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Monday, November 5, 2018

November 5th...This Day in History (George Foreman becomes oldest heavyweight champ + others)

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George Foreman becomes oldest heavyweight champ 1994



On this day in 1994, George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas. More than 12,000 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel watched Foreman dethrone Moorer, who went into the fight with a 35-0 record. Foreman dedicated his upset win to “all my buddies in the nursing home and all the guys in jail.”

Born in 1949 in Marshal, Texas, Foreman had a troubled childhood and dropped out of high school. Eventually, he joined President Lyndon Johnson’s Jobs Corps work program and discovered a talent for boxing. “Big George,” as he was nicknamed, took home a gold medal for the U.S. at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. In 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, after winning his first 37 professional matches, 34 by knockout, Foreman KO’d “Smokin'” Joe Frazier after two rounds and was crowned heavyweight champ. At 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasha, Zaire, the younger, stronger Foreman suffered a surprising loss to underdog Muhammad Ali and was forced to relinquish his championship title. Three years later, Big George morphed from pugilist into preacher, when he had a religious experience in his dressing room after losing a fight. He retired from boxing, became an ordained minister in Houston and founded a youth center.

A decade later, the millions he’d made as a boxer gone, Foreman returned to the ring at age 38 and staged a successful comeback. When he won his second heavyweight title in his 1994 fight against Moorer, becoming the WBA and IBF champ, Foreman was wearing the same red trunks he’d had on the night he lost to Ali.

Foreman didn’t hang onto the heavyweight mantle for long. In March 1995, he was stripped of his WBA title after refusing to fight No. 1 contender Tony Tucker, and he gave up his IBF title in June 1995 rather than fight a rematch with Axel Schulz, whom he’d narrowly beat in a controversial judges’ decision in April of that same year. Foreman’s last fight was in 1997; he lost to Shannon Biggs. He retired with a lifetime record of 76-5.

Outside of the boxing ring, Foreman, who has five sons, all named George, and five daughters, has become enormously wealthy as an entrepreneur and genial TV pitchman for a variety of products, including the hugely popular George Foreman Grill.

(More Events on This Day in History)

CRIME
2009
Army major kills 13 people in Fort Hood shooting spree
On this day in 2009, 13 people are killed and more than 30 others are wounded, nearly all of them unarmed soldiers, when a U.S. Army officer goes on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in central Texas. The deadly assault, carried out by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, ...

MUSIC
1938
Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings receives its world premiere on NBC radio
The American composer Samuel Barber (born in 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania) was only 27 years old when he wrote the piece of music that would come to define his entire career. He would live to be 70, and he would win two Pulitzer Prizes for works composed during his final ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1556
Mughal victory assures Akbar’s ascension
Fifty miles north of Delhi, a Mughal army defeats the forces of Hemu, a Hindu general who was trying to usurp the Mughal throne from 14-year-old Akbar, the recently proclaimed emperor. The Mughals, whose culture blended Perso-Islamic and regional Indian elements, established an ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1912
Wilson wins landslide victory
Democrat Woodrow Wilson is elected the 28th president of the United States, with Thomas R. Marshall as vice president. In a landslide Democratic victory, Wilson won 435 electoral votes against the eight won by Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and the 88 won by Progressive ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1605
King James learns of gunpowder plot
Early in the morning, King James I of England learns that a plot to explode the Parliament building has been foiled, hours before he was scheduled to sit with the rest of the British government in a general parliamentary session.At about midnight on the night of November 4-5, Sir ...

GENERAL INTEREST
1990
Jewish extremist assassinated in New York
Meir Kahane, an American-born rabbi and founder of the far-right Kach movement, is shot dead in New York City. Egyptian El Sayyid Nosair was later charged with the murder but acquitted in a state trial. The federal government later decided that the killing was part of a larger ...

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