On this day 48 years ago one of boxing’s heavyweight legends announced himself to the world by capturing Olympic Gold for the USA in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
The George Foreman Olympic Gold medal fight is a significant one as it set the platform to what was to become one of the most memorable professional careers in boxing.
Foreman came through fighters from Poland, Romania and Italy on route to reaching the final that year against Jonas Čepulis of Lithuania.
Foreman was not in the mood (as was his ferocious style) to leave the fight go the distance that night:
Incredibly, despite reaching the pinnacle of the amateur boxing game not many realise Foreman had a very brief stint as an amateur in the grand scheme of things – compiling an overall short amateur record of 22-4.
Foreman lost his first ever amateur fight but this was not deter him. What he may have lacked in skills as an amateur he more than made up for with sheer determination and brute power.
A wrecking machine if ever there was one.
After capturing Olympic gold in 1968 he would go on to turn professional in 1969.
Still to this day, Foreman is the oldest heavyweight champion on record in professional boxing (aged 45) and his fights with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and other greats of the sport have become iconic.
Foreman’s final professional boxing record stood at 76-5 (68KO).
Outside of the ring he is also a successful entrepreneur having started the now famous George Foreman Grill machine which has become a worldwide phenomenon.
If you’ve never seen a rather special address he gave to Oxford a few years back I would encourage you to watch it here.
An inspirational speech on his life and career showing how despite a troubled start in life he was able to turn things around through hard work and the positive opportunities the sport of boxing afforded him.