Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

There is a certain category of people who, even if they are on a well-deserved retirement, still looks pretty decent, a matter of respect, and even to some extent in the fear of others. It thus appears to average man in the street in front of George Foreman - legendary boxer in the past, and now - the pastor of one of the religious movements. Even in his old age (he was already 67 years old), he was still in good shape and always smiling. In this article we consider in detail the way of life of this outstanding athlete and his main achievements.

The Birth and Childhood

Future champion was born in the US state of Texas, in Marshall, 10 January 1949. Children and youth of George Foreman held in the streets of Houston the ghettos where youth learned to rob, kill and rape. Parallel to this, many adolescents become drug addicts or alcoholics. There is a version, though an outstanding boxer after retiring from the sport at some point returned a purse of one of his victims, but he denies everything American, and absolutely does not justify itself. "I was a gangster, and for past crimes to me there is no forgiveness!"

Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

George Foreman, Biography early life which is quite typical for a Houston resident, fought in the streets as part of a gang. His father left the family, and my mother alone took care of several children. George also was expelled from school because he did not attend classes. In general, to his 16 years in the young man he became ingrained Gopnik without any bright prospects in the future.

The turning point

But fate has prepared the fate of the guy that is different from the lives of his brothers in the area. In one day, everything changed after George Foreman tried to escape from the police and hid under a false home. In order not to give himself the smell, he got dirty with mud and fell silent, trying to ride out the raid. And at the time of finding a building in the mind of Man spun the words of his older sister: "You can do what you wish! Do you still have no future! "Getting out of the house, the young man otmylsya and decided to radically change their lives. As a result, he joined the "Worker housing" - a state program focused on combating poverty and unemployment.

The first steps in the box

"The working body" turned out to be life-saving straw for Foreman. It was there that he received his primary education and basic work skills. In addition, there he learned what boxing. Already in the first sparring him - street fighter with a lot of experience - very abruptly broken off. The opponent was able to pay him a large number of blows, without the slightest damage to itself, and George himself while never fell to the enemy.

Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

So our hero realized that he did nothing about boxing, and street fights have given anything in terms of boxing, and he had to start learning from scratch.

Amateur apex

George Foreman in the amateur ring appeared not very long, and already in 1968 at the Olympics in Mexico was able to win the gold medal. In the final battle he opposed an outstanding Soviet athlete Jonas Čepulis. In the course of their fight he is very American broke his opponent's face, which was also a manifestation of his long life in the street. Some time later, Foreman admitted that he was raised in the ring square with a burning desire to kill all your opponents. As he had thought killing someone from the opponents, his career would be the beginning of a new, brighter turn.

Go pro

In the summer of 1969, our hero turned to professional boxing. George Foreman already in his first match in the status of pro brutally knocked out his compatriot Don Waldheim in the third round. After this fight, I followed a series of more than thirty successful for Foreman fights in and out on a championship fight, which is to talk separately.

world title conquest of

January 22, 1973 in Jamaica, took the fight of two undefeated heavyweights until - Foreman and Frazier. From the first seconds of the fight it was clear that the reigning champion will not last long.

Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

And so it happened. In less than two rounds of six times Joe was knocked down, which eventually led to a wave of naturally stop the fight and award winning Foreman TKO. "The Ring" magazine respected in sports circles called this fight a fight of the year. After the conquest of the championship belt, George successfully defended his title in a fight with Jose Roman and Ken Norton. And then on the way Foreman appeared no less than the legendary Muhammad Ali ...

The loss of the championship

Successful fighting George Foreman interrupted at the time of the meeting in the ring with Ali. Their fight took place in the autumn of 1974 in Zaire. Fight promoter Don King has agreed with the ruler of the country to carry out this fight in Africa and highlight it great for those times the money - $ 12 million. Incidentally, each of the men was then 5 million.

And Foreman and Ali came to the continent early and stayed there all summer, gradually passing acclimatization. George Foreman's training took place in the capital's hotel, and Mohammed - in a setting closer to the ordinary people who just idolized him. One day before the scheduled bout both fighters have visited the party that gave President Mobutu.

Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

Since the venue of the championship match was a very high temperature and humidity, then both fighters rather quickly began to lose their physical condition. From the second round, Ali starts to hang on the ropes and take counter-productive, trying to have a successful cross head Foreman.

During the first half of the fight, Ali missed quite a few heavy blows, after which, according to him, he began to have severe hallucinations. After the completion of the fifth round, George asked the judge to pull the ropes, but his request was ignored. In the seventh trehminutku Ali began to increase their advantage, while the eighth round and managed to knock all of the young champion. Thus, Foreman lost the title for a long time justified it with all sorts of unfavorable moments for him too weak ring ropes, very fast counting the referee, poisoned water, which he gave his own coach. After that, George fought with Ron Lyle, the battle could again end up badly for Foreman, but he still managed to knock out the opponent.

Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

In the summer of 1976, "Big George" met again with Joe Frazier and again beat him by knockout, with the only difference being that this time the fight lasted until the fifth round.

In spring 1977 Foreman suffered another defeat in his career. This time, he could not beat Jimmy Young. Battle lasted all 12 rounds, the last of which boxer was knocked down. This defeat was the impetus for the completion of the career of our hero.

Life outside the ring

In 1977, George Foreman Knockout performed so that the audience loved, left the professional sport. In his own words, he no longer wanted to box, which is no good people can not bear. Former boxer radically changed his life. He became a preacher, has opened a center for young people and began to teach troubled teens the ability to extinguish the anger and aggression, he urged them to renounce violence. As an athlete on their money he built a church in his native Houston and traveled around the country.

And again in the battle!

In March 1987, the audience again saw what it takes to hit George Foreman. Return to the ring has been successful for him: he was able to knock out Steve Zosuki. After the match followed a series of successful battles, which logically led him back to the top, giving the right to meet with the champion.

Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

In the spring of 1991 at the age of 42 years Foreman stepped in the ring against Evander Holyfield to challenge the title of absolute world champion. Almost no one gave George no chance of winning. fight itself turned out to be quite spectacular. Foreman went ahead and beat and Holyfield successfully counterattacked and eventually won on points. Many experts and boxing fans were surprised that George was able to go the distance.

Last Chance

In 1994 Foreman had another opportunity to win the title: he met the champion, WBA and IBF world Michael Moorer. Champion due to the high displacement and speed bumps won the battle before the start of the last round, and Foreman was only able to win the fourth. However, in the tenth George managed to get "two" opponent's jaw, and Moorer was knocked out. This victory allowed George to become the oldest boxer who managed to win the championship belt.

Somewhat later, George Foreman - boxer with a distinguished track record - was stripped of his title because of failure to meet mandatory challenger Tony Tucker.

Boxer George Foreman: biography, sports career

After that, the spring of 1995 an American, met in the ring with a representative of the German Axel Schulz. In that duel was played little significance title of WBU. Real ended the judge's decision in favor of Foreman, who many considered very controversial. American Federation IBF ordered a rematch provide German, but he refused and was stripped of his belt.

His last fight, George held November 22, 1997 against compatriot Shannon Briggs. Again judicial decision provoked fierce debate with the only difference being that this time the victory taken away from Foreman. After this fight, George finally retired from the sport and again devoted himself to religion and assistance to needy young people. In 1999, he again tried to get back into the ring, signing a contract to fight with Larry Holmes, but in the end the match did not take place.

Relationship Status

George is married and has ten children: five daughters and five sons. It deserves no less respect. According to rumors, the legendary champion wife opposed his return to the ring in 2004, a fight with Trevor Brebikom.