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George Foreman will have knockout year for anniversary celebrations

Boxer, master griller will have memorable 2019

(Getty Images)

By the end of 2019, George Foreman might actually be tired of anniversary celebrations.

The former heavyweight champion and best friend of college students who loves cooking on all those grills with his name on them, will be commemorating several anniversaries this season.

One has already has taken place, as Foreman celebrated his 70th birthday on Jan. 10.

But more are coming. 

Silver anniversary part I

On Nov. 5, 1994, Foreman challenged Michael Moorer for the heavyweight championship of the world.

It was Foreman’s second stint in boxing after coming back to the sport in 1987 at age 38, and many were laughing at Foreman’s prospects against Moorer.

After all, Moorer was 19 years younger at age 26, was in the prime of his career and had just come off a victory against Evander Holyfield, who, in 1991, beat Foreman handily.

Foreman wasn’t ranked at the time, but the fight was scheduled due to his name being a good draw and the fact that Moorer appeared to be getting a lot of money for an easier fight.

It played out that way for the first nine rounds, with Moorer controlling the fight.

But as legendary boxing announcer Jim Lampley famously said during the 10th round, “It happened. It happened.”

Foreman caught Moorer with a right hand and knocked the champion down, stunning millions of viewers around the world.

Moorer couldn’t get up, and just like that, Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion ever at age 45 and broke the record for the longest interval between being the champion for the first and second times.

Foreman lost the heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali 20 years prior in Africa. Foreman wore the same boxing shorts against Moorer that he wore against Ali. 

Silver anniversary part II

Ever wonder why Foreman is a hero to college students? Look no further than the George Foreman grill, an indoor grill that can easily be used in dorm rooms or apartments. This year will mark the 25th year of it being introduced.

While Foreman didn’t create the grill, he became the primary spokesman after being approached by the makers of it. After coming back from retirement, Foreman said his success was due to healthier eating.

In 1994, the “Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine” was born, with Foreman doing countless infomercials.

The product sold more than 100 million units in its first 15 years, and in 1999, Foreman was paid $138 million for the right to use his name for good on the product. 

Not so memorable anniversary

This year will also bring back a more forgettable anniversary for Foreman, the Rumble in the Jungle.
Oct. 29 will mark the 45th anniversary of Foreman’s heavyweight title fight with Muhammad Ali in Zaire, which was watched by 1 billion viewers worldwide.

Foreman was younger and heavily favored going in, but Ali showed off his charisma and veteran savvy to hand Foreman his first loss and regain the title.

But days after being sad over that anniversary this fall, Foreman can pop in the tape of him knocking out Moorer to get the heavyweight title back.