Intro to a feature (part 2 in a series) on George Foreman.
When he was presumably closer to retirement home age than prime-time sports figure, George Foreman produced one of the most stunning feats in modern sports history.
Foreman’s 10th-round knockout of Michael Moorer in Las Vegas on Nov. 5, 1994, made him the oldest heavyweight boxing champ in history. He was 45 years, 360 days old. An ancient man in a young man’s sport. (The former oldest heavyweight champ, Jersey Joe Walcott, was 37 when he achieved the feat with a seven-round KO of Ezzard Charles on July 18, 1951, in Pittsburgh.)
By becoming heavyweight champion for the second time, Foreman ensured a more prominent place for himself in the annals of the sport — nearly two full decades after going toe-to-toe with Joe Frazier (dropping the legend six times in two rounds in 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, to become title holder) and then challenger Muhammad Ali (losing via an eighth-round KO in the Rumble in the Jungle on Oct. 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire).
“He had my number,” Foreman said of Ali. “He had my number, that’s all. But I had Joe Frazier’s number, Michael Moorer’s number, Ken Norton’s . . . I had almost 80-something people’s numbers, but Muhammad Ali had my number. I can’t change that.”
In a recent interview, Foreman, now 69, analyzed what happened inside the squared circle against Moorer, who was 27 at the time. He also spoke in detail about his two fights in Japan, which took place 23 years apart and nearly bookended a legendary career.
Against Moorer, Foreman believes that he outsmarted the New York City native, and that his strategy was superior.