It was 50 years in the past at this time when a younger, uncooked and unbeaten heavyweight contender hailing from Texas challenged heavyweight king Joe Frazier. The combat, such because it was, befell in Kingston, Jamaica, and the 24 yr previous Foreman was a 4/1 underdog towards the 29 yr previous who was now globally celebrated as “Smokin’ Joe.”
Frazier, seemingly on the peak of his powers, had reached absolutely the high of the mountain two years prior; this when the Philly warrior had crushed, and had briefly silenced, Muhammad Ali within the epic “Combat of the Century.” Frazier was now the undisputed, universally acknowledged heavyweight ruler of planet earth. Foreman? He was, like Frazier and Ali earlier than him, an Olympic gold medal winner, and the unbeaten slugger was good at 37-0(34). However George had by no means met anybody fairly like Frazier (had any combating man?) Virtually everybody felt Frazier, 29-0(25) would have far an excessive amount of of, effectively, every thing except for dimension for Foreman.
However Foreman’s bodily dimensions performed an enormous half within the combat. An enormous half. Frazier, all 5’11” of him (as generously listed), grew to become a sitting duck of the advancing selection towards the 6’3” Foreman. As all these followers who watched the combat on the time absolutely nonetheless bear in mind with readability, Frazier was “eaten up,” as Ali would possibly say, by Foreman’s massive bombs. Proper palms, uppercuts, adopted by extra proper palms; Foreman erased his straightforward goal of a defending champion, this by scoring at least six knockdowns inside two stunning rounds.
Going into the combat, Foreman was, he has stated many occasions since, scared. “My knees had been actually shaking,” Foreman stated. “No person may inform me any weaknesses about Joe Frazier, as a result of he had no weaknesses.”
However kinds make fights, and by no means has this timeless adage been confirmed so proper as on January 22, 1973.
With this combat, a sure Don King grew to become an rising determine. It was, for many individuals, their first time seeing King’s electrical hair sticking up, this as he sat beaming at ringside. Foreman-Frazier can be memorable not simply because of Foreman’s freakish energy and crushing win, however as a result of it marked HBO’s enterprise into world championship boxing. Discuss a debut.
With Ali and Frazier unable on the time to come back to an settlement for the vastly anticipated “Tremendous Combat II,” Frazier agreed to tackle Foreman, and “The Sunshine Showdown” was on. Not everybody in Frazier’s camp was pleased with Foreman so far as a perfect alternative of opponent, removed from it in actual fact, and at this time, the taking of the combat does seem like one huge blunder on the a part of Group-Frazier.
However there was no going again. The combat was on.
To today, followers of a sure age who watched the combat as referred to as by Howard Cosell can nonetheless hear these three repeated phrases of their head: “Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!” Cosell had referred to as many fights, but he appeared extra shocked than anybody on the sight of Frazier being smashed to the mat. And as we all know, Joe would make the journey 5 extra occasions earlier than essentially the most savagely one-sided world heavyweight title combat since Jack Dempsey-Jess Willard was lastly stopped.
Foreman really begged Frazier’s nook to cease the combat, this because of a really actual concern on the a part of “Massive George” that he would possibly kill Frazier. Lastly, referee Arthur Mercante, having seen Frazier lifted clear off his ft by a Foreman sledgehammer masquerading with no consideration uppercut, waved off the slaughter.
Foreman was the brand new king, and it appeared no-one would ever be capable to take the title from him. Not Ali, not Ken Norton, not Ron Lyle, not Jimmy Ellis, not Oscar Bonavena, not Jerry Quarry. Not any of the highest contenders. No person. Foreman, who appeared, like Frazier earlier than him, to have zero weaknesses, seemed set for an extended reign. Issues had been, as we all know, thrown right into a mesmerising combination of magic, intoxication and a way of justice when Ali dropped and stopped Foreman in an excellent greater upset the next yr; the crown, unfairly taken from Ali, now his once more.
However for now, after these six brutal knockdowns, Foreman was the grasp of the heavyweight division. All these years later, and the hammering Foreman gave Frazier nonetheless ranks as this specific Texan monster’s most scary, certainly terrifying knockout efficiency.
Boxing Information » George Foreman-Joe Frazier At 50: Foreman’s Most Terrifying Knockout