Never has the sport of boxing seen such an exhaustive transformation as that in the career of George Edward Foreman, who started off as a world-renowned boxer and later became an ordained Christian minister. Born in Marshall, Texas on January 10, 1949, the 6 foot 3 inch tall American has a lot of recognition to his name. Foreman’s boxing career can be viewed to comprise of two different time slots, one from 1969-77, and the other from 1987-97, following a 10-year break from the sport. Foreman also upheld a strong streak of 76 wins to only 5 losses, and is known to be the oldest Heavyweight Champion in history. Given Foreman’s accomplishments, the Ring Magazine ranks him as the 9th Greatest Puncher of all time.
Before beginning his career in 1969, Foreman represented the United States in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, winning the gold medal in the Heavyweight boxing category. In his first year as a professional boxer, he participated in 13 games, winning all of them. 11 of these games were won as a result of a knockout blow. The year 1970 turned out to be even more glorious for the 21 year old superstar, as he beat celebrated names in the game, such as Gregorio Peralta and George Chuvalo. Eventually, by 1971, Foreman had an impressive record of 32-0, and was now ranked as the number one challenger to the World Heavyweight title. In 1972, in an event labelled ‘The Sunshine Showdown’, every spectator could see the sheer ferocity with which Foreman had finally worked his way up to have a real shot at the title. He was to face the much feared and undefeated Joe Frazier, who had a near perfect record and had previously beaten Oscar Bonavena and Jerry Quarry successively to secure the championship. Foreman was to make history, as against all essential odds, he beat Frazier with a technical knockout in close to six rounds. One of the most difficult title defenses came against Ken Norton in 1974, who had 30-2 record. Norton was known to have an unorthodox boxing style, and could catch opponents by surprise.