Home Muhammad KSI fighting two guys in one night? Former heavyweight champion George Foreman took on five boxers one after another promising ‘nothing but violence’ in front of Muhammad Ali

KSI fighting two guys in one night? Former heavyweight champion George Foreman took on five boxers one after another promising ‘nothing but violence’ in front of Muhammad Ali

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George Foreman destroying Five Guys in one night may sound like a boxing legend whipping up a premium burger (grilled, of course) and fries. Instead, it was the unique and utterly bizarre way ‘Big George’ got his ring back for the first time since his shock loss to Muhammad Ali in 1974.

It was a simple premise: five opponents, one after the other, each fight scheduled for three three-minute rounds. Few expected them to go the distance.

Ali defeated Foreman at the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle, with “Big George” then returning to the ring to take on five boxers in a wild night billed as a “circus”.

KSI may want to revisit the madness of Toronto in 1975 ahead of his event at the O2 which will see him take on two boxers in one night

“An X-rated show,” the menacing and overbearing Foreman promised before the fight. “Fighting five guys in one night is nothing but violence.”

The event delivered violence, hilarity, madness and laid bare Foreman’s fractured psyche. The first enemy he faced was actually Ali, sitting at ringside for American television. The two men chewed after Foreman stepped into the ring, as a smiling Don King looked on.

His list of opponents of the night was a who’s who’s not from the 1975 heavyweight scene: a collection of mates that the 26-year-old ex-champ was 20 to 30 pounds over.

The first was Alonzo Johnson – and from the start, Foreman seemed uneasy. Maybe it was Ali’s heckling, a mixed reaction from the half-full crowd at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, or the sheer oddity of the event.

“What does he really have to gain?” said commentator Howard Cossell, before the first bell. “If he knocks out these five guys, they’ll say when he should have: they’re all assholes. If he can’t knock one of them out, they’ll say he’s not the fighter he used to be.

Foreman, who boasted an ominous 40-1 record (37 KOs), hardly looked like the destroyer who ruined titans like Joe Frazier and Ken Norton in his first fight. His punches were heavy but sloppy against a bold Johnson, who got up after two knockdowns until a pair of punishing right hands took him out in the second round.

These days, you're more likely to associate Foreman with their <a class=world-famous grills.” src=”https://talksport.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/05/NINTCHDBPICT000535141144.jpg?strip=all&w=960&quality=100″ class=”lazyload alignnone size-thesun-article-image wp-image-702930″ width=”960″ height=”639″ title=”KSI fighting two guys in one night? Former heavyweight champion George Foreman took on five boxers one after another promising “rien que de la violence” devant Muhammad Ali | Les nouvelles du paradis”/>

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These days, you’re more likely to associate Foreman with their world-famous grills.

However, in his prime he was a dominant champion who possessed one of the hardest punches in boxing.

Getty

However, in his prime he was a dominant champion who possessed one of the hardest punches in boxing.

For a man with four fighters still to face, Foreman was sweating and breathing heavily afterwards. And his second opponent, Jerry Judge, made things much uglier.

The limited judge clearly had a heart the size of his giant favorites. He looked cooked after Foreman dropped him with a big uppercut – but got up and, as Foreman lazily moved forward to end it, the judge administered old-fashioned justice with a cracking right-winger to briefly hurt Foreman and draw a roar from the crowd.

The ending was even more amazing. After the referee called off the fight, the pair traded insults, the judge shoved Foreman, who responded with a few bonus punches. The two ended up rolling around the fight on the canvas.

“It degenerated into a masquerade! A carnival ! Cossell cried, though you have to wonder what he expected from an event that pitted the most dangerous heavyweight on the planet against five cans of tomatoes. Thoughts on a postcard imagining his reaction to Jake Paul taking his beloved sport by storm please.

Foreman seemed to have the best of Judge, then things got a little wacky

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Foreman seemed to have the best of Judge, then things got a little wacky

A scowling foreman was now more determined to talk to Ali at ringside and goad a hostile audience than the fighters he faced. Luckily for him, the undersized Terry Daniels – who had actually challenged for the world heavyweight title three years earlier – provided limited opposition.

Foreman earned a third straight second-round stoppage when he personally waved off referee Harry Davis, a messy ending that led to the two corners brawling after the fight.

Charley Polite was the No. 4 opponent and he made the distinctly rude start of giving Foreman kisses during their pre-fight face-off. At this point, the former champion clearly wasn’t sure if it was a gladiator fight or his own personal Royal Rumble, as he rolled up giant, comical windmill uppercuts – ​​(“It’s hardly professional,” Cossell deadpanned) — as Polite cowered in the corner.

Polite flopped and spoiled, but actually went the three-round distance without being officially knocked down. “I’m tired, man,” Foreman said before his last fight and that opponent had by far the best pre-fight record of the five: former foe Boone Kirkman.

Polite was the fourth opponent of the night and there were comedic punches thrown by Foreman

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Polite was the fourth opponent of the night and there were comedic punches thrown by Foreman

Kirkman had the best record of Forman's opponents, but

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Kirkman had the best record of Forman’s opponents, but ‘Big George’ rose to his challenge

Foreman briefly made viewers think he could be spent, as he got on the back foot and pulled away from Kirkman early on. It was an illusion.

Clearly, Foreman had been holding something back, as he unleashed his sharpest combinations of the night to bludgeon Kirkman to the canvas. However, the bloodied, bruised and overwhelmed heavyweight stood up and looked pleased to finally survive all three rounds.

A half-hearted cheer greeted the final (final) bell – then Foreman did something strange. He attempted, awkwardly, to jump up and click his heels in celebration, drawing mockery.

It was a snapshot of how lost Foreman was, how unsure he was of who he was supposed to be. He had spent years impersonating the menacing, stone-faced Sonny Liston. But Foreman was still hurt by the general public’s rejection of him as a champion and their love for Ali.

The post-fight jumps around the ring were reminiscent of the delighted, wide-eyed 19-year-old who waved tiny American flags after winning Olympic heavyweight gold in 1968.

By the time of his post-fight interview, Foreman’s surly persona had returned. He spent most of it glaring at Ali and complaining about the cowardice of his opponents leaning against the ropes; a reference to the tactic Ali had used to defeat him six months earlier.

Ali caused an upset when he took the Foreman belts away from him in Zaire and further angered by the public's affection for his rival

Ali caused an upset when he took the Foreman belts away from him in Zaire and further angered by the public’s affection for his rival

The scars of losing his world title were still worn by Foreman. None of the five opponents, all of whom gave game effort, would find their way into Foreman’s official professional record – and he was reluctant to talk about freak show in the years that followed.

But Foreman will eventually reinvent himself and show off the charming and charismatic man behind the mask. In 1994, his late-career comeback culminated with the balder, fatter, happier Foreman remarkably knocking out Michael Moorer to reclaim the world heavyweight title at age 46.

However, nothing in his roller coaster career was as eerie as the night 26 years ago when George Foreman heard the first bell five times in one hour in one of the most extraordinary spectacles in heavyweight boxing. heavy.

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