George Foreman Becomes Oldest Heavyweight Champ

George Foreman Becomes Oldest Heavyweight Champ

On November 5, 1994, George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel watched Foreman dethrone Moorer, who went into the fight with a 35-0 record. Foreman dedicated his upset win to “all my buddies in the nursing home and all the guys in jail.”

Born in 1949 in Marshall, Texas, Foreman had a troubled childhood and dropped out of high school. Eventually, he joined President Lyndon Johnson’s Jobs Corps work program and discovered a talent for boxing. “Big George,” as he was nicknamed, took home a gold medal for the U.S. at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. In 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, after winning his first 37 professional matches, 34 by knockout, Foreman KO’d “Smokin'” Joe Frazier after two rounds and was crowned heavyweight champ. At 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasha, Zaire, the younger, stronger Foreman suffered a surprising loss to underdog Muhammad Ali and was forced to relinquish his championship title. Three years later, Big George morphed from pugilist into preacher, when he had a religious experience in his dressing room after losing a fight. He retired from boxing, became an ordained minister in Houston and founded a youth center.

A decade later, the millions he’d made as a boxer gone, Foreman returned to the ring at age 38 and staged a successful comeback. When he won his second heavyweight title in his 1994 fight against Moorer, becoming the WBA and IBF champ, Foreman was wearing the same red trunks he’d had on the night he lost to Ali.

Foreman didn’t hang onto the heavyweight mantle for long. In March 1995, he was stripped of his WBA title after refusing to fight No. 1 contender Tony Tucker, and he gave up his IBF title in June 1995 rather than fight a rematch with Axel Schulz, whom he’d narrowly beat in a controversial judges’ decision in April of that same year. Foreman’s last fight was in 1997; he lost to Shannon Briggs. He retired with a lifetime record of 76-5.

Outside of the boxing ring, Foreman, who has five sons, all named George, and five daughters, has become enormously wealthy as an entrepreneur and genial TV pitchman for a variety of products, including the hugely popular George Foreman Grill.

In his first year as a pro, alone, Foreman scored seven KOs and three technical knockouts, or TKOs. The listings start with the date of the fight, followed by the opponent, then the location, followed by the result and the number of rounds in the bout. The results include boxing acronyms, with "W" for a win, "L" for a loss, KO for knockout and TKO for a technical knockout, where the referee ends the bout when one fighter is unable to continue.

  • 06-23 - Don Waldhelm, New York City, W TKO 3
  • 07-01 - Fred Askew, Houston, W KO 1
  • 07-14 - Sylvester Dullaire, Washington, D.C., W TKO 1
  • 08-18 - Chuck Wepner, New York, W TKO 3
  • 09-18 - Johnny (J.C.) Carroll, Seattle, W KO 1
  • 09-23 - Roy (Cookie) Wallace, Houston, W KO 2
  • 10-07 - Vernon Clay, Houston, W KO 2
  • 10-31 - Roberto Davila, New York, W 8
  • 11-05 - Leo Peterson, Scranton, W KO 4
  • 11-18 - Max Martinez, Houston, W KO 2
  • 12-06 - Bob Hazelton, Las Vegas, W KO 1
  • 12-16 - Levi Forte, Miami Beach, W 10
  • 12-18 - Gary Wiler, Seattle, W KO 1

On October 25, 1990, Evander Holyfield defeated James "Buster" Douglas by third round knockout to become the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. Prior to his match with Douglas, Holyfield delayed a potential fight with Mike Tyson, instead agreeing to face 42-year-old George Foreman for the titles should he defeat Douglas. [1] Since ending his 10-year retirement in 1987, Foreman was a perfect 24–0, with 23 of his wins coming via knockout. With Foreman's popularity at an all-time high coupled with the fact that he could possibly become the oldest Heavyweight champion in boxing history, anticipation for the bout was high. As such, the two fighters received high payouts, Holyfield was guaranteed $20 million, while Foreman took home a guaranteed $12.5 million. Despite his age, the outspoken Foreman remained confident that he could dethrone Holyfield and in the months before the fight often said as much in the media. [2] Not to be outdone, Holyfield's manager Dan Duva lampooned Foreman's weight, infamously stating that the fight should be called "The Real Deal" vs. "The Big Meal" and "Some people say George is as fit as a fiddle. But I think he looks more like a cello." [3]

The fight is perhaps best remembered for its memorable round 7. At the beginning of the round, Holyfield was the aggressor, throwing several jabs as Foreman stood back, seemingly waiting for an opportunity to land a powerful right hand. Seconds later, Holyfield missed with a left hook, which led to Foreman countering with a big right hook to Holyfield's head. Foreman would then become the aggressor and continue his attack on Holyfield, landing several punches within the round's first minute. As the second minute of the round began, Holyfield rebounded and proceeded to land a 15-second, multiple punch combination that staggered Foreman. Though Holyfield's barrage of punches seemed to tire Foreman, he nevertheless was able to survive the remainder of the round without going down. This round was ultimately named "Round of the Year" by The Ring magazine. Though Foreman was able to stay competitive throughout the fight, Holyfield ultimately won the fight via unanimous decision, winning all three judges scorecards by scores of 116–111, 115–112, and 117–110. Foreman, however, impressed many by going the distance with the much younger champion. [4]

The fight was a huge success financially, becoming for a time the highest-grossing boxing match of all time. The bout brought in approximately $55 million from pay-per-view buys, with 1.45 million American homes purchasing the fight. Also, an additional $8 million was made from the live gate, with an estimated 19,000 fans attending the fight live. [5]

Many thought this would be Foreman's last chance at the Heavyweight championship. Foreman, however, would shock the boxing world over three years later by defeating Michael Moorer to become the oldest Heavyweight champion at age 45.

George Foreman’s Faith: How The 45-Year-Old Heavyweight Stunned The World

George Foreman swept through the heavyweight division like a hurricane, obliterating nearly all who stood in his path without mercy or reason, and then, just like that, he was gone.

For the first part of his professional boxing career, beginning in the summer of &lsquo69, Foreman was a one-man wrecking crew with dynamite-fused fists, who, until his loss to Muhammad Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle, had assembled a 40-fight winning streak where only three lucky souls survived long enough to hear the final bell.

The chapter came to an undignified end in 1977, three years after his aura of invincibility had been shattered in front of the world by Ali, with a unanimous decision defeat to the talented Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico - a fight that, thanks to exhaustion and heat-stroke, left him on the verge of death in the dressing room and resulted in what he believes was a face-to-face experience with God that changed his life forever. He quit boxing, dedicated his life to the Lord by becoming an ordained minister and vanished into the boxing abyss to become a mere fragment of its long and storied history.

A decade later something awoke the now 38-year-old beast from its slumber. In 1987, Foreman announced he was returning to mount an assault on the heavyweight division. The audacity of the comeback was derided by almost everyone - not only had the former great been in hibernation for the last 10 years, he&rsquod ballooned to well over 300lbs. Having grown up in poverty in Houston&rsquos tough Fifth Ward, where there was no such thing as three meals a day, and without the rigours of daily training to contend with, this was an understandable indulgence.

If people weren&rsquot snidely making remarks on Foreman&rsquos weight gain or his age, they were concerned for his well-being, so why, in the face of so much criticism, mockery and concern, would Foreman lace up his gloves once again and return to a sport that takes no prisoners and quite literally pulls no punches?

The reason, like so many boxing comebacks, was financial. This was long before Foreman&rsquos Lean, Mean Grilling Machine empire had made him one of the richest living boxers in the world and in his exile he had founded the George Foreman Youth and Community Center, a sanctuary that kids of all denominations could visit for guidance and a place in which he had become a father-figure to so many misguided youths, much like himself when he was younger. It&rsquos still open today, but back then it was struggling to keep the lights on and so, on 9 March 1987, he returned to the ring for the first time since that dismal night in Puerto Rico, fighting Steve Zouski, a 32-year-old journeyman with a solid 25-11 record who had tangled with the likes of Mike Tyson, Marvis Frazier and Tony Tubbs.

If people were fearful for Foreman when he announced his comeback, they were severely concerned after his fight with Zouski, which he duly won and earned $24,000 from. Foreman, despite ending proceedings in the fourth round, looked slow, cumbersome and a shadow of his former self. The 5,000 or so onlookers, who had treated the fight as a curiosity more than anything, were far from impressed.

&ldquoHey, I&rsquove been off for 10 years. Not one year, not 10 months, but 10 years. In those 10 years I got relaxed, I got fat and had babies. What else can you expect?&rdquo he joked afterwards.

When he announced that he had the latest heavyweight sensation, Tyson, in his crosshairs, everybody laughed. But, since his spiritual reawakening in that dressing room back in &lsquo77 Foreman had had faith in abundance, and slowly, with each passing fight, every win and subsequent knockout, people began to believe. He never did get that fight with Tyson but he was a bona fide celebrity amongst the people once again.

The clean-shaven reincarnation of Foreman may have been of a more forgiving nature than his predecessor but try telling that to his victims, with all but one in a 24-fight winning streak succumbing to &lsquoBig&rsquo George&rsquos brutish power. Soon came the title shots, but taking back what he&rsquod lost to Ali in Zaire nearly 20 years earlier would not come easy. His first and second attempts at world honours were spirited defeats to Evander Holyfield and Tommy Morrison respectively, but the moment that would immortalise Foreman forever was soon to come.

On 5 November 1994, Foreman, now 45, fought the WBA world champion Michael Moorer, 19 years his junior, at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Foreman fever had gone through the roof but, even after two brave title challenges since his return, few believed that he could upset the 3/1 betting favourite who had snatched the title from Holyfield.

Before the fight Foreman said he wanted to lay the ghosts of the Rumble in the Jungle to rest, even going as far as to wear the same red shorts and appointing Ali&rsquos trainer that night, the legendary Angelo Dundee, to serve him in his corner against Moorer. From the opening bell, though, it seemed as if he would throw away his chance to regain the title once again. Moorer controlled the pace, delivering an immense amount of punishment to Foreman, who seemed unfazed by the onslaught, and won virtually every round.

He needed a miracle to win, but faith had served him well so far and he wasn&rsquot going to give up. In his corner, Dundee, who had delivered countless pieces of fight-changing lines of wisdom mid-fight over the years, not least to his charge&rsquos former rival Ali, recognised the dire situation and told Foreman ahead of the seventh round that he had no choice but to stop his foe.

An early body shot from Foreman to Moorer&rsquos much leaner gut slowed the champion down, allowing the veteran challenger to land more consistently than he had in the previous six rounds. As the round progressed Foreman continued to get the upper hand before a big right caught the younger man flush on the jaw, smashing his mouthguard into pieces and splitting his lip in the process. Moorer toppled onto his back and could only get to his knees by the time the referee, Joe Cortez, reached the count of 10. At 45, George Edward Foreman was the oldest world boxing champion ever.

It is arguably the greatest sporting comeback of all-time and one that, in 1987, had been deemed a doomed and foolish endeavour. Had Foreman retired for good in 1977, he would no doubt have been one of the most respected boxers of the 20th century but he would not be the Goliath-like figure he is in boxing today - he is simply one of the most beloved sportsmen in history.

His path was not an easy road to travel and required much more than just his physical strength alone. It took a mental fortitude like nothing sport had seen before, and there are fewer testaments to what faith can achieve in a person than George Foreman.

BOXING Foreman Flattens Moorer With Blast From the Past

A right hand thrown from about 1973 tonight returned to 45-year-old George Foreman the heavyweight title he had lost 20 years ago.

With that heavy, short blow to the previously undefeated Michael Moorer in the 10th round, Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in history.

He looked it, too, his baggy orange trunks -- they were red when he wore them in Zaire against Muhammad Ali 20 years and a week ago -- ill-fitting under his stomach.

At 250 pounds, he was 28 pounds heavier than the southpaw Moorer, who was 19 years younger.

Foreman had trailed on all three judges' scorecards. But the stunning shot proved to be the only knockdown of the bout. Moorer fell flat on his back and took the entire 10-count from Referee Joe Cortez, the bout ending at 2 minutes 3 seconds of the 10th with Foreman becoming the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion.

Oliver McCall holds the World Boxing Council title. McCall will fight 45-year-old Larry Holmes, a former champion, in a title bout next February.

Moorer had thrown 641 punches, to only 369 by Foreman. Yet, Foreman had refused to sit in his stool between rounds against his younger opponent. He stood in his corner so calmly, it seemed like e another attempt at a psych job.

The one shot made Foreman the first fighter in the division to appear in a title fight 20 years apart.

Ali had defeated him in Zaire in 1974. That ended the myth of the Invincible Foreman that had reached its peak when he knocked out Joe Frazier in 1973 to capture the title.

"These are the shorts that I fought in when I was heavyweight champion of the world," said Foreman later. "They are short and make you look a little chubby, but I fought Muhammad Ali in these shorts.

"I exorcised the ghost, once and forever. Heavyweight champion of the world."

Foreman had been hit with most of the bout's punches, yet rarely faltered or staggered or changed his style. He moved forward.

The road to the knockout began with a right that sent a shudder through Moorer, who backed up. Then came a short left, and finally, the ultimate right.

"Anything you desire, you can make happen," the once and future champion said afterward. "It's like the song, 'When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.' Well, look at me tonight."

And what better setting for this than a 15,000-seat indoor arena at the M-G-M Grand, the 5,005-seat hotel in which Dorothy and the Tin Man and the other "Wizard of Oz" characters cavort near the casinos.

"Bluebirds," said Foreman, "fly over the rainbow. Why oh why can't I?"

More gracious in defeat than he had been as champion, at least publicly, Moorer admitted afterward that he had been thinking of retiring if he won.

"But I'm not sure now," he said. His record fell to 35-1, including 30 knockouts. For Foreman, who did not fight at all between 1977 and 1987, his impressive mark stands at 73-4. Moorer was his 68th knockout victim.

Why didn't Moorer just coast the final rounds? Two judges had him ahead by 5 points, the third by 1 point. Moorer had to know he was leading.

"I my mind, I knew I was winning," he said. But apparently his trainer, Teddy Atlas, kept after him to keep circling to his right.

"I was doing it in the gym, but here it's totally different," Moorer explained.

Didn't he consider backing off?

"No," he replied, "I never considered backing off."

Foreman claimed his strategy was to keep pounding until he could flatten Moorer. Foreman claimed that he would never get the benefit of a decision, and that the fact there was no three-knockdown rule would help Moorer. Thus, said Foreman, when he nailed Moorer, it was essential he stay down.

Foreman didn't need to worry. Even while Moorer was down for a minute after being knocked out, Foreman was on his knees praying. In the excitement his brother, Roy, passed out in the ring, but a physician said later, "He's O.K. "

And will Foreman continue?

"It's too soon to say," he said. "But I want to fight in the Astrodome. It's my dream." He is from Houston.

He entered the ring to a joyful sounds of "If I Had a Hammer," looking all business in a gray hooded sweatshirt soaked with perspiration. He had on those baggy orange shorts.

Moorer, who won the championship only six months ago from Evander Holyfield, strode in to rap music, wearing a bright yellow robe over gold shorts. His handlers walked around holding his championship belts aloft.

Moorer got the first good blow, a left hook. that made the water bounce off the top of Foreman's bald head.

Moorer connected with a few more right jabs against Foreman, who presented a stolid figure, as if waiting to unload a right. It was part of his strategy, he was to claim, to wait it out until the time was right, until Moorer could not get up again.

Foreman stood after the round, while Moorer was ministered to by Atlas, who had worked on preparing Moorer for George's mind games as well as right uppercut.

Outwardly, the champion and the challenger represented a study in contrasts.

Snarling and intimidating, Foreman mowed down heavyweights and brushed aside friends in his rush to the title he captured from Frazier. But three years after losing it to Ali in Zaire, he dropped a decision to Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico.

After showering, he stormed out, dripping wet and started screaming that he had to find God. He tried to get back into the arena. His trainer, Gil Clancy, had to hold him down. Foreman became a preacher and didn't fight for 10 years.

Rise and Fall of a Champ: Foreman vs Muhammad Ali

At 6 feet 3 1/2 inches and 218 pounds, Foreman was a fearsome ring presence who brutalized opponents with his raw power. He won his first 37 professional fights before earning a shot at heavyweight champion "Smokin&apos" Joe Frazier on Jan 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica. Foreman was an underdog against Frazier, but he shockingly knocked the champ down six times over the course of two rounds to claim the heavyweight crown.

Foreman&aposs reign ended with a loss to Muhammad Ali in the legendary "Rumble in the Jungle" title bout in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974. Employing his "rope-a-dope" technique, Ali leaned back against the ropes to deflect Foreman&aposs thunderous punches, then turned aggressor and floored the bigger man in the eighth round. It was Foreman&aposs only defeat by knockout in his professional career.

Foreman&aposs quest for another title shot was derailed with a loss to nimble-footed Jimmy Young in March 1977. Exhausted and dehydrated after the fight, Foreman claimed to have a religious awakening and retired. He went on to become a non-denominational Christian minister and found the George Foreman Youth and Community Center in Houston.

George Foreman: Second comeback

In 1987, following 10 years away from the ring, Foreman amazed the boxing scene by reporting a desire to come back to the boxing ring at 38 years old. In his collection of memoirs, he wrote that his essential rationale was to fund-raise to support the youth centre that he had made, which had required a large part of the cash he had acquired in the underlying period of his profession. Another expressed desire was to go against the formidable young pugilist Mike Tyson. For his first bout, he went to Sacramento, California, where he beat understudy Steve Zouski by a knockout in four rounds. Foreman weighed 267 lb (121 kg) for the bout and appeared completely out of shape. Albeit many questioned his choice to get back to the ring and said that he had made a mistake. Foreman countered that he had gotten back to demonstrate that age was not an obstruction to individuals accomplishing their objectives (as he said later, he needed to show that age 40 isn’t a “death sentence” for a boxer’s career). He won four additional bouts that year, steadily thinning down and improving his wellness. In 1988, he won multiple times. Maybe his most eminent win during this period was a seventh-round knockout of previous Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

Having consistently been a powerful contender, Foreman had not lost a lot of versatility in the ring since his first “retirement”, in spite of the fact that he struggled with keeping his balance when it came to dodging punches. However, he had no difficulty landing his notoriously powerful blows. The late-round weakness that had tormented him in the ring as an up and coming fighter had also suddenly disappeared and he was able to fight through 12 rounds with ease. Foreman credited this to his new, loosened up battling style (he has talked about how, prior in his vocation, his absence of endurance came from a monumental amount of stress).

By 1989, while proceeding with his second comeback, Foreman had sold his name and face for the publicizing of different items, offering everything from barbecues to suppressors on TV. For this reason, his public persona was reevaluated, and the earlier detached, unfavorable Foreman had been supplanted by a grinning, cordial George. Ali and he had become companions, and he emulated Ali’s example by making himself a superstar outside the ring as well. Foreman proceeded with his series of triumphs, winning five additional bouts, the most amazing being a three-round victory upon Bert Cooper, who proceeded to challenge the undisputed heavyweight title against Evander Holyfield.

Return to the Top

George Foreman vs Michael Moorer

In 1994, Foreman again looked to challenge for the big showdown after Michael Moorer had beaten Holyfield for the IBF and WBA titles. Having lost his last bout against Morrison, Foreman was unranked and in no situation to request another title shot. However, he did manage to land a title shot against Moorer, 19 years younger than him. Foreman had everything to gain and nothing to lose in the fight.

Foreman’s title challenge against Moorer occurred on November 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Foreman wearing similar red trunks he had worn in his title loss to Ali 20 years sooner. This time, nonetheless, Foreman was a considerable dark horse. For nine rounds, Moorer effectively outboxed him, hitting and moving endlessly, while Foreman chugged forward, apparently incapable to “pull the trigger” on his punches. Entering the tenth round, Foreman was lagging behind on all scorecards. In any case, Foreman dispatched a rebound in the tenth round and hit Moorer with various punches. At that point, a short right hand got Moorer on the tip of his jawline, slicing open his lip, and he collapsed immediately on the canvas. As the referee counted, Moorer lay flat on the canvas.

In a moment, Foreman had recovered the title he had lost to Muhammad Ali twenty years earlier. He returned to his corner and stooped in supplication as the field emitted in cheers. With this noteworthy triumph, Foreman broke three records: He became, at age 45, the oldest championship contender at any point to win a big fight 20 years in the wake of losing his title interestingly, he broke the record for the boxer with the longest stretch between his first and second big title victories and the age spread of 19 years between the champion and challenger was the biggest of any heavyweight boxing title bout.

Today in History: Oldest Heavyweight Champion

At the age of 45 George Foreman became the oldest Heavyweight Champion in boxing, in a bout against then Champion Michael Moorer (26). He did not keep the belt for long as it was stripped by the World Boxing Association (WBA) in March 1995 and the International Boxing Federation (IBF) in June 1995 after Foreman declined a rematch with number 1 contender Axle Schulz. From History:

On this day in 1994, George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel watched Foreman dethrone Moorer, who went into the fight with a 35-0 record. Foreman dedicated his upset win to “all my buddies in the nursing home and all the guys in jail.”

Born in 1949 in Marshal, Texas, Foreman had a troubled childhood and dropped out of high school. Eventually, he joined President Lyndon Johnson’s Jobs Corps work program and discovered a talent for boxing. “Big George,” as he was nicknamed, took home a gold medal for the U.S. at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. In 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, after winning his first 37 professional matches, 34 by knockout, Foreman KO’d “Smokin’” Joe Frazier after two rounds and was crowned heavyweight champ. At 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasha, Zaire, the younger, stronger Foreman suffered a surprising loss to underdog Muhammad Ali and was forced to relinquish his championship title. Three years later, Big George morphed from pugilist into preacher, when he had a religious experience in his dressing room after losing a fight. He retired from boxing, became an ordained minister in Houston and founded a youth center.

A decade later, the millions he’d made as a boxer gone, Foreman returned to the ring at age 38 and staged a successful comeback. When he won his second heavyweight title in his 1994 fight against Moorer, becoming the WBA and IBF champ, Foreman was wearing the same red trunks he’d had on the night he lost to Ali.

4. Jack Johnson, 70–11–11 (3)

Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight after defeating Tommy Burns in 1908 having been denied a title shot due to his skin colour since turning pro in 1898.

The “Galveston Giant” became a cultural hero having battled racism throughout his career but never got another shot at the belt after losing it to Jess Willard in 1915.

Johnson had just 35 KO's in 70 wins, instead relying on boxing skill and speed.

Foreman defeats Moorer to become champ

November 5, 1994, was a night for the ages as George Foreman defeated Michael Moorer to become the oldest heavyweight champion in history. The belts on the line were the WBA, IBF, and Lineal heavyweight titles for the fight, which took place at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This championship bout was aired on HBO. Usually, Foreman would be alongside Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant and unofficial scorer Harold Lederman calling fights during this period. HBO replaced Foreman, who was in action ringside with boxing broadcast legend Gil Clancy.

Moorer was the newly crowned champion defeating Evander Holyfield in a close decision in April of that year. This bout against the older Foreman was his 1st defense. Foreman was on the comeback trail at this stage and coming off a defeat against Tommy Morrison in 1993. By all accounts, this was supposed to be the end of the line for “Big George,” and this match was to seal it.

Once the fight was underway, it looked just like that.

Foreman vs Moorer 10th rd ko via @YouTube 25 years ago I recaptured the world title. A Joy that stays in place for me. Reminding all to Fight till the last bell rings

&mdash George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) November 5, 2019

The younger Moorer, who was a 3 to 1 betting favorite over the much older Foreman, was boxing his way through the entire fight. That was until the tenth round when Foreman lands a right that sent Moorer down for the count and didn’t beat the ten count.

“Down goes Moorer on a right hand! An unbelievably close-in right-hand shot! It happened! It happened!” by Lampley most signature calls in the history of HBO Boxing.

The right Foreman landed, he said, was key to the victory, and the knockdown is one of the most iconic in his career because of it.

“I knew it would be a knockout—in the 11th round, I thought. I knew if I could hit him with a right hand and get a little body English in it, he would not get up,” Foreman said after the fight to Sports Illustrated that would appear in their November 1994 issue after the fight.

Foreman, with the victory at age 45, became the oldest champion in history, surpassing the prior record by Jersey Joe Wolcott at 37 when he became a champ in 1951. After the contest, Foreman was ordered to defend the title against Tony Tucker but instead took on Axel Schultz to avoid deal with Don King, who was promoted under Tucker at the time. Foreman taking on Schultz led to the WBA stripping him of the title. After closely defeating Schultz, the IBF ordered a rematch which Foreman refused, and they stripped him of that belt. Foreman was still the lineal champion until his last defeat against Shannon Briggs in 1997.

But on this day, Foreman was a heavyweight champion of the world, something he had chased to become again for 20 years. Relive that magical night in its entirety below.

George Foreman Becomes Oldest Heavyweight Champ - HISTORY

By Max Mathews For Mailonline 18:37 BST 30 Nov 2020 , updated 18:37 BST 30 Nov 2020

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  • George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer to become champion aged 45
  • The oldest heavyweight title holder ever reckons Mike Tyson could usurp him
  • Tyson, 54, performed well vs Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition match on Saturday

George Foreman believes Mike Tyson can still challenge at the top level of boxing and break his record as the oldest heavyweight champion ever.

Foreman became the most senior heavyweight championship title holder of all time in 1994 when at 45 he knocked out 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round.

The 1968 Olympic gold medallist also became the second-oldest world champion in any weight class, behind Bernard Hopkins (46) at light-heavyweight, before retiring aged 48.

And the World Boxing and International Boxing Hall of Famer insisted Tyson, 54, showed enough in his exhibition fight with Roy Jones Jr to prove he can still cut it at the top level and win a world heavyweight title.

He told USA Today: 'If he gets in shape like he's in now, gets his timing back, and all the other things fall into place, he can have an opportunity to fight for the title. If he can be managed right, the right champion will come to him. And if the right one comes, he can knock him out.'

'Tyson looked great, he really did. And Roy Jones had to use every old skill out of the book to keep himself from being knocked out.

'I just couldn't believe what I saw. And that was just an exhibition. Just think if (Tyson) had some activity the last two years. He'd be in line to be the champion of the world again at 54, 55.

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'You have to have a really good manager to navigate you who to fight and who not to fight,' he added. 'But if he gets someone who can do some creative moves, he can be in the big time quickly.'

Foreman, now 71, also praised Tyson for recovering control of the fight and keeping his composure after Roy Jones Jr performed strongly in the early rounds.

Tyson had ended a 15-year hiatus to take on 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr, three years his junior, in a much-hyped exhibition on Saturday.

His strong performance drew praise from UFC chief Dana White, and his opponent, who stated Tyson was capable of fighting anybody.

However, others have pointed out the current strength of the heavyweight division means it would be a risky play for a man in his fifties to fight the likes of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.

Watch the video: George foreman vs Michael moorer 1994 - second title heavyweight champion of the world for foreman (January 2022).