By Chip Kuehn: Former IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion George Foreman (76-5, 68 KO’s) confesses that when he fought during the early part of his career, he was out there trying to kill somebody by hitting them as hard as he could. Foreman wanted to make a name for himself and he felt that was one of the ways that he could accomplish that.
Foreman told Yahoo Sports “It wasn’t about Ken Norton or Muhammad Ali. It was like anyone I had met in the ring. I said, ‘I’m going to kill one of these guys then they’ll know that I’m the best.”
Foreman didn’t kill anyone during his long boxing career, but he did knockout out a lot of fighter. In 81 fights, Foreman knocked out 68 of his opponents with a KO percentage of 83.95. That’s one of the highest ever for the heavyweight division.
Foreman was almost unstoppable during the early portion of his career until losing to Muhammad Ali back in 1974. Foreman made the mistake of trying to KO Ali, and it resulted in him using up all his energy up and getting stopped in the 8th round. Had Foreman stood on the outside using his superior jab for 12 rounds, he would have had a much better chance of beating Ali. But back then you can’t blame Foreman for thinking that he could knock Ali out because he’d been knocking everyone else out that he’d been fighting, and Ali was getting up there in age at 32 when they fought each other.
After the loss, Foreman tried to get a rematch with Ali, but there was no interest there on Ali’s side. Foreman realized the mistake that he made in the fight and he had planned on fighting Ali different in a rematch, but Ali wasn’t going to give Foreman a chance to improve on his performance.
Foreman retired from boxing following a 12 round unanimous decision loss to Jimmy Young in 1977. However, 10 years later a chunky-looking Foreman resumed his boxing career in 1987. Foreman than accumulated a ton of knockouts and captured the IBF/WBA World heavyweight titles in 1994 in stopping Michael Moorer in the 10th round.