George Foreman: Heavyweight Boxing Champion
January 26, 2012 by staff
George Foreman: Heavyweight Boxing Champion, George Edward Foreman (nicknamed “Big George”) (born January 10, 1949) is an American two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, author and successful entrepreneur.
A gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics, Foreman 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 fought on but was unable to secure another title shot and retired following a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977 and became an ordained Christian minister.
Ten years later Foreman announced a comeback, and in November 1994, at age 45, he regained the heavyweight championship by knocking out Michael Moorer. He remains the oldest heavyweight champion in history. 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 International Boxing Hall of Fame. The International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) currently rates Foreman as the eighth greatest heavyweight of all-time. In 2002, he was named one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past eighty years by Ring magazine. The Ring also ranked him as the 9th greatest puncher of all-time.
He was a ringsideanlyst for HBO’s boxing coverage for twelve years, leaving in 2004. Outside of boxing, he is a successful entrepreneur and is known for his promotion of the George Foreman Grill, which has sold over 100 million units worldwide. In 1999 he sold the naming rights to the grill for $138 million.
George Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas. He grew up in the Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas, with six siblings. Although reared by J.D. Foreman, whom his mother had married when George was a small child, his biological father was Leroy Moorehead. Foreman was interested in football and idolized Jim Brown, but gave it up for boxing. He won a gold medal in the boxing/heavyweight division at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. By his own admission in his autobiography George was a troubled youth.
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).
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 Gregorio Peralta, whom he decisioned at Madison Square Garden although Peralta gave a very good account of himself and showed George was vulnerable to fast counter punching mixed with an assertive boxing style. But the boxing world shuddered when George Chuvalo was defeated by technical knockout (TKO) in three rounds. After this impressive win, Foreman defeated Charlie Polite in four rounds and Boone Kirkman in three.
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.
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