Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and David Tua are regarded as three of the hardest punching heavyweights to have ever laced ’em up.
And one fight legend had the opportunity to taste shots from all three knockout artists.
Evander Holyfield, known for his courage, determination, and durability, defeated Foreman and Tyson and had the opportunity to spar with David Tua who served as Evander’s stablemate for a portion of the 1990s.
In March, Brendan Taylor of Tru School Sports caught up with the fistic legend and asked him what it was like to get hit by some of the biggest KO artists in the history of the sport.
“[George Foreman] was the strongest opponent I ever fought, power-wise,” uttered Holyfield.
At 42 years old, a chubby Foreman was a huge underdog against the newly-crowned champion. And despite losing a decision to Evander, Big George was able to rock the 28-year-old, steel-chinned champ several times in a bout that is considered a classic today.
“He hit real hard. If George Foreman hit you, it HURT!”
“Tyson and Tua were quicker. They had quick reflexes.”
“Almost everyone was quicker than George but if he landed …. That was it.”
Holyfield went on to say Tyson and Tua looped many of their shots and insisted those punches were easier for him to defend against because those volleys traveled further than straight punches.
“[But] If they threw one down the middle, that [can] get you.”
Showing how he defended looping shots, such as full hooks, Evander explained how he’d go into a defensive shell to block the Tyson and Tua punches, protecting his temples and jaws in the process.
Holyfield didn’t compare and contrast the punching power of Tyson and Tua but strongly hinted their power wasn’t as intimidating as Foreman’s.
Immediately after his 1991 title defense against Foreman, Holyfield said Big George hit him harder than he’d ever been hit… and 25 years later he still insists Big George is the hardest puncher he’s faced. And true to form, George Foreman is considered by many experts as the hardest punching heavyweight champion ever.