5. George Foreman KO 5 Ron Lyle – 1976
This fight is fondly remembered as ‘the elevator fight’ because both men went up and down so much. This was The RING magazine’s fight of the year for 1976 and furthermore the 4th round was named 6th most exciting round in boxing history by The RING magazine.
In that fourth round, Foreman went down early and scored a knockdown of his own shortly after. However, at the bell Foreman was fell once again and fell face first towards the canvas.
Foreman was on the ropes metaphorically and badly shaken as both combatants came out for the 5th round. ‘Big George’s pressure style did back Ron Lyle toward the ropes and Foreman pounded him with a relentless barrage of thudding blows.
Foreman had to make a statement in this fight, this was his first time back in the squared circle following his losing the monumental ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ against Muhammad Ali.
He clearly stated that it was his intention to get the rematch with Ali in a cover issue of Sports Illustrated. His first step would be to take on the game and proven heavyweight contender, Ron Lyle to win the national heavyweight title.
This was an awesome display of skill, will and punching power that will continue to live in the memory for a long time.
4. George Foreman KO 2 Gerry Cooney – 1990
George Foreman was on the comeback trail at this stage of his career, continuing his descent towards finally getting that long sought after second shot at the world heavyweight title against the champion, Evander Holyfield.
Gerry Cooney was a proven contender, who famously took on Larry Holmes at the peak of his powers for the title. Cooney was ultimately unsuccessful in that attempt. He did, however, showcase his toughness to push Holmes all the way down the stretch.
Cooney was a formidable opponent, a behemoth standing at 6’7. He also had a dynamite left hook which was capable of shutting off the lights at any given point during a fight.
Cooney badly shook Foreman in the first round which caused ‘Big George’ to come out aggressively, for the second round.
Cooney was badly wobbled by a powerful uppercut. Seeing his opponent was in trouble, Foreman pressed his foe by following up with a dynamite left-right combination.
Cooney struggled to his feet, but with Foreman patiently waiting, menacingly the end was in sight. As Foreman left his neutral corner his intentions were clear, he readied his right hand and planted an uppercut on the point of his chin which almost tore poor Gerry’s head clean off.
3. George Foreman TKO 2 Ken Norton – 1973
George Foreman was at the peak of his powers in 1973, George was at his destructive best and was fresh from absolutely obliterating Joe Frazier to win the title.
George had built a reputation as one of the most ferocious punchers the division had seen arguably since the great Joe Louis.
Ken Norton was a formidable foe who was seasoned in the fight game.
He had plied his trade as a sparring partner for Joe Frazier and had already decisively outclassed the immortal Muhammad Ali in the fight prior to this one.
The knockout sequence started when Foreman caught Norton with a dynamite uppercut as he caught him coming off the ropes, probably thinking that he was out of range.
Foreman followed up with a dangerous looking fusillade which left Norton in a crumpled heap on the canvas.
Norton struggled to his feet and rose to meet the wrecking ball that was Foreman once more.
The ex-marine, Norton was quickly flattened once more, still disorientated. Norton, however, bravely continued to fight on.
Foreman decided the time to end the fight was now and Foreman battered Norton with a fusillade of uppercuts and hooks which had Norton’s lifeless carcass flying into the ropes.
The referee had to graciously wave off the bout when Norton attempted to rise to his feet. Foreman menacingly stood over Norton as the referee called off the bout, the look in his eyes showed the desire to inflict yet more pain on a beaten foe.
2. George Foreman TKO 2 Joe Frazier – 1973
This was the night George Foreman shook up the boxing establishment.
Foreman was described as a game but unproven contender and the press just figured a true warrior like Frazier would fight hard enough persistently to break his opponents will.
It became readily apparent however from the opening bell that it was going to be difficult for Frazier to breach Foreman’s distinct size and reach advantages.
Frazier was swarming forward in his typical bullish fashion but he was getting walked onto some mean punches that were hurting him.
Howard Cossell famously delivered his ‘Down goes Frazier’ call during this fight. Frazier did go down indeed.
Foreman splattered Frazier all over the canvas like apple butter, pummelling him and inflicting six hard knockdowns over the course of two rounds.
Angelo Dundee, the famous trainer of Muhammad Ali can be heard screaming from ringside to stop the fight during the destructive beatdown.
One of the most brutal fights of all time led to Foreman causing the title to change hands against a fellow legendary heavyweight. This was the night Foreman began his reign of terror.
1. George Foreman KO 10 Michael Moorer – 1994
“All it takes is one big right hand from George Foreman and it’s all over”. The famous sportscaster, Brian Kenny once famously said of Foreman.
That could never have been proven truer than on this night.
Foreman was attempting to become the oldest heavyweight champion of all time at the age of 45 and break the great Jersey Joe Walcott’s record which stood for over 40 years.
‘Big George’ had been getting pummelled for the first nine rounds of this fight.
Foreman had looked to be en route to ending his career with a whimper and tarnishing his great name.
However, Foreman turned back the hands of time in the tenth round. He landed a punch for the ages which left his adversary flat out on his back, staring at the bright lights.
Moorer’s trainer, Teddy Atlas shared to ESPN, “The punch went through the mouthguard and ripped his mouthguard in half. It also ripped his lip in half.”