ON THIS DAY in 1997, the career of one of heavyweight boxing’s most legendary figures came to an end in Atlantic City, New Jersey. “Big” George Foreman, a heavyweight hero who had made a habit of defying the odds, met Shannon Briggs over twelve rounds and at the conclusion of the 36-minutes of combat most fans and experts felt Foreman had once again seen off both a younger foe and Father Time. Instead, Briggs was awarded a highly debatable majority decision.
10 facts about the fight:
1. 48-year-old Foreman was sporting a 76-4 record upon entering the ring to face the 25-year-old Briggs, who was 29-1. Foreman had won his previous four fights, in the process defending the “lineal” heavyweight title he had won by shocking Michael Moorer three years previously. However, Foreman had been stripped of the IBF and WBA belts he’s regained against Moorer, for not agreeing to defend against ranked opponents. Briggs had lost his perfect record to Darroll Wilson when he was stopped in the third-round in March of the previous year.