George Foreman's Record-Shattering Heavyweight Championship Win at age 45
When George Foreman threw a right hand punch that nailed heavyweight champion Michael Moorer flush on the chin and sent him crashing to the canvas in a heap, so ended a quest that had begun twenty years before on a hot African night in the middle of the Congo. For it was on that night, when George Foreman himself, the seemingly invincible and destuctive heavyweight champion, was felled by a right hand punch thrown by Muhammad Ali. Separated from his senses and his championship, George Foreman descended into a funk that was never fully mended until that November night in Las Vegas in 1994, when George shocked the world and regained the heavyweight championship of the world from Michael Moorer.
As referree Joe Cortez counted "ten" over the prone and lifeless body of Michael Moorer, George Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in history at the age of 45, shattering the previous record held by Jersey Joe Walcott who won the heavyweight championship at the age of 37. And there was George, all 250-pounds of him, bald head glistening in the lights, kneeling in prayer in his corner. The crowd was going nuts. One minute, George, with his eyes puffy and with his chances of victory seemingly eroding with each stiff jab that Moorer stuffed into his face, was lumbering after Moorer, and then a split second later - Boom!
That was a million-to-one shot. A perfect right cross thrown at the perfect time. The force of the punch split Moorer's mouthpiece in half and split the inside of his lip. And the punch itself didn't seem all that big or devastating. It was a short right hand that traveled no more than ten inches or so, but it landed right on the sweet spot and short circuited Moorer's ability to keep himself upright. It was a punch that dumped white out all over the details of the previous nine rounds, when Michael Moorer was outboxing and outspeeding George Foreman and piling up the points, and made the judge's scores irrelevant. Nothing like a howitzer of a right hand to equalize a deficit!
With what has been described as one of the most significant punches ever thrown in a heavyweight championship fight, a punch that rewrote the record books and made a 45-year-old man king of the heavyweights, George Foreman exorcised the ghost of Ali and Africa and turned the face of heavyweight boxing on its head!
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