George Foreman vs Michael Moorer – Highlights (It HAPPENED!)

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May 11th, 1994. On this day, one of the most historic moments in the sport took place with a fight billed as “One for the Ages’ where 45 year old former World Heavyweight Champion takes on a prime undefeated 26 year old Michael Moorer, who makes the 1st defenses of his IBF and WBA Heavyweight Titles. Moorer who had 18 years on Foreman was also a 3-1 betting favorite.

Prefight records; Moorer 35(30)-0, Foreman 72(67)-4.

Gil Clancy, Foreman’s former trainer and commentator for this bout believed that Foreman had little chance of pulling off an upset. However, Moorer’s chin was considered to be suspect going into the fight due to the fact that he was knocked down four times in his career up to that point;

1)1st time against Everett “Bigfoot” Martin
2)2nd and 3rd time against Bert Cooper.
3)4th time against Evander Holyfield.

Thus, it was hinted that Foreman’s devastating punching power might be a factor to pulling off the upset. However, it is also noteworthy that Moorer recovered from all 4 career knockdowns and came back to beat all 4 opponents.

20 years ago, 25 year old prime undefeated George Foreman suffered his only career stoppage in “Rumble in the Jungle” against the legendary Muhammad Ali who utilized the ingenious rope-a-dope strategy to tire Foreman out before flooring him in the 8th round. A severely exhausted Foreman was unable to beat the count and lost his WBA and WBC Heavyweight Titles.

20 years later, Foreman looks to redeem himself by attaining Heavyweight Glory, once more.

Since his comeback in 1987, he had had two world title opportunities against Evander Holyfield in 1991 and Tommy Morrison in 1993; losing both fights via UD thus this is considered to be Foreman’s last chance to become World Heavyweight Champion in his comeback.

Up to this point, the 3 oldest fighters to become World Heavyweight Champion are;

1)Bob Fitzsimmons at 33 years old, beating James J. Corbett via KO14 in 1897.
2)Muhammad Ali at 36 years old, beating Leon Spinks via UD15 in 1978.
3)Jersey Joe Walcott at 37 years old, beating Ezzard Charles via KO7 in 1951.

Interestingly, just by the virtue of this fight happening Foreman had already set the record for being the oldest fighter in history (at 45 years old) to challenge for a World Heavyweight Title.

Going into the fight, Moorer held victories over notable opponents in Leslie Stewart, Alex Stewart, James Smith, Bert Cooper, Evander Holyfield & Frankie Swindell (2x).

On the other hand, Foreman had meaningful wins over oppositions such as Bert Cooper, Alex Stewart, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Ron Lyle, Adilson Rodrigues, Pierre Coetzer, George Chuvalo, Chuck Wepner, Boone Kirkman, Ken Norton, José Roman, Gregorio Peralta (2x), Joe Frazier (2x).

From the 1st round, Moorer was the more effective fighter in the ring; effectively outpunching and countering Foreman with his hand speed and overall better mobility where his age advantage could not be any more apparent. But Foreman remained game and was never out of the fight, even though Moorer beat Big George to the punch in just about every exchange.

Although Foreman was clearly losing most of the rounds and never significantly hurt Moorer for the first 9 rounds, Gil Clancy (one of the fight commentators and Foreman’s former trainer) noted that Moorer was moving towards the left which puts him well within range of Foreman’s powerful right hand.

After 27 minutes of boxing, Moorer was significantly ahead with scores of 88-83, 88-83 & 86-85.

In the 10th round, Foreman started off strong and was able to land his right cross more often than in previous rounds. And going into the 2nd minute, Foreman hurt Moorer with a one-two and as his guard was down Big George repeated the same combination with his right cross landed flush on the chin; Double M was down for the 5th time in his career and bleeding from his nose.

Moorer courageously tried to rise but Joe Cortez counted to 10 as the crowd erupted with joy with Jim Lampley yelled out “IT HAPPENED! IT HAPPENED!”. Overwhelmed with the victory, Foreman knelt down in his corner to thank God for achieving “the impossible dream”.

With this knockout, Foreman gloriously redeemed himself by attaining Heavyweight Glory 20 years after the devastating setback in Kinshaha, Congo against Muhammad Ali.

As of 2017, Foreman remained the oldest fighter in the history of the sport to ever become World Heavyweight Champion at 45 years of age.

Named by The Ring as Comeback of the Year and Knockout of the Year 1994.

Enjoy this highlight video of one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport! Keep your punches up and happy holidays boxing heads!

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