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"Big" George Foreman's Comeback to Boxing: the Early Years

Updated on June 28, 2011

George Foreman orchestrated the greatest boxing comeback in history.

When old, bald, fat George Foreman returned to the ring in 1987 after a 10-year hiatus, nobody expected Foreman's comeback to last more than a few fights.

Sure, back in the 1970s, George Foreman was a wrecking machine. What he lacked in finesse, he more than made up for with brute strength.

He won the heavyweight championship of the world on January 22, 1973, when he stopped the great Joe Frazier, knocking him down six times in two brutal rounds.

Further legitimizing his championship reign, Foreman annihilated the tough ex-marine Ken Norton, who beat the great Muhammad Ali in a major 1973 upset and gave him hell in two subsequent fights.

That Foreman, the guy who made many an opponent tremble during the pre-fight instructions, was a force of nature.

But not so in 1987.

The George Foreman who returned to the ring in March 1987 to fight the unheralded Steve Zouski was a roly poly, a slow, ponderous roly poly.

At 267-pounds, Foreman was a good 40-pounds over his prime weight.

He moved like the Queen Mary. His punches, while still heavy, were slow and came in bunches of one.

But Foreman won his comeback fight, stopping Zouski in the 4th round, but failing to drop him.

The critics pounced.

Foreman was a joke, they said. His comeback was going to lead nowhere. He was going to get seriously hurt.

But the joke, as it would turn out, was on everyone who belittled George's comeback.

As we all know now, Foreman, eventually, recaptured the heavyweight championship at age 45, becoming the oldest man in history to win the title.

On that fateful November night in 1994, when one piledriver of a right hand separated champion Michael Moorer from both his senses and his title, George Foreman put the perfect exclamation point on his unbelievable comeback to boxing!


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    • Lucas H. profile image

      Lucas H. 6 years ago from Las Cruces, New Mexico

      didnt know that