History | Mar 09 2018

On This Day: ‘Fat’ George Foreman returns after 10-year lay-off and targets Mike Tyson

Matt Christie returns to the roots of one of the most famous comebacks in sporting history – George Foreman
George Foreman
Boxing - George Foreman 25/9/90  |  Action Images

1. ACCORDING to Boxing News, George Foreman looked “fat and slow” as he halted Steve Zouski is four rounds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 9, 1987. The 38-year-old, weighing over 19st, had not fought since losing to Jimmy Young in 1977 and had been forced back into boxing for financial reasons. Few were taking his return seriously, particularly now that the heavyweight landscape was being ruled by Mike Tyson.

2. ZOUSKI had been hammered by Tyson 12 months before and did not rate the former champion’s chances of regaining his title, saying Foreman is “going to have to do a lot more work and needs some luck,” before adding: “There are a lot of guys out there who are bigger and faster than me who can throw some punches that can reach him.”

3. FOREMAN was not impressive, plodding after Zouski before catching up with him in the fourth. Some onlookers – undoubtedly with memories of Foreman destroying all-comers in the 1970s – feared for Foreman’s future if he persisted with the comeback but the fighter himself said: “Hey, I’ve been off for 10 years. Not one year, not 10 months, but 10 years. In those 10 years I relaxed, got fat and had babies. What else can you expect?”