You’re never too old to find your Sweet Spot – Part 2

by Trevor Aung Than on July 27, 2012

This is the second part of a 3-part instalment. Go here to read Part One

George Foreman

Big bad George Foreman was a formidable fighter in his 70′s heyday. He was there at ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ with Muhammad Ali, beat fighters like Joe Frazier in 1973 for the Heavyweight belt and also annihilated Ken Norton who beat Ali in 1973. Watch this video to see him in action in his prime:

But when George Foreman returned to the ring after a 10-year hiatus in 1987, he was old, bald and fat. At 38-years of age he was 267lbs (121kgs) and 40lbs overweight (18kgs), his punches were still heavy but were slow. Commentators actually feared for his safety in the ring. Critics pounced – his comeback was going nowhere, he was a joke and he was going to get hurt. But Foreman proved them all wrong.

Foreman ignored the critics. Even his former trainer, Gil Clancy, refused to help Foreman in his comeback. But Foreman carried on, unwavered. He kept fighting, getting fitter and shedding the pounds with each fight. He started to get attention as he began to win fights. In 1991 he had his chance to challenge for the title against Evander Holyfield and Foreman surprised many by lasting the 12 rounds, only to lose on points. He went on to challenge the title again in 1993 against Tommy Morrison – again he lasted 12 rounds but lost on points.

Then in 1994, at 45 years of age, Foreman had another title shot. This time against Michael Moorer, 19 years his junior, whom beat Holyfield for the title. Going into the fight, Foreman was unranked but had a high enough profile to demand a title fight. Foreman wore the same red trunks he had worn against Ali 20 years before.

For the first 9 rounds, Foreman was easily outboxed – Moorer was too agile and fast, Foreman seemingly only plodded forward and couldn’t unleash his punches. In the 10th round, Foreman had a tipping point – he came out with more vigor in his step and landed some good punches. He then unleashed a huge right that caught Moorer on his chin and floored him. Moorer couldn’t get up. Foreman had done the impossible.

Foreman had amazingly regained his title he had lost 20 years earlier to Ali. He had also broken 3 records in the process: at 45, he became the oldest fighter to win the Heavyweight Championship, he broke the record for longest interval between championships and also, the 19 years age difference between Foreman and Moorer was the biggest age gap in any Championship boxing match.

Foreman retired in 1997 at the ripe age of 48 with a record of 76 wins, 5 losses including 68 knockouts. He has gone on and had another comeback in life, a successful businessman with his George Foreman Grill which are everywhere!

So next time you’re feeling a bit past your use-by date; think of old George getting into the ring. Ridiculed and laughed at for many years, he didn’t let it get in the way and lose focus on his goal of regaining the belt.

Stay tuned for Part 3 and the conclusion next week!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Trev L July 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Good stuff Trev! I watched this documentary on TV while i was in the States recently. It’s about a boxer that most people have probably never heard of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRHlWsGejIo

Some of it towards the end seemed like a bit set up for hollywood (you’ll probably get what I mean) but still a great watch nonetheless, and still a very inspiring story.

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Trevor Aung Than July 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Cool thanks Trev! I’ll check it out..

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Xin August 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Reminds me fondly of Rocky Balboa, who was well past his prime but still a worthy contender!

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Trevor Aung Than August 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Adrian!!!

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