George Foreman Profile
|Born||Jan 10, 1949|
|Birthplace||Marshall, Texas, USA|
|Professional Record||76-5 (68)|
Known for his grills, people forget how good "Big George" was with his fists. His famous win against Michael Moorer in 1991 saw him crowned the oldest heavyweight champion in history at 45.
George Foreman is an American former undisputed heavyweight champion in boxing and fought from 1969 to 1997.
After initially retiring in 1977, "Big George" made a comeback 10 years later and in 1991, Foreman defeated Michael Moorer for the WBA and IBF titles to become the oldest heavyweight champion in the history of the sport aged 45 - a record yet to be broken.
Having turned professional in 1969, Foreman was very active in his first couple of years as a professional. He fought 13 times in his debut year, winning them all with 11 coming via knockout. He continued his meteoric rise through the heavyweight ranks from here as he racked up win after win in the months ahead.
After he had built a stellar record of 32-0 (29 KO) with victories over the likes of Gregorio Peralta and George Chuvalo, Foreman was inserted as the number one contender by the WBA and WBC.
His challenge came against the undefeated and undisputed world heavyweight champion, Joe Frazier. Despite Frazier's dominance prior to the matchup, he was knocked down six times by Foreman, who won inside two rounds. He defended the title twice before relinquishing those belts to Muhammed Ali in 1974.
He took two years away from the sport after the loss, before returning in 1976 to beat Ron Lyle for the vacant NABF heavyweight title and then Frazier for a second time.
Three consecutive wins followed until Jimmy Young broke his winning streak in a classic in Chile.
Foreman took a 10 year break away and returned aged 38. After winning 24 successive bouts in four years, the American challenged Evander Holyfield for the undisputed world title. He surprised many by lasting the whole 12 rounds, but Holyfield won to retain his titles.
Foreman tasted defeat in another world title challenge to Tommy Morrison but in his next fight, he shocked the world to become the oldest ever world heavyweight champion by beating Moorer.
He had a few defences before a controversial points loss to Shannon Briggs pulled the curtain on his career at the age of 48 in 1997.
The greatest hits: Ali, Frazier and Moorer
The first major fight of Foreman's career came as he challenged undisputed heavyweight champion Frazier in 1972. While both men entered the bout undefeated, Foreman was a huge underdog given the fact Frazier had previously outpointed Ali.
In a shock outcome, Foreman produced a ruthless performance to become the new undisputed heavyweight champion.
In his second defence, Foreman stopped Ken Norton in Venezuela - a man who fought Ali three times and was involved in a thriller against Larry Holmes.
Billed as "The Caracas Caper", Foreman again earned an impressive KO victory. The opening round was competitive before Foreman came out firing in the second and after multiple knockdowns, the referee stopped the fight after two minutes of round two.
After taking two big breaks from boxing, Foreman built himself back up as he challenged for Holyfield's world title in 1991. Foreman was the big underdog going in, but he performed much better than many expected as he really troubled the undefeated champion.
He lasted until the end of the fight but eventually lost on points, earning even more respect from boxing fans in the process. The bout was also a lucrative pay-per-view event with around 1.9 million buys in America.
Three years later, Foreman found himself in another world title fight, this time with Michael Moorer. The champion was in control for the entire first three quarters of the fight and Foreman, at the age of 45, struggled to get going.
It was in round 10 where Foreman sparked into life and a flurry of punches flattened Moorer to become champion at 45. Foreman's last fight came in the defence of his world championship in 1997 against Briggs.
Their meeting lasted the entire 12 rounds and it was widely accepted that Foreman was in control for most of the fight and received criticism for its decision to hand the victory to Briggs.
Rumble in the Jungle
An event which completely changed the face of boxing took place in Kinshasa, Zaire at the 20th of May Stadium (now called the Stade Tata Raphael). It was billed as the biggest fight of the 20th century, and it certainly lived up to all its pre-fight hype.
Former world champion Ali came in as the big underdog gunning to regain his world titles. He faced Foreman, right in his prime, undefeated and seemingly unstoppable with his punching prowess.
Ali came out and brought the fight to Foreman from the get-go. The persistent punishment he put on Foreman took its toll more as the rounds drew on, as the champion was becoming more ineffective as it went on.
Eventually the fight ended in the eighth round as Ali connected with a lethal five-punch combination that dropped Foreman to the canvas before the referee stopped the fight.
Foreman admitted in the aftermath that he did not perform to his best and it just was not his night. The defeated champion wanted a rematch, but unfortunately it never came to fruition. The event reportedly grossed around $100million in revenue.
George Foreman's net worth
Foreman was involved in some huge super-fights during his career against the likes of Frazier and Ali which saw him become a wealthy man.
When he fought Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle, he reportedly made around $5million. He also received seven figures sums for fights against Holyfield and Moorer.
Foreman was set to receive $10million for a fight against Holmes in 1999 but the fight collapsed after promoter Roger Leavitt could not secure financial backing from his investors. Despite this, Foreman was paid a non-returnable $1million.
Foreman's wealth has not stopped since boxing with the former boxer using his entrepreneur skills to set up George Foreman Grills. His wealth skyrocketed as he earned hundreds of millions and at one point, Foreman was profiting as much as $8million a month according to Forbes.
George Foreman Grill
When Foreman returned to professional boxing in his mid-forties, he credited a lot of his success to his healthy eating. This he said, allowed him to prolong his career in the sport.
After his career ended, Foreman was approached by Salton, Inc, who were looking for a spokesperson and poster boy for their new fat-reducing grill. Foreman agreed and it turned into a massive money earner for all involved. Salton reportedly paid Foreman around $138million to use his image rights for the product.
In the years ahead, the grill would become a massively popular product, bringing in huge sales worldwide. Since starting up in 1995, there have been more than 100 million grills sold worldwide.
This has reportedly earned Foreman around $240million, which is far greater than his earnings in the entirety of his time in boxing.
Foreman has been married on five occasions and has had 12 children from those relationships: five sons and seven daughters. He named all his sons George: George Jr, George III, George IV and George VI. The reason for this Foreman says is so all of them have something in common.
He has two daughters from his current marriage called Natalia and Leola. He also has three other daughters from a previous relationship called Michi, Georgetta and Freeda.
Freeda had a 5-1 record as a professional boxer before retiring in 2001. She passed away in 2019 at the age of 42 from an apparent suicide. Foreman also adopted another two children: Isabella Brandie Lilja in 2009 and Courtney Isaac (Foreman) in 2012.
Foreman's first spouse was Adrienne Calhoun, and they were together for three years between 1971 and 1974. Three years later, Foreman and ex-spouse Cynthia Lewis tied the knot and were together for two years before splitting in 1979.
Two more brief marriages followed to Sharon Goodson (1977-79) and Andrea Skeete (1982-85) before he met Mary Joan Martelly. Foreman and Martelly got married in 1985 and they have been together ever since.
Amateur career: Mexico City '68
Foreman had a troubled childhood, and as a teenager he resorted to a life of crime. At the age of 16, Foreman changed his life around as he joined the Job Corps to try to earn a living.
After training to become a carpenter and a bricklayer he was introduced to boxing. He was a naturally talented sportsman, and had the choice between NFL and boxing, but in the end, he chose boxing.
Foreman's highlight in the amateur ranks came during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. He reached the heavyweight division final against Jonas Cepulis, and Foreman stopped his opponent in the 2nd round to win gold.
Despite going on to win two world titles, Foreman insists that winning Olympic gold is his proudest achievement from his entire boxing career.
During the Olympics he was trained by Robert (Pappy) Gault and when he turned over to the professional circuit, he left the amateurs with a record of 22-4.
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