Joe Frazier Tribute: George Foreman Admits Fear in 1990 Johnny Carson Interview (Video)

This is overall a great little spot from George Foreman on The Tonight Show with Johnny Cash back in 1990. Carson asks Foreman if he was afraid of any fighter he faced, and suggests perhaps Muhammad Ali. Foreman says he was never scared of Muhammad, but that wasn't the case for Joe Frazier:


Foreman on Frazier, 1990:

"I remember Joe Frazier, he was the toughest guy I'd ever seen. Smokin' Joe Frazier. My mother watched him fight on television, and he hit a guy so hard, the guy turned his back. And I kept thinkin', 'I wanna be champion of the world, but I sure hope Joe Frazier dies.' So I got in the ring, it was time to fight Joe Frazier, and I knew, if you hit him, he liked it. And if you miss him, he'd just get upset. And I'm thinkin', what am I gonna do. But I had this habit of starin' guys down, I look 'em in the eye to psyche 'em out. And this time -- if they dropped their head, I knew I had an advantage. But I was hoping Joe Frazier wouldn't drop his head, because my knees were shaking."

Foreman, of course, beat Frazier twice, in 1973 and later in 1976. He was simply too big and too powerful for Frazier, who gave it his all but couldn't deal with Foreman's advantages.

Last night, Big George was short and sweet via his Twitter account:

Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend. George Foreman

I can't help but also note this fantastic Foreman-Carson exchange after the Frazier story, because it really got me these 21 years later:

Carson: Now, the fella you're fighting is, I'm not familiar with--

Foreman: Adilson Rodrigues.

Carson: Now is he a good fighter?

Foreman: I hope not.

Classic. Foreman beat Rodrigues in two.

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