Originally Posted by res
The terms in bold I would certainly agree with, and that was precisely Foreman's problem at this stage of his carer in my opinion. a non-technical low stamina wrecking ball does not need to become more patient and cautious.
In my opinion Frazier looked motivated when he first came out in the 73' fight and he actually looked pretty good during the first moments of the round landing a few left hooks and dictating the pace with not much coming back from George but pushing and jabs. But it was almost like once he tasted Foreman's power it took something out of him, and he started fighting on instinct rather than passion.
Round 7? See that's the thing, Foreman's prime M/0 is not to outpoint his opponent, it is to take him out, although it did happen on occasion as in the Peralta fight. In the Young fight, George Foreman was absolutely horrible when it came to cutting off the ring, nothing like in his earlier years. Look, personally I'm like you, I prefer Boxers to brawlers or sluggers, but a fighter at the end of the day should use what works for them and the more timid approach that George seemed to develop after Ali duped him the way that he did, failed to maximize George's make up as a fighter. It made him start to second guess himself and consequently, to become a different fighter.
I don't know, I guess that for me the best George Foreman would have fell somewhere between the monster who beat Frazier first time and the patient, well paced Foreman of the early 90s.
We just never got to see him! But I think he was on the right path.
Even a great puncher like Foreman was going to run into guys who he couldn't knock out. Thats where solid 12/15 round pacing comes in. He was getting there, but he couldn't help himself when the red mist came down in the Young fight. If he had never landed that left hook that staggered Young he'd have probably won a decision (it was close anyway!).
He'd have probably become champ the next year. I don't think 1978 Ali could have beaten him, Leon Spinks would have been destroyed. Norton vs a more patient Foreman? Naa, he'd have been knocked out again. Holmes in 1978? Oooooo, don't know tough call. I thought Holmes peaked a couple of years later.