Evander Holyfield snubs Mike Tyson as hardest hitter he faced ahead of trilogy fight and instead picks George Foreman – The Sun

HEAVYWEIGHT legend Evander Holyfield has given rival Mike Tyson the cold shoulder when asked who was the hardest hitter he faced.

The American, 57, instead insists George Foreman and Riddick Bowe both had unrivalled punching power inside the ring.

Holyfield, a former undisputed champion, had 57 fights throughout his career including two famous bouts against Iron Mike.

Despite Tyson's reputation for being one of the most fierce fighters in the world, Holyfield came on top on both occasions which included the infamous ear bite controversy.

Holyfield beat Foreman during his prime in 1991 before fighting Bowe on three separate occasions.

And he claims it was the duo who left a lasting impact in and outside of the ring.

In an interview with The 3 Point Conversion, Holyfield said: “George Foreman hit me with the hardest punch.

“But Riddick Bowe hit me more than anybody with big shots.

“In not winning my first fight with Riddick Bowe, I was kind of inspired by the people saying, ‘god damn, it’s one thing if you hit him, he’s not gonna stop coming’.

“I always remember that was an inspiration that I could take something, everyone was asking, ‘what’s gonna happen if he gets hit by some big guy?’

“I guess the first heavyweight fight that was really kinda taxing was when I fought Michael Dokes. But after Michael Dokes I kinda grew into how to hang with guys who are bigger and had a little bit more experience than I.

“Once I knew I could be hurt… I remember at one point in time I thought I could never be hurt because it never happened to me.

“But the first time Bert Cooper caught me with a shot, they gave me my first eight count, then I realised, ‘wow’.

“When he hit me I didn’t see the shot, all I remember is my legs rubber banding, I realised but I never got hurt again until I fought Riddick Bowe.

“The art of the game is you only get hit when you do something wrong. So even sometimes you may get by, you do something wrong and the guy didn’t swing, so you’re kinda thankful."

Holyfield also revealed how he is in talks for a sensational comeback scrap against Tyson – 23 years after their last bout.

Both boxers have been put through their paces in an attempt to get fighting fit.

He added: "His people have been talking to my people and we haven’t yet got a solid deal together but it’s coming that way.

"If it happens, then that’s no problem.

“Well the thing is, he was doing something and I was doing something.

“When I told people about it, they saw me working out and they kind of put two and two together,

“They must be coming together to do this like this.

“But the fact of the matter is, I didn’t mind if we do something like this."

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