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L E’s Stories – “Big George Is Much More Than A Legendary Boxer” – The Story Of George Foreman

When George Foreman came into prominence in the boxing ring in the 1970’s, Bone Daddy wasn’t a big fan of Big George….cuz he was a major threat to taking the heavyweight crown and the heavyweight conversations in boxing circles away from Muhammad Ali…..who is BD’s favorite all time athlete in all sports….for Big George was formidable even when he 1st landed on the heavyweight scene…..and the truth be told, I wasn’t a big George Foreman fan back in the day either….cuz to me, he was just a big boy with a scowl on his face…..however, as time has passed, both BD and I have changed our tune about Big George…..as he sits way up high as one of our faves around here at ImaSportsphile in 2021….I mean, this guy won the World Heavyweight Championship at age 45 (for the 2rd time) when he truthfully had to be a minimum of 245 lbs……even though he was listed at 222 lbs for the fight….cuz this guy was BIG….a boxer who was a devastating puncher….and he obvious that could still punch at 45 yrs. evidence by his KO…and when he decked Michael Moorer to win the title at the incredibly advanced age (for boxing) of 45 years old was absolutely “outta this world” difficult to do….for we believe around here  that the ONLY way to take a man’s belt, was to TAKE the title away by KO or a “seriously damaged face”….and not be left up to the judges….and folks, that 45 year old monster of a man simply knocked out the reigning Champ….who was 35 – 0 in his professional career.  So, it is really fun and exciting to tell the story of Big George Foreman….and we hope you enjoy it as much as we had posting it….cuz to us,  George Foreman is a true American hero….and all we can say is don’t let Big George hit you.

 

 

Boxing – 1969 To 1997 – Documentary – “Big George 2017…..The Life And Times of George Foreman

 

George Foreman (born January 10, 1949) is an American former professional boxer, entrepreneur, minister and author….who as a professional boxer, he was nicknamed “Big George”….and competed between 1969 and 1997….when he became a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist.  As an entrepreneur, he is known for his huge success with George Foreman Grill (Bone Daddy still cooks on one) and the Men’s Big And Tall Stores (BD still shops there).

 

 

Boxing – 1969 To 1997 – An Original Bored Film Documentary – “George Foreman:  Knockout King”                                                                                           

 

After a troubled childhood, Foreman took up amateur boxing and won a gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City…..who turned professional the next year….when he won the world heavyweight title with a stunning 2nd round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in 1973. He defended the belt twice before suffering his first professional loss to Muhammad Ali in the iconic Rumble in the Jungle in 1974.  Unable to secure another title opportunity, Foreman retired after a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977.

 

 

Boxing – 1969 To 1997 – Special – “George Foreman: In His Prime”                             

 

Following what he referred to as a religious epiphany….that is when Big George became an ordained Christian minister…..then ten years later, he announced a comeback….and in 1994 at age 45, Big George won the unified WBA, IBF, and lineal heavyweight championship titles by knocking out 26-year-old Michael Moorer…..then when he dropped the WBA belt rather than face his mandatory title defense soon after…..and following a single IBF title defense on June 28, 1995, Foreman renounced his title….which was the last major belt he ever held…..for he was 46 years and 169 days old…..while becoming the oldest world heavyweight champion in history.  Foreman is the oldest to ever win the world heavyweight boxing championship of major honors….and the 2nd oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins (at light heavyweight).  Big George Foreman retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a career record of 76 wins with 68 by knockouts and 5 losses….I mean, that man knocked out 68 professional heavyweight boxers.

 

 

Boxing – 1969 To 1995 – Special – “How George Foreman Brutally Destroyed His Opponents!”                                                                                                              

 

Big George has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame…..and International Boxing Hall of Fame…..while the International Boxing Research Organization rates Foreman as the 8th-greatest heavyweight of all time….but what do they know.  In 2002, he was named one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring. The Ring ranked him as the 9th-greatest puncher of all time…..and it is my belief that there has never been 9 men to enter the professional boxing ring who punch harder than Big George.  After his career was officially over, he was a ringside analyst for HBO’s boxing coverage for 12 years until 2004.  Outside boxing, he is a successful entrepreneur who was involved with Men’s Big and Tall Shops….  and known for his promotion of the George Foreman Grill, which has sold more than 100 million units worldwide.  In 1999, he sold the commercial rights to the grill for $138 million.

 

 

Boxing – 1975 – The Modern Martial Artist Presents – “The Night George Foreman Fought 5 Men Explained” – Fight Breakdown

 

George Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas…..where he grew up in the 5th Ward community of Houston, Texas with six siblings.  Now, BD spent about 9 months in Houston in the 1990’s, and the 5th and 9th Wards of Houston were the places Houstonians would warn him to “don’t go to the 5th and 9th Wards after sunset”  Although he was raised by J. D. Foreman….whom his mother had married when George was a small child….as his biological father was Leroy Moorehead.  By his own admission in his autobiography, George was a troubled youth….who dropped out of school at the age of 15….and spent time as a mugger….then at age 16, Foreman had a change of heart….and convinced his mother to sign him up for the Job Corps after seeing an ad for the Corps on TV…..when as part of the Job Corps, Foreman earned his GED….and trained to become a carpenter and bricklayer.  After moving to Pleasanton, California, with the help of a supervisor, he began to train….as Foreman was interested in football and idolized Jim Brown….but gave it up for boxing.

 

 

Boxing – 1949 To 2021 – Documentary – “George Foreman: Rags To Riches”             

 

Foreman won a gold medal in the boxing heavyweight division at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games…..when in the finals, Foreman defeated the Soviet Union’s Jonas Čepulis….as the referee stopped the fight in the 2nd round…..when  Čepulis’ face was already bleeding in the 1st round from Foreman’s punches….plus, he had to take a standing eight count early in the 2nd round. Čepulis….who was fighting out of Lithuania as a 29-year-old veteran with a 12-year-long amateur career….while having over 220 fights in his record…. as he was quite experienced….and 10 years older than Foreman.  Big George’s Olympic matches included in the Round of 16’s, he defeated Lucjan Trela (Poland) on points, 4–1…..which was followed by a Quarterfinal defeated Ion Alexe (Romania) when referee stopped contest in the 3rd round…..which was followed by the Semifinals…. then he defeated Giorgio Bambini (Italy) by a 2nd-round knockout….and in the Finals he defeated Jonas Čepulis (Soviet Union)….as the referee stopped the contest in the 2nd round….when after winning the gold-medal fight, Foreman walked around the ring carrying a small U.S. flag and bowing to the crowd.  Foreman maintained that earning the Olympic gold medal was the achievement he was most proud of in his boxing career…..while more so than either of his world titles.  He won his 1st amateur fight on January 26, 1967, by a 1st-round knockout in the Parks Diamond Belt Tournament…..then he won the San Francisco Examiner’s Golden Gloves Tournament in the Junior Division in February 1967…..after which he knocked out Thomas Cook to win the Las Vegas Golden Gloves in the Senior Division…..then in February 1968, he knocked out L.C. Brown to win the San Francisco Examiner’s Senior Title in San Francisco…..when in March 1968, he won the  National Boxing Championships heavyweight title in Toledo, Ohio, vs. Henry Crump of Philadelphia in the final….plus, he sparred five rounds on two different occasions in July 1968 with former World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston …. when Liston sparred in 22-oz custom-made Everlast gloves….as Foreman later recalled that Liston was the only man who forced him to back up consistently in the ring.                                                                                                   

Olympics & Boxing – 1968 – Mexico City Olympics Preparation – George Foreman Sparring With Former Heavywt Champ Sonny Liston                                           

 

Olympics & Boxing – 1968 – Mexico City Summer Games – Boxing Heavywt Quarter Finals Match – ROM Ion Alexe Vs USA George Foreman

 

 

Olympics & Boxing – 1968 – Mexico City Summer Games – Boxing Heavywt Semi Finals Match – ITA Giorio Bambini Vs USA George Foreman

 

 

Olympics & Boxing – 1968 – Mexico City Summer Games – Boxing Heavywt Gold Medal Match – USA George Foreman vs USSR Ionas Chepulis

 

On September 21, 1968, Big George won his 2nd decision over Otis Evans to make the U.S. boxing team for the Mexico City Olympic Games….as he had a 16–4 amateur boxing record going into the Olympics….and when he knocked out the Soviet Union’s Jonas Čepulis to win the Olympic Games Heavyweight Gold Medal….he was being trained for the Olympic Games by Robert (Pappy) Gault. His amateur record was 22–4 when he turned professional…..which was in 1969….with a three-round knockout of Donald Walheim in New York City….then he had a total of 13 fights that year, winning all of them by knockout.                                                                                                                              

Boxing – 1969 – ABC Sports With Howard Cosell – 10 Round Heavyweight Bout – Don Waldhelm Vs Big George Foreman

 

 

Boxing – 1970 – MSG Fight With Don Dunphy -10 Rnd Heavywt Bout – Boone Kirkman Vs Big George Foreman

Boxing – 1971 – MSG Fight With Don Dunphy -10 Rnd Heavywt Bout – Luis Pires Vs Big George Foreman

 

 

In 1970, Foreman continued his march toward the undisputed heavyweight title, winning all 12 of his bouts with 11 by knockout…..when among the opponents he defeated were Gregorio Peralta…. whom he decisioned at Madison Square Garden, although Peralta showed that Foreman was vulnerable to fast counter-punching mixed with an assertive boxing style.  Foreman then defeated George Chuvalo by technical knockout (TKO) in three rounds…..which was followed by wins over  Charlie Polite in four rounds and Boone Kirkman in three…..as Peralta and Chuvalo were Foreman’s 1st world-level wins….when Peralta was the # 10 ranked heavyweight in the world in January 1970 per The Ring….while Chuvalo was # 7 in the world per their March 1971 issue.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

Boxing – 1970 – 10 Round Heavyweight Bout – Gregoria Peralta Vs George Foreman – Full Fight

 

 

Boxing – 1970 – 10 Round Heavyweight Bout – George Chuvalo Vs George Foreman – Full Fight

 

 

Boxing – 1972 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Ted Gullickson Vs Big George Foreman

 

In 1971, Foreman won seven more fights….while winning all of them by knockout….which include a rematch with Peralta….when he defeated by KO in the 10th and final round….and a win over Leroy Caldwell….who he knocked out in the 2nd round. After amassing a record of 32 – 0 with 29 KO….he was ranked as the # 1 challenger by the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council.

 

 

Boxing – 1969 To 1997 – Special – “The Destructive Power Of George Foreman”

In 1973, still undefeated and with an impressive knockout record….that’s when Big George 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….that’s when Frazier had won the title from Jimmy Ellis….while defending his title four times since….which included a 15-round unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Ali in 1971…..which was after Ali had beaten Oscar Bonavena and Jerry Quarry.  Despite Foreman’s superior size and reach, he was not expected to beat Frazier….who was a 3:1 favorite going into the fight.

 

 

Boxing – 1973 – WBC + WBA World Heavyweight Title Fight – Big George Foreman Vs Smokin’ Joe Frazier – Full Fight

 

The Sunshine Showdown took place on January 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica, with Foreman dominating the fight to win the championship by TKO.  In ABC’s rebroadcast, 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….as the 3-knockdown rule was not in effect for this bout…..when after the 2nd knockdown, Frazier’s balance and mobility were impaired to the extent that he was unable to evade Foreman’s combinations…..however, Frazier managed to get to his feet for all six knockdowns…..but referee Arthur Mercante eventually called an end to the one-sided bout.

 

 

Boxing 1973 – Special – “8 Falls In 7 Rounds” –  World Heavyweight Boxing Title Fight – Big George Foreman Vs Smokin’ Joe Frazier – Fights 1 + 2

 

Foreman was sometimes characterized by the media as an aloof and antisocial champion…..and according to them, he always seemed to wear a sneer…..and was not often available to the press. Foreman later attributed his demeanor during this time as an emulation of Sonny Liston….for whom he had been an occasional sparring partner. Foreman defended his title successfully twice during his initial reign as champion….with his 1st being his defense in Tokyo….while pitted against Puerto Rican Heavyweight Champion José Roman ….who was not regarded as a top contender….but had managed to beat a few decent fighters such as EBU champion Spain Jose Manuel Urtain….who was the # 7 ranked  heavyweight in the March 1973 issue of The Ring…..as Foreman needed only two minutes to end the fight….which was one of the fastest knockouts in a heavyweight championship bout.

 

 

Boxing – 1976 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Scott LeDoux Vs Big George Foreman

 

 

Boxing – 1977 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – John “Dino” Denis Vs Big George Foreman

 

 

Boxing – 1973 – 12 Rnd World Heavyweight Title Fight – Jose Roman Vs Big George Foreman

 

Foreman’s next defense was against a much tougher opponent. In 1974, in Caracas, Venezuela, he faced the highly regarded future hall-of-famer Ken Norton….who was 30 – 2….and a boxer noted for his awkward crossed-arm boxing style, crab-like defense and heavy punch…..which was a style that Big George emulated during his comeback…..for Norton was the one 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….while winning the 1st on points….and nearly winning the 2nd….as Norton had developed a reputation for showing nerves against heavy hitters, largely beginning with this fight.  After an even 1st round, Foreman staggered Norton with an uppercut a minute into round two….while buckling him into the ropes….as Norton didn’t hit the canvas….but continued on wobbly legs….while clearly not having recovered…. and shortly thereafter he went down a further two times in quick succession….with the referee then 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 became known as the “Caracas Caper”…..for  Big George had cruised past two of the top names in the rankings…..and the win gave him a 40–0 record with 37 knockouts.

 

 

Boxing – 1974 – WBC + WBA World Heavyweight Title Fight – Ken Norton Vs Big George Foreman

 

Foreman’s next title defense was on October 30, 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire against Muhammad Ali, was historic. The bout, promoted as the “Rumble in the Jungle”, exceeded even its wildest expectations…..as during training there in mid-September Foreman suffered a cut above his eye…..which forced a postponement of the match for a month…..when the injury affected Big George’s training regimen…..as it meant he could not spar in the build-up to the fight…..and risk the cut being reopened…..which caused him to say  “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.”  Foreman later also claimed he was drugged by his trainer prior to the bout…..on the other hand, Ali used this time to tour Zaire….while endearing himself to the public….plus, he taunted Foreman at every opportunity.  Foreman was favored…..after having crushed undefeated heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and toppled formidable challenger Ken Norton both within two rounds.

 

 

Boxing- 1974 – Special Highlights – WBC + WBA World Heavyweight Title Fight – Muhammad Ali Vs George Foreman

 

When Foreman and Ali finally met in the ring, Ali began more aggressively than expected…..as he outscored Foreman with superior punching speed.  In the 2nd round, Ali retreated to the ropes…..while 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 unusually loose (Foreman later charged that Angelo Dundee had loosened them, a story supported by Norman Mailer in the book The Fight), allowed Ali to lean back and away from Foreman’s wild swings…..and then to clinch Foreman behind the head….as this forced Foreman to expend alot of extra energy untangling himself…..plus, Ali constantly pushed down on Foreman’s neck….and was never warned about doing so.  To this day, whether Ali’s prefight talk of using speed and movement against Foreman had been just a diversion or his reliance on what he dubbed the “rope-a-dope” was a mid-bout improvisation is unclear.  His longtime trainer, Angelo Dundee, maintained to his death it was not part of their strategy…..and he had been as surprised by it as everyone else. 

                                                                    

 

Boxing – 1974 – World Heavyweight Title Fight – “The Rumble In The Jungle” – Muhammad Ali Vs Big George Foreman

 

Ali continued to take heavy punishment to the body in exchange for the opportunity to land a hard jolt to Foreman’s head…..heck, Ali later said he was “out on his feet” twice during the bout.  As Foreman began to tire, his punches began to lose power….and became increasingly wild.  By mid-bout an increasingly confident Ali began to taunt the exhausted champion relentlessly…..who had been reduced to mere pawing and landing harmless rubber-armed blows.  Late in the 8th round Ali came off the ropes with a series of successively harder and more accurate right hooks to the side…..and back of Foreman’s head….which left Big George dazed and falling backwards. After a lightning two-punch flurry squared him up….that’s when Ali ended the bout with a combination of solid left hook and straight right flush to the jaw that sent Foreman windmilling hard to the canvas….for this was the 1st time that Big George had been down in his career.  Foreman later reflected, “it just wasn’t my night”…..and albeit he sought a rematch with Ali…it just didn’t happen……cuz Ali knew better than to get back in the ring with Big George….as he was unable to secure one.  In some quarters it was suggested Ali was ducking him, taking on low-risk opponents such as Chuck Wepner,  Richard Dunn, Jean Pierre Coopman and Alfredo Evangelista…..but Ali also fought formidable opponents like Ron Lyle…..and gave rematches to the still-dangerous Frazier and Ken Norton….who were the only two men to have ever beaten him….and Foreman clearly lost his edge after the dazzling upset in Zaire….still, a potentially massive money-making encore with Foreman never happened, whatever the reason.                                                                               

 

 

Boxing & Talk Shows – 2016 – CBS This Morning With Reed + Charlie Rose – With Big George Foreman: “Muhammad Ali Was Bigger Than Boxing”

 

 

Foreman remained inactive during 1975…..then in 1976, he announced a comeback…..while stating his intention of securing a rematch with Ali.  His 1st opponent was to be Ron Lyle…..who had been defeated by Ali in 1975 via an 11th-round TKO.  Lyle was the # 5 rated heavyweight in the world at the time per the March 1976 issue of the Ring…..when at the end of the 1st round, Lyle landed a hard right that sent Foreman staggering across the ring. In the 2nd 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…..then in the 3rd, Foreman pressed forward….with Lyle waiting to counter off the ropes…..when in the 4th, a brutal slugfest erupted…..when a cluster of power punches from Lyle sent Foreman to the canvas…..and that is when Foreman got up….but Lyle staggered him again….and just as Foreman seemed finished, Big George retaliated with a hard right to the side of Lyle’s head….thus knocking Lyle down….but he beat the count….and then landed another brutal combination and knocking Foreman down for the 2nd time…..then 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 5th 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 to the canvas. Lyle remained down, giving Foreman a KO victory. The fight was named by The Ring as “The Fight of the Year”.   

                  

 

Boxing – 1974 – ABC Sports With Howard Cosell + Ken Norton – World Heayweight Title Fight – Ron Lyle Vs George Foreman – Awesome Slugfest

 

For his next bout, Foreman chose to face Joe Frazier in a rematch…..who was the world’s # 3 heavyweight per The Ring…..and because of the one-sided Foreman victory in their 1st fight…..along with 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…..while having lost only to Foreman and Ali twice…..and Big George was 41–1…..with his sole defeat at the hands of Ali…..however, their rematch began competitively….as Frazier used quick head movements to make Foreman miss with his hardest punches …..and Smokin’ Joe was wearing a contact lens for his vision…..which was knocked loose during the bout.  Unable to mount a significant offense, Frazier was eventually floored twice by Foreman in the 5th round and the fight was stopped.  Next, Foreman knocked out Scott LeDoux in three rounds and prospect John Dino Denis in four to finish the year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

Boxing – 1976 – 12 Rnd NABF Heavyweight Title Fight – Smokin’ Joe Frazier Vs Big George Foreman

 

Foreman had a life-changing year in 1977…..when after knocking out Pedro Agosto in four rounds at Pensacola, Florida, he flew to Puerto Rico a day before the fight without giving himself time to acclimatize…..while 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, as Young constantly complained about Foreman pushing him….for which Foreman eventually had a point deducted by the referee…..albeit Young was never warned for his persistent holding.  Foreman badly hurt Young in round seven…..but was unable to land a finishing blow…..when Big George tired during the 2nd half of the fight…..and suffered a knockdown in the 12th round en route to losing a decision…..then Foreman became ill in his dressing room after the fight…..as he was suffering from exhaustion and heatstroke…. and stated 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…..for although he was not yet religious, he began to plead with God to help him…..when 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”…..that is when he felt a hand pull him out and sensed that he was also suffering stigmata.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Boxing – 1976 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Scott LeDoux Vs Big George Foreman

 

 

Boxing -1976 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – John “Dino” Denis Vs George Foreman

 

 

Boxing – 1977 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Pedro Agosto Vs George Foreman

 

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…..who initially preached on the street corners before becoming the reverend at the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Houston….and devoting himself to his family and his congregation.  He also opened a youth center that bears his name.  Foreman continues to speak about his experience on Christian television broadcasts such as The 700 Club and the Trinity Broadcasting Network…..and later joked that Young had knocked the devil out of him.

 

 

Boxing & Interviews – 1978 – Special – Big George Foreman’s Uplifting Testimony On How Jesus Rescued Him

 

 

Boxing & Interviews – 1999 – The 700 Club – Interview With Big George Foreman – On “Duel with Death”

 

 

Boxing & Interview – 2001 – Special – George Foreman: “Thunder Fists Hears God” – George Foreman’s Testimony

 

After 10 years away from the ring, Foreman surprised the boxing world by announcing a comeback at the age of 38 in 1987.  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.  For his 1st fight, he went to Sacramento, California….and he beat journeyman Steve Zouski by a knockout in four rounds…..where Big George weighed 267 lb (121 kg) for the fight…..as he looked badly out of shape….. and albeit 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 said 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…..then in 1988, he won nine times…..with perhaps his most notable win during this period was a 7th round knockout of former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

 

 

Boxing – 1986 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Steve Zouski Vs Big George Foreman

 

 

Boxing – 1987 – 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Dwight Muhammad Qawi Vs George Foreman

 

Foreman weighed 267 lb (121 kg) for the fight and looked badly out of shape…..and albeit 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 said later, he wanted to show that age 40 is not a “death sentence”…..then he won four more bouts that year….while gradually slimming down and improving his fitness. In 1988, he won nine times….as perhaps his most notable win during this period was a 7th-round knockout of former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

 

 

Boxing & Talk Shows – 2019 – Max Kellerman On Boxing – Guest Big George Foreman On “I Didn’t Want Any Part Of Mike Tyson”                                                     

 

Having always been a deliberate fighter, Foreman had not lost much mobility in the ring since his first “retirement”…..albeit he found keeping his balance harder after throwing big punches…. and could no longer throw rapid combinations…..however, he was still capable of landing heavy single blows….and 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…..as Foreman attributed this to his new, relaxed fighting style….when he has spoken of how, earlier in his career, his lack of stamina came from an enormous amount of nervous tension.

 

 

Boxing & Talk Shows – 2020 -ESPN 1st Take With Stephen A + Max Kellerman- Debate On Who Was The Scariest Boxer Of All Time – Tyson Of Foreman

 

By 1989, while continuing his comeback, Foreman had sold his name and face for the advertising of various products, selling everything from grills to mufflers on TV. For this purpose, his public persona was reinvented, and the formerly aloof, ominous Foreman had been replaced by a smiling, friendly George. Ali and he had become friends, and he followed in Ali’s footsteps by making himself a celebrity outside boxing. Foreman continued his string of victories, winning five more fights, the most impressive being a three-round win over Bert Cooper, who went on to contest the undisputed heavyweight title against Evander Holyfield.

 

 

Boxing & Interviews – 2017 – In Depth With Graham Benzinger – With Guest Big George Foreman – “Earned $5 Million In 1 Month”                                             

 

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 scored a devastating KO. Foreman went on to win four more fights that year.

 

 

Boxing – 1989 – 12 Rnd NABF Heavyweight Title Fight – Gerry Cooney Vs Big George Foreman – Full Fight

 

The following year, 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 seven, in which Foreman knocked Holyfield off balance before being staggered by a powerful combination, was expected to be The Ring’s “Round of the Year”, though no award was given in 1991.

 

 

Boxing – 1991 -12 Rnd World Heavyweight Title Fight – Big George Foreman Vs Evander Holyfield – Full Fight

 

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 was 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.

 

 

Boxing – 1992- 10 Rnd Heavyweight Bout – Alex Stewart Vs Big George Foreman – With Jim Lampley + Gil Clancey

 

In 1993, Foreman received another title shot, although this was for the vacant WBO title. Foreman’s opponent was Tommy Morrison, a young prospect known for his punching power. Morrison retreated throughout the fight, refusing to trade toe-to-toe, and sometimes he turned his back on Foreman. The strategy paid off and he outboxed Foreman from long range. After 12 rounds, Morrison won a unanimous decision.

 

 

Boxing – 1993 – 12 Rnd WBO World Heavyweight Title Fight – Big George Foreman Vs Tommy Morrison

 

In this period, Foreman also starred briefly in the situation comedy George on ABC. The show, which featured Foreman as a retired boxer, premiered in November, 1993, and ran for 10 episodes, where nine aired. The show was co-produced by actor and former boxer Tony Danza.

 

 

TV Sitcom & Boxing -1993 – Promo For Sitcom “George” – Starring George Foreman

 

In 1994, Foreman again sought to challenge for the world championship after Michael Moorer had beaten Holyfield for the IBF and WBA titles….and after having lost his last fight against Morrison, Foreman was unranked….. and in no position to demand another title shot…..however, his relatively high profile made a title shot against Moorer, 19 years his junior, a lucrative prospect at seemingly little risk for the champion.  Foreman’s title challenge against Moorer took place on November 5th in Las Vegas, Nevada…..with Foreman wearing the same red trunks he had worn in his title loss to Ali 20 years earlier…..but this time, 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 10th round, Foreman was trailing on all scorecards. However, he launched a comeback in the 10th round……while hitting 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….. and lay flat on the canvas as the referee counted him out.

 

 

Boxing – 1994 – WBA & IBF World Heavyweight Title Fight – Big George Foreman Vs Michael Moorer – Full Fight

 

In an instant, Big George 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…..1st, he became, at age 45, the oldest fighter ever to win a world championship….2nd, 20 years after losing his title for the 1st time, he broke the record for the fighter with the longest interval between his 1st and 2nd world championships…..and 3rd, the age spread of 19 years between the champion and challenger was the largest of any heavyweight boxing championship fight.

 

 

Boxing – 1994 – Special – How Big George Foreman Took Back His Title (20 Years After Ali) – Holyfield & Moorer Fight Breakdowns

 

Shortly after the 1994 Moorer fight, Foreman began talking about a potential super fight with Mike Tyson….who was then the youngest heavyweight champion on record.  In 1995, The New York Times quoted Foreman as stating, “If he doesn’t sign with Don King, we’ll fight before the end of the year… I can’t be bothered having trouble with Don King. Every contract has some complication.”  Tyson signed with King….and by 1998, was suing him for $100 million…..while the bout never materialized.

 

 

Boxing – 2014 – HBO Special With Jim Lampley – “The Tale of George Foreman vs Michael Moorer” – HBO Legendary Nights

 

The WBA demanded that Foreman fight their # 1 challenger….who at the time was the competent, but aging, Tony Tucker…..but for reasons not clearly known, Foreman refused to fight Tucker…..and allowed the WBA to strip him of that belt…..then on April 22, 1995, Foreman fought mid-level underdog prospect Axel Schulz, of Germany, in defense of his remaining IBF title…..as Schulz jabbed strongly from long range….and exhibited increasing confidence as the fight progressed….when 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…..which Foreman refused the terms….and was stripped of his remaining title….yet continued to be recognized as the Lineal Heavyweight Champion.

 

 

Boxing – 1995 – 12 Rnd WBA & IBF World Heavyweight Title Fight – Axel Schultz Vs Big George Foreman – With Jim Lampley + Larry Merchant

 

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….while almost everyone at ringside saw Foreman as the clear winner…..but once again, the decision was controversial….but this time it went in favor of Foreman’s opponent….with Briggs awarded a points win…..and Big George Foreman had fought for the last time, at the age of 48.  Foreman was gracious and philosophical in his loss to Briggs….but announced his “final” retirement shortly afterwards. However, he did plan a return bout against Larry Holmes in 1999…..which was 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….as 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.

 

 

Boxing – 1997 – 12 Rnd World Boxing Union Heavyweight Title Fight – Shannon Biggs Vs George Foreman – With Jim Lampley + Larry Merchant

Foreman has been married to Mary Joan Martelly since 1985.  He had four previous marriages….to Adrienne Calhoun from 1971 to 1974…..to Cynthia Lewis from 1977 to 1979…..to Sharon Goodson from 1981 to 1982….and to Andrea Skeete from 1982 to 1985.  Foreman has 12 children….with five sons and seven daughters. His five sons are George Jr., George III (“Monk”), George IV (“Big Wheel”), George V (“Red”), and George VI (“Little Joey”). On his website, Foreman explains, “I named all my sons George Edward Foreman so they would always have something in common. I say to them, ‘If one of us goes up, then we all go up together, and if one goes down, we all go down together!'”  As with his father, George III has pursued a career in boxing and entrepreneurship. George IV appeared on the second season of the reality television series American Grit, where he placed seventh.  His seven daughters are Natalia, Leola, Freeda, Michi, Georgetta, Isabella, and Courtney.  Natalia and Leola are from his marriage to Mary Joan Martelly…..while his daughters from separate relationships were Freeda, Michi, and Georgetta. He adopted a daughter, Isabella Brandie Lilja (Foreman) in 2009, and another, Courtney Isaac (Foreman), in 2012.  Freeda had a 5–1 record as a pro boxer, retired in 2001….and died in 2019 at age 42….whereas Isabella Foreman lives in Sweden….where she has blogged since 2010 under the name of Bella Neutella.

 

 

Boxing & Interview – 2017 – Access Holywood’s Kit Cooper Interviews Big George Foreman – “Big George Details His Amazing Friendship With Muhammad Ali”                                                                                                              

 

In recognition of Foreman’s patriotism and community service, the American Legion honored him with its James V. Day “Good Guy” Award during its 95th National Convention in 2013.  When Foreman came back from retirement, he argued that his success was due to his healthy eating…..when he was approached by Salton, Inc…..who were looking for a spokesperson for its fat-reducing grill.  As of 2009, the George Foreman Grill has sold over 100 million units…..and albeit Foreman has never confirmed exactly how much he has earned from the endorsement….plus Salton paid him $138 million in 1999, for the right to use his name.  Prior to that, he was paid about 40% of the profits on each grill sold….which earned him $4.5 million a month in payouts at its peak….while yielding an estimated total of over $200 million just from the endorsement through 2011…..which was substantially more than he earned as a boxer…..but as Big George so clearly stated…..”If not for boxing, I would not have any of it. Boxing opened the door to everything.”

 

 

Boxing – 2014 – Special – “Big George Foreman On Fatherhood”

 

 

Boxing & Interview – 2017 – Special Interview With Big George Foreman -“Fatherhood By George”                                                                                            

 

After having been through the process of telling this story of Big George Foreman…..and as a huge boxing fan…..I have to admit that Big George was incomparable as a boxer…..who could endure huge punishment by constantly staying close to his opponent…..while looking for one opening to land the “Foreman sledge hammer”…..as evidenced by the words of  legendary heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield…..who said it best when talking about who threw the hardest punches….“well, Mike Tyson had a really hard punch, but when George Foreman hit you, it was all over, cuz you just couldn’t recover from his punch like you could from all the others.”  The videos posted in this story provide a great deal of evidence to that fact…..as if having 68 KO’s out of 76 professional heavyweight bouts isn’t proof enough that “when Big George hits you, it’s all over!!!”  The simple fact remains that I am a huge George Foreman fan….for he is way more than just a boxing legend….with his success at being able to sell anything, especially himself, which may be his greatest talent…..as a salesman….but the truth be known, Big George’s biggest talent was his fatherhood…..which he freely admits and gives “all glory to God”  During the course of Big George Foreman’s career, he went from a “mean junk-yard dog” attitude in the ring to “jolly-faced giant”…..who could literally knock the snot out of his opponents….while sending them to the “twilight zone”…..with a single punch.  The truth of the matter is that if Muhammad Ali had not beaten Big George mentally and psychologically for the first seven rounds of their fight, he probably would never have had the opportunity to land the combination of punches that sent Big George to the canvas…..and had Big George never fallen into the famous “Ali psychological trap called the Rope-a-Dope”, the fact remains that Big George probably would have won the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974…..and there wasn’t any other man on the planet that could have taken his title until Mike Tyson came along in 1987…..not Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, Leon Spinks, John Tate, Mike Weaver, Michael Dokes, Gerry Coetzee, Tim Witherspoon, Pinklon Thomas, Greg Page, Tony Tubbs, Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick, Bonecrusher Smith, Tony Tucker or Buster Douglas …..so, Big George Foreman could have held the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship from 1973 to 1991…..cuz he won the title back at age 45 in 1994.  Simply put, had it not been for Muhammad Ali, Big George Foreman might be considered the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time….and when you add the fact that he made over $350 million outside of the ring…..then the combination of those two facts is why we have such a high regard for Big George…..and that is why we are so proud to post this story and video history of his accomplishments…..cuz he truly deserves his showcase here at ImaSportsphile.     

                                                                                                   

 

Boxing – 1987 To 1997 – Special – “The Comeback Of Big George Foreman”

 

 

 

 

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