Spitz, the American swimmer whose record of seven gold medals in a single Olympics Games was shattered by Phelps, said that if the two legends squared off in their primes, it had to be a draw. "I think that the relationship between people that are great is they have a common thread of knowing how to beat their competitors and they know how to constantly be in shape and in top form," the Daily News quoted Spitz, as saying.
"If that's the case, I'd know everything about how to beat Michael," he said. "He'd also know everything to beat me. We'd have to tie."
Spitz, 58, spoke graciously of the 23-year-old phenomenon Phelps who broke the record he set in the 1972 Munich Games.
Spitz even predicted that Phelps could bring in more golds in the next Olympics.
"I believe that he can go for nine," Spitz said, noting that Phelps could add the 200-meter backstroke to his extraordinary repertoire.