He returned to the ring after a 10-year hiatus and surprisingly became world champion another time at age 45, before embarking on an effective post-boxing career as a pitchman and entrepreneur.
The Job Corps supplied Foreman having a link to boxing trainer Doctor Broaddus, who encouraged him to use his fighting abilities in the ring. He went professional soon later.
At 6 feet 3 1/2 inches and 218 pounds, Foreman was a fearsome ring existence who brutalized competitions with his raw power. Foreman was a decided underdog against Frazier, however he shockingly knocked the champion down six times within the length of two rounds to claim the heavyweight crown.
Foreman’s reign ended having a loss to Muhammad Ali in the infamous “Rumble in the Jungle” title fight in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974. Using his “rope a dope” technique, Ali leaned back against the ropes to deflect Foreman’s thunderous punches, then turned aggressor and floored the larger guy in the eighth round. It had been Foreman’s only defeat by knockout in his professional career.
Foreman’s quest for another title shot was derailed having a loss to nimble-footed Jimmy Young in March of 1977. Exhausted and dehydrated following the fight, Foreman promised to really have a spiritual awakening and retired. He went to develop into a nondenominational Christian minister and located the George Foreman Youth and Community Center in Houston.
Foreman failed to impress in his recovery triumph over Steve Zouski, but he worked himself into better condition as he knocked out a cord of enhancing competitions, and was finally given a title shot against heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield. Although he lost a fight to Holyfield on April 19, 1991, in Atlantic City, Foreman earned praise for going the distance against the younger winner.
Clad in exactly the same reddish trunks he wore during his bout against Ali, the 45-year old Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th round of the title fight on November 5, 1994, to become the oldest heavyweight champion ever. Though he was stripped of his title belts by the World Boxing Association as well as the International Boxing Federation for refusing to fight their mandated competitors, he stayed one of boxing’s top draws.
On November 22, 1997, Foreman lost a contentious decision to Shannon Briggs in what turned out to be his final fight. He concluded having an expert record of 76 wins (68 by knockout) and five losses.
Already a knowledgeable commercial pitchman, most notoriously for the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, Foreman stayed active after leaving the ring for the next time.
He continued to preach at his church in Houston, and joined HBO Sports’ boxing program team. In December 1999, Foreman Grill maker Salton, Inc. paid Foreman $137.5 million in cash and stock for rights to his name and picture. Other Foreman enterprises add a clothes line, several novels as well as a reality show featuring Foreman’s wife, Joan, and 10 kids, including five lads named George.
Foreman was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame on June 8, 2003. By that time, but the sport that had made him a winner was almost a footnote to his notoriously successful career.