Thirty-five years ago, boxing fans sat on the edge of their living room sofas to see the once indestructible “Big” George Foreman make his grand return against Ron Lyle, 15 months after falling prey to Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-Dope tactics in Zaire. On paper, Lyle v. Foreman appeared to be the perfect equation for an all-out slugfest, with the majority of fans assuming that Lyle would eventually succumb to Foreman’s trademark power.
But every boxing fan knows that this was hardly the case — the so-called “measuring-stick” bout quickly transformed from a mundane welcome-back showcase for Foreman into one of the greatest heavyweight brawls of the century.
“A good right by Lyle!” the late sports commentator Howard Cossell bellowed in that round. “Lyle’s all over him, he has Foreman in trouble! Foreman is down.”