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George Foreman

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George Foreman

George Foreman
Foreman in 2009
Real name George Edward Foreman
Nickname(s) Big George
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Reach 82 in (208 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1949-01-10) January 10, 1949
Marshall, Texas, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 81
Wins 76
Wins by KO 68
Losses 5
Draws 0
No contests 0

George Edward Foreman (born January 10, 1949), nicknamed "Big George",[1] is an American former professional boxer. In his boxing career he was a two-time world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist; outside of the sport he went on to become an ordained minister, author, and entrepreneur.

After a troubled childhood, Foreman took up boxing and was a gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics. He won the World Heavyweight title with a second-round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1973. He made two successful title defenses before losing to Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974. He was unable to secure another title shot, and retired following a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977. Following what he referred to as a religious epiphany, Foreman became an ordained Christian minister. Ten years later, he announced a comeback and, in November 1994, at age 45, he regained the Heavyweight Championship by knocking out 27-year-old Michael Moorer. Foreman is the oldest Heavyweight Champion in history, and second oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins. He retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76–5, including 68 knockouts.

Foreman has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the

  • Official website
  • Professional boxing record for George Foreman from BoxRec
  • George Foreman – IBHOF Biography
  • George Foreman's Amateur Boxing Record
  • George Foreman at the Internet Movie Database
  • George Foreman at

External links

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  8. ^ "George Foreman's Guide to Life: How to Get Up off the Canvas When Life Knocks You Down", 2002
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  16. ^ Coxscorner
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See also

Preceded by
Forest Ward
United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion
Succeeded by
Earnie Shavers
Preceded by
Joe Frazier
World Heavyweight Champion
January 22, 1973 – October 30, 1974
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali
Preceded by
Michael Moorer
IBF Heavyweight Champion
November 5, 1994–1995
Succeeded by
Michael Moorer
Filled vacancy
WBA Heavyweight Champion
November 5, 1994–1995
Succeeded by
Bruce Seldon
Filled vacancy
Preceded by
Michael Moorer
Lineal World Heavyweight Champion
November 5, 1994 – November 22, 1997
Succeeded by
Shannon Briggs
Preceded by
Muhammad Ali and Carlos Monzon
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali
Preceded by
Muhammad Ali
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Succeeded by
Carlos Zarate
Preceded by
Carlos Monzon
BWAA Fighter of the Year
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali
Preceded by
Pernell Whitaker
BWAA Fighter of the Year
Succeeded by
Oscar De La Hoya
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bob Fitzsimmons
Oldest boxer to win a world title
November 25, 1994 – May 21, 2011
Succeeded by
Bernard Hopkins


76 Wins (68 knockouts, 8 decisions), 5 Losses (1 knockout, 4 decisions), 0 Draws[22]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 76–5 Shannon Briggs MD 12 1997-11-22 Taj Mahal Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Lost Lineal Heavyweight title.
Win 76–4 Lou Savarese SD 12 1997-04-26 Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Retained Lineal & WBU Heavyweight title.
Win 75–4 Crawford Grimsley UD 12 1996-11-03 Tokyo Bay NK Hall, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan Retained Lineal & WBU Heavyweight title. Won vacant IBA Heavyweight title
Win 74–4 Axel Schulz MD 12 1995-04-22 MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained Lineal, & IBF Heavyweight titles. Won vacant WBU Heavyweight title.
Win 73–4 Michael Moorer KO 10 (12) 1994-11-05 MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won Lineal, WBA, & IBF Heavyweight titles.
Loss 72–4 Tommy Morrison UD 12 1993-06-07 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For vacant WBO Heavyweight title.
Win 72–3 Pierre Coetzer TKO 8 (10) 1993-01-16 Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno, Nevada, United States
Win 71–3 Alex Stewart MD 10 1992-04-11 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 70–3 Jimmy Ellis TKO 3 (10) 1991-12-07 Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno, Nevada, United States
Loss 69–3 Evander Holyfield UD 12 1991-04-19 Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States For Lineal, WBC, WBA, & IBF Heavyweight titles.
Win 69–2 Terry Anderson KO 1 (10) 1990-09-25 New London Arena, Millwall, London, England, United Kingdom
Win 68–2 Ken Lakusta KO 3 (10) 1990-07-31 Northlands Agricom, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Win 67–2 Adilson Rodrigues KO 2 (10) 1990-06-16 Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 66–2 Mike Jameson TKO 4 (10) 1990-04-17 Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, United States
Win 65–2 Gerry Cooney KO 2 (10) 1990-01-15 Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 64–2 Everett Martin UD 10 1989-07-20 Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona, United States
Win 63–2 Bert Cooper RTD 2 (10) 1989-06-01 Pride Pavilion, Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 62–2 J. B. Williamson TKO 5 (10) 1989-04-30 Moody Center, Galveston, Texas, United States
Win 61–2 Manoel De Almeida TKO 3 (10) 1989-02-16 Atlantis Theater, Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 60–2 Mark Young TKO 7 (10) 1989-01-26 War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, New York, United States
Win 59–2 David Jaco TKO 1 (10) 1988-12-28 Casa Royal Hotel, Bakersfield, California, United States
Win 58–2 Tony Fulilangi TKO 2 (10) 1988-10-27 Civic Center, Marshall, Texas, United States
Win 57–2 Bobby Hitz TKO 1 (10) 1988-09-10 The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 56–2 Ladislao Mijangos TKO 2 (10) 1988-08-25 Lee Civic Center, Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Win 55–2 Carlos Hernandez TKO 4 (10) 1988-06-26 Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 54–2 Frank Lux TKO 3 (10) 1988-05-21 Sullivan Arena, Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Win 53–2 Dwight Muhammad Qawi TKO 7 (10) 1988-03-19 Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 52–2 Guido Trane TKO 5 (10) 1988-02-05 Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 51–2 Tom Trimm KO 1 (10) 1988-01-23 Sheraton Twin Towers, Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 50–2 Rocky Sekorski TKO 3 (10) 1987-12-18 Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 49–2 Tim Anderson TKO 4 (10) 1987-11-21 Sports Complex, Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 48–2 Bobby Crabtree TKO 6 (10) 1987-09-15 Springfield, Missouri, United States
Win 47–2 Charles Hostetter KO 3 (10) 1987-07-09 Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California, United States
Win 46–2 Steve Zouski TKO 4 (10) 1987-03-09 Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, United States
Loss 45–2 Jimmy Young UD 12 1977-03-17 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico 1977 Fight of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
Win 45–1 Pedro Agosto TKO 4 (10) 1977-01-22 Civic Auditorium, Pensacola, Florida, United States
Win 44–1 John Dino Denis TKO 4 (10) 1976-10-15 Sportatorium, Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 43–1 Scott LeDoux TKO 3 (10) 1976-08-14 Utica Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York, United States
Win 42–1 Joe Frazier TKO 5 (12) 1976-06-15 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York, United States Retained NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 41–1 Ron Lyle KO 5 (12) 1976-01-24 Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won vacant NABF Heavyweight title.
1976 Fight of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
Loss 40–1 Muhammad Ali KO 8 (15) 1974-10-30 Stade du 20 Mai, Kinshasa, Zaire Lost The Ring, WBC & WBA World Heavyweight titles.
1974 Fight of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
Win 40–0 Ken Norton TKO 2 (15) 1974-03-26 El Poliedro, Caracas, Venezuela Retained The Ring, WBC & WBA World Heavyweight titles.
Win 39–0 Jose Roman KO 1 (15) 1973-09-01 Nihon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Retained The Ring, WBC & WBA World Heavyweight titles.
Win 38–0 Joe Frazier TKO 2 (15) 1973-01-22 National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica Won The Ring, WBC & WBA World Heavyweight titles.
1973 Fight of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
Win 37–0 Terry Sorrell KO 2 (10) 1972-10-10 Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 36–0 Miguel Angel Paez KO 2 (10) 1972-05-11 Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California, United States Won Pan American Heavyweight title.
Win 35–0 Ted Gullick KO 2 (10) 1972-04-10 Forum, Inglewood, California, United States
Win 34–0 Clarence Boone KO 2 (10) 1972-03-07 Beaumont, Texas, United States
Win 33–0 Joe Murphy Goodwin KO 2 (10) 1972-02-29 Austin, Texas, United States
Win 32–0 Luis Faustino Pires TKO 5 (10) 1971-10-29 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 31–0 Ollie Wilson KO 2 (10) 1971-10-07 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 30–0 Leroy Caldwell KO 2 (10) 1971-09-21 Beaumont, Texas, United States
Win 29–0 Vic Scott KO 1 (10) 1971-09-14 El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas, United States
Win 28–0 Gregorio Peralta TKO 10 (15) 1971-05-10 Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California, United States Won vacant NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 27–0 Stamford Harris KO 2 (10) 1971-04-03 Playboy Club Hotel, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, United States
Win 26–0 Charlie Boston KO 1 (10) 1971-02-08 Auditorium, Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Win 25–0 Mel Turnbow TKO 1 (10) 1970-12-18 Seattle Center Arena, Seattle, Washington, United States
Win 24–0 Boone Kirkman TKO 2 (10) 1970-11-18 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 23–0 Lou Bailey TKO 3 (10) 1970-11-03 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Win 22–0 George Chuvalo TKO 3 (10) 1970-08-04 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 21–0 Roger Russell KO 1 (10) 1970-07-20 Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 20–0 George Johnson TKO 7 (10) 1970-05-16 Forum, Inglewood, California, United States
Win 19–0 Aaron Eastling TKO 4 (10) 1970-04-29 Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Win 18–0 James J. Woody TKO 3 (10) 1970-04-17 Felt Forum, New York, New York, United States
Win 17–0 Rufus Brassell TKO 1 (10) 1970-03-31 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas, United States
Win 16–0 Gregorio Peralta UD 10 1970-02-16 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States 5-4, 7-3, 9-1
Win 15–0 Jack O'Halloran KO 5 (10) 1970-01-26 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 14–0 Charley Polite KO 4 (10) 1970-01-06 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas, United States
Win 13–0 Gary Hobo Wiler TKO 1 (10) 1969-12-18 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington, United States
Win 12–0 Levi Forte UD 10 1969-12-16 Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Win 11–0 Bob Hazelton TKO 1 (6) 1969-12-06 International Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–0 Max Martinez KO 2 (10) 1969-11-18 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas, United States
Win 9–0 Leo Peterson KO 4 (8) 1969-11-05 Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 8–0 Roberto Davila UD 8 1969-10-31 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 7–0 Vernon Clay TKO 2 (6) 1969-10-07 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas, United States
Win 6–0 Roy Wallace KO 2 (6) 1969-09-23 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas, United States
Win 5–0 Johnny Carroll KO 1 (8) 1969-09-18 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington, United States
Win 4–0 Chuck Wepner TKO 3 (10) 1969-08-18 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 3–0 Sylvester Dullaire TKO 1 (6) 1969-07-14 Rosecroft Raceway, Oxon Hill, Maryland, United States
Win 2–0 Fred Askew KO 1 (6) 1969-07-01 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 1–0 Don Waldhelm TKO 3 (6) 1969-06-23 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Foreman's professional debut.

Professional boxing record

  • Won his first amateur fight on January 26, 1967 by a first-round knockout in the Parks Diamond Belt Tournament.
  • Won the San Francisco Examiner's Golden Gloves Tournament in the Junior Division in February 1967.
  • February 1967: Knocked out Thomas Cook to win the Las Vegas Golden Gloves in the Senior Division.
  • February 1968: Knocked out L.C. Brown to win the San Francisco Examiner's Senior Title in San Francisco.
  • March 1968: Won the National AAU Heavyweight title in Toledo, Ohio vs. Henry Crump of Philadelphia, PA in the final.
  • July 1968: Sparred five rounds on two different occasions with former World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston.
  • September 21, 1968: Won his second decision over Otis Evans to make the U.S. boxing team for the Mexico City Olympic Games.
  • Foreman had a 16–4 amateur boxing record going into the Olympics. He knocked out Russia's Ionas Chepulis to win the Olympic Games Heavyweight Gold Medal. He was trained for the Olympic Games by Robert (Pappy) Gault.
  • Amateur Record: 22–4[21]


Amateur accomplishments

Although Foreman has never confirmed exactly how much he has earned from the endorsement, it is known that Salton Inc paid him $137 million in 1999, in order to buy out the right to use his name. Previous to that he was being paid about 40% of the profits on each grill sold (earning him $4.5 million a month in payouts at its peak) so it is estimated he has made a total of over $200 million from the endorsement, substantially more than he earned as a boxer.[19]

When Foreman came back from retirement he argued that his success was due to his healthy eating, which made him a perfect fit for George Foreman Grill has resulted in sales of over 100 million units since it was first launched, a feat achieved in a little over 15 years.

Entrepreneurship (grill)

Foreman has 12 children: five sons and seven daughters. His five sons are George Jr.,

Foreman speaking in Houston, Texas, in September 2009

Family and private life

Foreman said he had no plans to resume his career as a boxer, but then announced in February 2004 that he was training for one more comeback fight to demonstrate that the age of 55, like 40, is not a "death sentence." The bout, against an unspecified opponent (rumored to be Trevor Berbick), never materialized (it was widely thought that Foreman's wife had been a major factor in the change of plans). Having severed his relationship with HBO to pursue other opportunities, George Foreman and the sport of boxing finally went their separate ways.

Foreman was gracious and philosophical in his loss to Briggs, but announced his "final" retirement shortly afterward. However, he did plan a return bout against Larry Holmes in 1999, scheduled to take place at the Houston Astrodome on pay per view. The fight was to be billed as "The Birthday Bash" due to both fighters' upcoming birthdays. Foreman was set to make $10 million and Holmes was to make $4 million, but negotiations fell through and the fight was cancelled. With a continuing affinity for the sport, Foreman became a respected boxing analyst for HBO.

Second retirement

In 1996, Foreman returned to Tokyo, scoring an easy win over the unrated Crawford Grimsley by a 12-round decision. In 1997, he faced contender Lou Savarese, winning a close decision in a grueling, competitive encounter. Then, yet another opportunity came Foreman's way as the WBC decided to match him against Shannon Briggs in a 1997 "eliminator bout" for the right to face WBC champion Lennox Lewis. After 12 rounds, in which Foreman consistently rocked Briggs with power punches, almost everyone at ringside saw Foreman as the clear winner.[18] Once again there was a controversial decision—but this time it went in favor of Foreman's opponent, with Briggs awarded a points win. Foreman had fought for the last time, at the age of 48.

Shortly after the Moorer fight, Foreman began talking about a potential superfight against Tony Tucker. For reasons not clearly known, Foreman refused to fight Tucker and allowed the WBA to strip him of that belt. He then went on to fight mid-level prospect Axel Schulz of Germany in defense of his remaining IBF title. Schulz was a major underdog. Schulz jabbed strongly from long range and grew increasingly confident as the fight progressed. Foreman finished the fight with a swelling over one eye, but was awarded a controversial majority decision. The IBF ordered an immediate rematch to be held in Germany, but Foreman refused the terms and found himself stripped of his remaining title. However, Foreman continued to be recognized as the Lineal Heavyweight Champion.

In an instant, Foreman had regained the title he had lost to Muhammad Ali two decades before. He went back to his corner and knelt in prayer as the arena erupted in cheers. With this historic victory, Foreman broke three records: he became, at age 45, the oldest fighter ever to win the World Heavyweight Championship; 20 years after losing his title for the first time, he broke the record for the fighter with the longest interval between his first and second world championships; and the age spread of 19 years between the champion and challenger was the largest of any heavyweight boxing championship fight.

Foreman's title challenge against Moorer took place on November 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Foreman wearing the same red trunks he had worn in his title loss to Ali 20 years earlier. This time, however, Foreman was a substantial underdog. For nine rounds, Moorer easily outboxed him, hitting and moving away, while Foreman chugged forward, seemingly unable to "pull the trigger" on his punches. Entering the tenth round, Foreman was trailing on all scorecards. However, Foreman launched a comeback in the tenth round and hit Moorer with a number of punches. Then a short right hand caught Moorer on the tip of his chin, gashing open his bottom lip and he collapsed to the canvas. He lay flat on his back as the referee counted him out.

Having lost his last fight against Morrison, Foreman was unranked and in no position to demand another title shot. His relatively high profile, however, made a title shot against Moorer, 19 years his junior, a lucrative prospect at seemingly little risk for the champion.

In 1994, Foreman once again sought to challenge for the world championship after Michael Moorer had beaten Holyfield for the IBF and WBA titles.

Regaining the title

In 1993, Foreman received another title shot, although this was for the vacant WBO Championship, which most fans at the time saw as a second-tier version of the "real" Heavyweight title, then being contested between Holyfield and Riddick Bowe. Foreman's opponent was Tommy Morrison, a young prospect known for his punching power. To the frustration of Foreman and the disappointment of the booing crowd, Morrison retreated throughout the fight, refusing to trade toe-to-toe, and sometimes even turned his back on Foreman. The strategy paid off, however, as he outboxed Foreman from long range. Foreman was competitive throughout the match, but after 12 rounds, Morrison won a unanimous decision.

A year later, Foreman fought journeyman Alex Stewart, who had previously been stopped in the first round by Mike Tyson. Foreman knocked down Stewart twice in the second round, but expended a lot of energy in doing so. He subsequently tired, and Stewart rebounded. By the end of the 10th and final round, Foreman's face was bloodied and swollen, but the judges awarded him a majority decision win.

Then, in 1991, Foreman was given the opportunity to challenge Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, who was in tremendous shape at 208 pounds, for the world title in a Pay Per View boxing event. Very few boxing experts gave the 42-year-old Foreman a chance of winning. Foreman, who weighed in at 257 pounds, began the contest by marching forward, absorbing several of Holyfield's best combinations and occasionally landing a powerful swing of his own. Holyfield proved too tough and agile to knock down and was well ahead on points throughout the fight, but Foreman surprised many by lasting the full 12 rounds, losing his challenge on points. Round 7, in which Foreman knocked Holyfield off balance before being staggered by a powerful combination, was expected to be Ring Magazine's "Round of the Year", though no award was given in 1991.[17]

In 1990, Foreman met former title challenger Gerry Cooney in Atlantic City. Cooney was coming off a long period of inactivity, but was well regarded for his punching power. Cooney wobbled Foreman in the first round, but Foreman landed several powerful punches in the second round. Cooney was knocked down twice and Foreman had scored a devastating KO. Foreman went on to win four more fights that year.

By 1989, while continuing his comeback, Foreman had sold his name and face for the advertising of various products, selling everything from Bert Cooper, who would go on to contest the Undisputed Heavyweight title against Evander Holyfield.

Having always been a deliberate fighter, Foreman had not lost much mobility in the ring since his first "retirement," although he found it harder to keep his balance after throwing big punches and could no longer throw rapid combinations. He was still capable of landing heavy, single blows, however. The late-round fatigue that had plagued him in the ring as a young man now seemed to be unexpectedly gone, and he could comfortably compete for 12 rounds. Foreman attributed this to his new, relaxed fighting style (he has spoken of how, earlier in his career, his lack of stamina came from an enormous amount of nervous tension).

In 1987, after 10 years away from the ring, Foreman surprised the boxing world by announcing a comeback at the age of 38. In his autobiography, he wrote that his primary motive was to raise money to fund the youth center he had created, which had required much of the money he had earned in the initial phase of his career. Another stated ambition was to fight Mike Tyson.[16] For his first fight, he went to Sacramento, California, where he beat journeyman Steve Zouski by a knockout in four rounds. Foreman weighed 267 lb (121 kg) for the fight and looked badly out of shape. Although many thought his decision to return to the ring was a mistake, Foreman countered that he had returned to prove that age was not a barrier to people achieving their goals (as he would say later, he wanted to show that age 40 is not a "death sentence"). He won four more bouts that year, gradually slimming down and improving his fitness. In 1988, he won nine times. Perhaps his most notable win during this period was a seventh round knockout of former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

Second comeback

Foreman became ill in his dressing room after the fight. He was suffering from exhaustion and heatstroke and believed he had a near death experience. He spoke of being in a hellish, frightening place of nothingness and despair, and realized that he was in the midst of death. Though not yet religious, he began to plead with God to help him. He explained that he sensed God asking him to change his life and ways. When he said, "I don't care if this is death – I still believe there is a God," he felt a hand pull him out and sensed that he was also suffering stigmata. After this experience, Foreman became a born-again Christian, dedicating his life for the next decade to God. Although he did not formally retire from boxing, Foreman stopped fighting and became an ordained minister, initially preaching on street corners before becoming the reverend at the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Houston[14] and devoting himself to his family and his congregation. He also opened a youth center[15] that bears his name. Foreman continues to share his conversion experience on Christian television broadcasts such as The 700 Club and the Trinity Broadcasting Network and would later joke that Young had knocked the devil out of him.

1977 would prove to be a life changing year for Foreman. After knocking out Pedro Agosto in four rounds at Pensacola, Florida, Foreman flew to Puerto Rico a day before the fight without giving himself time to acclimatise. His opponent was the skilled boxer Jimmy Young, who had beaten Ron Lyle and lost a very controversial decision to Muhammad Ali the previous year. Foreman fought cautiously early on, allowing Young to settle into the fight. Young constantly complained about Foreman pushing him, for which Foreman eventually had a point deducted by the referee, although Young was never warned for his persistent holding. Foreman badly hurt Young in round 7 but was unable to land a finishing blow. Foreman tired during the second half of the fight and even suffered a flash knockdown in round 12 en route to losing a decision.

Retirement and Rebirth

For his next bout, Foreman chose to face Joe Frazier in a rematch. Because of the one-sided Foreman victory in their first fight, and the fact that Frazier had taken a tremendous amount of punishment from Ali in Manila a year earlier, few expected him to win. Frazier at this point was 32–3 and Foreman was 41–1. Surprisingly, the 2nd Foreman-Frazier fight was fairly competitive for its duration, as Frazier used quick head movements to make Foreman miss with his hardest punches. Frazier was wearing a contact lens for his vision which was knocked loose during the bout. After being unable to mount a significant offense, however, Frazier was eventually floored twice by Foreman in the fifth round and the fight was stopped. Next, Foreman knocked out Scott LeDoux in three and prospect John Dino Denis in four to finish the year.

Foreman remained inactive during 1975. In 1976, he announced a comeback and stated his intention of securing a rematch with Ali. His first opponent was to be Ron Lyle, who had been defeated by Muhammad Ali in 1975, via 11-th round TKO. At the end of the first round, Lyle landed a hard right that sent Foreman staggering across the ring. In the second round, Foreman pounded Lyle against the ropes and might have scored a KO, but due to a timekeeping error the bell rang with a minute still remaining in the round and Lyle survived. In the third, Foreman pressed forward, with Lyle waiting to counter off the ropes. In the fourth, a brutal slugfest erupted. A cluster of power punches from Lyle sent Foreman to the canvas. When Foreman got up, Lyle staggered him again, but just as Foreman seemed finished he retaliated with a hard right to the side of the head, knocking down Lyle. Lyle beat the count, then landed another brutal combination, knocking Foreman down for the second time. Again, Foreman beat the count. Foreman said later that he had never been hit so hard in a fight and remembered looking down at the canvas and seeing blood. In the fifth round, both fighters continued to ignore defense and traded their hardest punches looking crude. Each man staggered the other and each seemed almost out on his feet. Then, as if finally tired, Lyle stopped punching and Foreman delivered a dozen unanswered blows until Lyle collapsed. Lyle remained on the canvas and was counted out giving Foreman the KO victory. The fight was named by The Ring as "The Fight Of The Year."

First comeback

Foreman would later reflect that "it just wasn't my night". Though he sought one, he was unable to secure a rematch with Ali. It has been suggested in some quarters that Ali was ducking Foreman; although he did give a rematch to Joe Frazier and to Ken Norton. Ali also preferred to fight such lowly ranked opponents as Chuck Wepner, Richard Dunn, Jean Pierre Coopman, and Alfredo Evangelista.[13]

In either case, Ali was able to occasionally counter off the ropes with blows to the face and was able to penetrate Foreman's defense. Ali continued to take heavy punishment to the body, and occasionally a hard jolt to the head. Ali would later say he was "out on his feet" twice during the bout. Eventually, Foreman began to tire and his punches became increasingly wild, losing power in the process. An increasingly confident Ali taunted Foreman throughout the bout. Late in the eighth round, Foreman was left off balance by a haymaker and Ali sprang off the ropes with a flurry to Foreman's head, punctuated by a hard right cross that landed flush on the jaw, knocking Foreman down. Muhammad Ali would ultimately be the only boxer to stop Foreman.

When Foreman and Ali finally met in the ring, Ali began more aggressively than expected, outscoring Foreman with superior punching speed. However, Ali quickly realized that this approach required him to move much more than Foreman, and would cause him to tire. In the second round, Ali retreated to the ropes, shielding his head and hitting Foreman in the face at every opportunity. Foreman dug vicious body punches into Ali's sides; however, Foreman was unable to land many big punches to Ali's head. The ring ropes, being much looser than usual (Foreman would later charge that Angelo Dundee had loosened them and this story is supported by Norman Mailer in the book The Fight), allowed Ali to lean back and away from Foreman's wild swings and then grab Foreman behind the head, forcing Foreman to expend much extra energy untangling himself. Ali also constantly pushed down on Foreman's neck, but was never warned about doing so. To this day, it is unclear whether Ali's pre-fight talk of using speed and movement against Foreman had been just a diversionary tactic, or whether his use of what became known as the "Rope-a-dope" tactic was an improvisation necessitated by Foreman's constant pressure.

During training in Zaire, Foreman suffered a cut above his eye, forcing postponement of the match for a month. The injury affected Foreman's training regimen, as it meant he couldn't spar in the build-up to the fight and risk the cut being re-opened. He later commented: "That was the best thing that happened to Ali when we were in Africa—the fact that I had to get ready for the fight without being able to box."[11] Foreman would later also claim he was drugged by his trainer prior to the bout.[12] Ali used this time to tour Zaire, endearing himself to the public while taunting Foreman at every opportunity. Foreman was favored, having knocked out both Joe Frazier and Ken Norton within two rounds.

Foreman's next title defence, against Muhammad Ali, was historic. During the summer of 1974, Foreman traveled to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to defend his title against Ali. The bout was promoted as "The Rumble in the Jungle."

Rumble in the Jungle

Foreman had cruised past two of the top names in the rankings. The win gave him an impressive 40–0 record with 37 knockouts.

Foreman's next defense was against a much tougher opponent. In 1974, in Caracas, Venezuela, he faced the highly regarded hall-of-famer Ken Norton (who was 30–2), a boxer noted for his awkward crossed-arm boxing style, crab-like defense and heavy punch (a style Foreman would emulate in his comeback), who had broken the jaw of Muhammad Ali in a points victory a year earlier. Norton had a good chin, and had performed well against Ali in their two matches, winning the first on points and nearly winning the second. (Norton would develop a reputation for showing nerves against heavy hitters, largely beginning with this fight.) After an even first round, Foreman staggered Norton with an uppercut a minute into round two, buckling him into the ropes. Norton did not hit the canvas, but continued on wobbly legs, clearly not having recovered, and shortly he went down a further two times in quick succession, with the referee intervening and stopping the fight. "Ken was awesome when he got going. I didn't want him to get into the fight," Foreman said when interviewed years later. This fight would become known as the "Caracas Caper".

Title defense versus Ken Norton

Foreman was sometimes characterized by the media as an aloof and antisocial champion.[10] According to them, he always seemed to wear a sneer and was not often available to the press. Foreman would later attribute his demeanor during this time as an emulation of Sonny Liston, for whom he had been an occasional sparring partner. Foreman went on to defend his title successfully twice during his initial reign as champion. His first defense, in Tokyo, pitted him against Puerto Rican Heavyweight Champion José Roman. Roman was not regarded as a top contender and it took Foreman only 2 minutes to end the fight, one of the fastest knockouts in a Heavyweight Championship bout.

The Sunshine Showdown took place on January 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica, with Foreman dominating the fight to win the championship by technical knockout. In ABC's re-broadcast, Howard Cosell made the memorable call, "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!" Before the fight Frazier was 29–0 (25 KO) and Foreman was 37–0 (34 KO). Frazier was knocked down six times by Foreman within two rounds, with the three knockdowns rule being waived for this bout. After the second knockdown, Frazier's balance and mobility were impaired to the extent that he was unable to evade Foreman's combinations. Frazier managed to get to his feet for all six knockdowns, but referee Arthur Mercante eventually called an end to the one-sided bout.

In 1972, still undefeated, and with an impressive knockout record, Foreman was set to challenge undefeated and Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier. Despite boycotting a title elimination caused by the vacancy resulting from the championship being stripped from Muhammad Ali, Frazier had won the title from Jimmy Ellis and defended his title four times since, including a 15-round unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Ali in 1971 after Ali had beaten Oscar Bonavena and Jerry Quarry. Despite Foreman's superior size and reach, he was not expected to beat Frazier[9] and was a 3:1 underdog going into the fight.

George Foreman in 1973

The Sunshine Showdown vs. Joe Frazier

In 1971, Foreman won seven more fights, winning all of them by knockout, including a rematch with Peralta, whom he defeated by knockout in the tenth and final round in Oakland, California, and a win over Leroy Caldwell, who was knocked out in the second round. After amassing a record of 32–0 (29 KO), Foreman was ranked as the number one challenger by the WBA and WBC.

In 1970, Foreman continued his march toward the undisputed heavyweight title, winning all 12 of his bouts (11 by knockout). Among the opponents he defeated were Charlie Polite in four rounds and Boone Kirkman in three.

Foreman had an amateur record of 22–4, losing twice to Clay Hodges (also defeated by Max Briggs in his first ever fight). Foreman turned professional in 1969 with a three-round knockout of Donald Walheim in New York. He had a total of 13 fights that year, winning all of them (11 by knockout).

Professional career

George Foreman was born in Job Corps. After moving to Pleasanton, California, with the help of a supervisor he began to train in boxing.

Early life


  • Early life 1
  • Professional career 2
    • The Sunshine Showdown vs. Joe Frazier 2.1
    • Title defense versus Ken Norton 2.2
    • Rumble in the Jungle 2.3
    • First comeback 2.4
    • Retirement and Rebirth 2.5
    • Second comeback 2.6
    • Regaining the title 2.7
    • Second retirement 2.8
  • Family and private life 3
  • Entrepreneurship (grill) 4
  • Amateur accomplishments 5
  • Professional boxing record 6
  • Achievements 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

[7] In 1999 he sold the naming rights to the grill for $138 million.[6]

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