On January 22, 1973, 24-year-old George Foreman defeated heavily-favored, fellow-American Joe Frazier to claim the undisputed heavyweight boxing belt in Kingston, Jamaica.
Foreman defended the belt twice, before losing the historic “Rumble in the Jungle” to Muhammad Ali the following year in Kinshasa, Zaire.
FOREMAN VS FRAZIER
Foreman entered his fight with Frazier sporting a perfect 37-0 record, with 34 of his wins coming by knockout. Frazier was 29-0, which included a 15-round unanimous decision over Muhammad Ali in 1971 which had ended the latter boxer’s undefeated streak at 31.
While boxing fans anticipated the “Sunshine Showdown” would serve merely as a Frazier tuneup before a rematch with Ali, a calm, cool and collected Foreman had other ideas. Big George used his superior reach to keep the hard-driving Frazier at bay, and employed a number of different punches to send his opponent to the ground six times before the ref stopped the fight at 2:26 in the second round.
CHAMP ONCE MORE
After losing the heavyweight title to Ali, Foreman was unable to secure another title opportunity, and retired after a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977. Ten years later he announced a comeback and, in 1994 at age 45, he regained a portion of the heavyweight championship by knocking out 27-year-old Michael Moorer to win the unified WBA, IBF, and lineal titles.