George Edward Foreman was born on January 10, 1949 in Marshall, Texas. He would grow up in the Houston area.
During a troubled childhood, including dropping out of school at 15, Foreman took up boxing and became a star. He won a gold medal in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
Foreman had an amateur record of 22–4 before turning pro in 1969. I had 13 fights that year, winning all of them and 11 by knockout. In 1970, he was 12-0 with 11 knockouts. In 1971 he won all 7 fights by KO. Then in 1973 Foreman (37-0) got his shot at the heavyweight title against Joe Frazier (29-0). He dominated Frazier and won by technical knockout in what became the famous Howard Cosell call "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!"
Foreman would defend his title, improving to 40-0 with 37 knockouts. Then in 1974, he took the most famous fight in boxing history that would become known as "Rumble in the Jungle." Foreman traveled to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to defend his title against Muhammad Ali. Ali was able to use the famous "Rope-a-dope" tactic to tire out Foreman and ultimate knock him out in the 8th round.
Watch the full fight:
Foreman would shock the boxing world by coming out of retirement in 1987 at the age of 38, 10 years after he had retired from boxing. Foreman still proved to be a force in the ring, eventually earning a title shot at heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. Foreman would surprisingly last all 12 rounds with Holyfield, losing a decision.
in 1994, Foreman would regain the belt he had lost to Ali 20 years before. He went up against Michael Moore, who had stunned Holyfield. With his knockout of Moore in the 10th round, Foreman was the oldest boxer ever to win the belt at 45, and set a record for longest interval between titles, and biggest difference in age between the two fighter (19 years).
Foreman would lose his title in 1997 in a controversial decision to Shannon Briggs. Foreman would retire from boxing with record of 76-5 and 68 knockouts. He was 48 years old.
Foreman was inducted in the World Boxing Hall of Fame. He would go onto become a successful entrepreneur with his George Foreman Grill. It has sold over 100 million units worldwide, according to Wikipedia. In 1999 he sold the naming rights to the grill for $138 million.
While many people these days know George for his grill, he was one of the greatest boxers of all time. Check out his best knockouts:
Happy birthday, George Foreman.