Heights - myths versus the truth

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Heights - myths versus the truth

Evolution
Someone asked me in an email how tall George Foreman is. I decided to do a thread breaking down the real heights of some of the guys we like to watch. Some of these men I trained with and others I met throughout the years. Here's a few from memory and others of you who know info can feel free to share.

George Foreman is a legit 6'3 1/2. I'm 6'4 and wasn't much taller. In his prime he was listed as 6'4 and I understand why, with him nearly being 6'4 anyway and with his afro he appeared taller.

David Tua is 5'9, maybe 5'9 1/2. He's not 5'10 as he's often billed. He's certainly shorter than Tyson and Frazier.

Mike Tyson is tricky. When I knew him as a teenager and young adult he looked shorter because of his build. He's 5'10 for sure. However he lost weight after his daughter died. I didn't speak to him but I saw him in LA some months ago. He appeared taller because he looks less stocky these days. From the distance you would think he was 6'0 but he is 5'10.

Joe Frazier was a good 5'11. Taller than Mike Tyson but he wasn't 6'0.

Floyd Patterson was hard to gauge. He's 6'0 if you count his hair. Otherwise I'd say he was the same height as Joe Frazier. (5'11)

Muhammad Ali is probably 6'3 but hunches over. He was a hunchback when I met him so it's hard to say.

There's a few to start off. :)

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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Duggerman
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I remember you saying you met Joe Louis once. How tall was he, really? In this training video he said he was 6'1 but was often billed as 6'2. There was a video on youtube of Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis play-sparring on a TV show in the late '50s and Joe was definitely an inch or so taller than Jack, who was 6'1. Either Jack was really 6'0 or Joe was really 6'2.

Rocky Marciano was 5'9, as confirmed to me by Marciano biographer John Cameron during our interview a few years back. John interviewed Rocky's brother and plenty of people who knew Rocky well, so I believe that he was 5'9.

Entaowd met Mike Tyson once. Looking forward to his opinion of Tyson's height.
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Evolution
Duggerman wrote
I remember you saying you met Joe Louis once. How tall was he, really? In this training video he said he was 6'1 but was often billed as 6'2. There was a video on youtube of Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis play-sparring on a TV show in the late '50s and Joe was definitely an inch or so taller than Jack, who was 6'1. Either Jack was really 6'0 or Joe was really 6'2.
Joe was in a wheelchair when my father introduced us. He was frail and didn't say much back. I'll never forget the sadness in his eyes. I don't know how tall he was and even if he could stand I wouldn't know his height because I was a growing teen at the time and shorter than him.

I'm guessing that maybe he was 6'1 4/4, close enough to 6'2 that you might as well make that his "official" height. I never met Jack Dempsey but from seeing his height in comparison to guys like Firpo and Tunney I think 6'1 is about right.
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

frank
In reply to this post by Evolution
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

frank
In reply to this post by Duggerman
HBO used to state tyson's height as 5'11.5" (like frazier) but like frazier also, he stood at 5'10"  his later televised fights state this as well.
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

precious
In reply to this post by Evolution
Evolution I would bow to your superior knowledge on heights with just one observation, The Rumble v Foreman, Ali seemed to me about an inch & a half shorter in the stare down which would tally with him being 6'21/2 or did he have hair advantage. Frazier certainly appeared 5'11 but the superb documentary posted by Frank below says 5'10. Loved Joe's attitude to fighting in general & along with Marciano certainly embodies the famous Mark Twain quote
“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

redfeng007
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Ali & Rocky.



Different angle view gives you different impression on Rocky's height.




George Foreman and Riddick Bowe.





Lennox Lewis and the Klitschko Brothers. Guess few inches difference.


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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Alucard
In reply to this post by Evolution
Knowing that height and measurements are usually blown out to make stars seem bigger than life, being boxers, actors, bodybuilders, and such, these are my random guesses... George Foreman 6'2.5/6'3 max when young, Cassius Clay-Muhammad Ali 6'1.5-6'2, Mike Tyson around 5'9, maybe shorter maybe taller, Evander Holyfield 6'.05/6'1 max, Joe Frazier like Tyson around 5'9/5'10, probably a bit taller than Tyson, Lennox Lewis 6'4/6'4.5, Wladimir Klitschko 6'5, he also confirmed it himself, Anthony Joshua around 6'5, Deontay Wilder around 6'5, Vitali Klitschko 6'6, Tyson Fury around 6'6, Riddick Bowe around 6'3.5, maybe a bit taller, Joe Louis around 6'1, maybe shorter, Sonny Liston around 6', maybe shorter, Earnie Shavers probably not over 5'11, if not shorter... These just from top of my mind...
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Rosco
Ali was probably 6'4 or more in the ring because he fought on his toes. I gotta give it to him...he used his height to full advantage. He didn't duck into the shorter man's blows, he leaned back and got on his toes, maximizing his height.
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

redfeng007
In reply to this post by Duggerman
George Foreman's father is actually taller than GF.



Either his father is standing on something higher or he is almost 2 metres.

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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Duggerman
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redfeng007 wrote
George Foreman's father is actually taller than GF.



Either his father is standing on something higher or he is almost 2 metres.
I'd never seen his dad before. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Urban Legend
I think the boxing heights are for the most part close to accuracy. For example Joe Louis saying he was 6'1 but I imagine that wearing his boots at weigh-ins and other shoes he was around 6'2. Ali used to skip around on his toes which might have made him 6'4 when he did so, maybe 6'5. But standing still he was a good 6'3 I bet. Sonny Liston was 6'1 and Ali had a good two inches on him at least
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Will69
As a kid in the 80s, I saw Ali in a mall in Canada.  He was clearly a head above the crowd, or at least seemed so from a child's perspective.  I've heard his height listed as 6'3 1/2".  In some photos of him and Lewis, Ali looks similar in size, so I guess a lot depends on his posture and camera angles.  

Tyson Fury is listed as 6'9" in wikipedia, but clearly he is not.  Not sure why no one corrects that in wikipedia, when his information is constantly updated.

One thing that I have concluded over the past year, is this.  Height helps!
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Sting Like A Bean
I once knew a guy who claimed to to have met Mike Tyson and had a photo to prove it.  (A guy named Leo who looked *exactly* like LL Cool J only younger) Anyway he said Tyson was as exactly tall as I am, as best he could remember. I'm exactly a quarter inch over 5'10".  
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Sting Like A Bean
When I see footage of Joe Louis attending or refereeing fights from the sixties and seventies, it's clear he was a larger framed man than the old black and white films would suggest. Old film can be misleading.
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Re: Heights - myths versus the truth

Duggerman
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In reply to this post by redfeng007
Yeah. Riddick looks an even 6'5, and this makes Foreman around 6'3. There's a good two inch gap between the two.