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On This Day: George Foreman vs Ron Lyle – The greatest heavyweight brawl of them all

George Foreman
STR/AFP via Getty Images
George Foreman and Ron Lyle go hell for leather over five violent rounds

GEORGE FOREMAN w ko 5 RON LYLE
January 24, 1976; Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV

JANUARY was a good month for George Foreman. Throughout his career he fought nine times in the first month of the year, winning each time by knockout or stoppage. The most memorable and thrilling of all them was his wild brawl with Ron Lyle in Las Vegas which, even today, stands tall as THE heavyweight slugfest. It took a little while to get going; compared to what followed, the opening round was quiet and the second was noteworthy only because the bell sounded after two minutes. Hell broke loose in the third when Foreman decked Lyle before the fire really roared in the fourth; Foreman hit the deck first, Lyle went down from a right hand before toppling Big George at the end of the round. But the January blues were Lyle’s in the fifth when 17 unanswered blows sent him over and out.

DID YOU KNOW? This was the first fight to be held in the Sports Pavilion at Caesars. It was built in 1975 for a tennis ‘spectacular’ featuring Jimmy Connors. The last boxing action to occur there happened in 1996, when Oscar De La Hoya defeated Darryl Tyson.

WATCH OUT FOR: Has there ever been a better heavyweight round than the fourth?

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