and IBF belts in 1994.

But nothing means more to him than beating Lyle other than when he first became world champion.

Speaking in an interview with The Ring Magazine in 2016, Foreman said: “Besides my victory over Joe Frazier to win the heavyweight title, my redemption against Ron Lyle means more to me than all of them.

After the loss of Ali, I was a shell of myself. I walked for over a year and could barely face people. I was so down and kept making excuses.

“When Lyle knocked me down, the first thing that came to mind was, ‘What excuses do you have now, George? He knocked you down, you’re hurt, and when you get up, he will overthrow you again.

“I said to myself, ‘I get up and you can just kill me.’

“I lived through that game and was redeemed.”

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