George Foreman vs Ron Lyle (FightOfTheYear 1976)
NABF heavyweight title
Las Vegas, Nevada
George Foreman, the former World heavyweight champion, was coming in off of a 2 year layoff since his first defeat at the hands of the legendary Muhammad Ali. Ron Lyle, a former US Amateur Heavyweight champion, had made quite the impression in the heavyweight division in the lead up to his own title shot at Ali the previous year which he also suffered his first KO loss having dropped decisions to Jimmy young and Jerry Quarry respectively. Both men were at a crossroads in their careers needing desperately to win in order to make another run at the heavyweight title. In what became Ring Magazine's Fight of the Year 1976 and quite possibly one of the most exciting heavyweight fights ever, both men squared off center ring with nothing but violent intent. Big punching exchanges, knockdowns, drama and excitement all rolled into one bout that had a devastating ending. This is what heavyweight boxing should be about, not some lumbering hairy monster and two brothers who are quite content to build a legacy on overblown and overhyped contenders. Enjoy boxing fans!