History | Jan 15 2019

On This Day: George Foreman flattens Gerry Cooney

James Slater reflects on the George Foreman-Gerry Cooney showdown that almost set up shot at Mike Tyson
George Foreman
0021966  |  Action Images

EXACTLY 29-years ago today, an unlikely heavyweight comeback was well underway. In fact, on this day, a quarter of a century ago, there were two unlikely heavyweight comebacks being observed – and what’s more the two come-backing heavies were about to run right into each other.

Caesars Palace in Atlantic City was the venue, and a forty-something George Foreman faced a thirty-something Gerry Cooney in a fascinating (if much maligned) clash that was dubbed “Two Geezers at Caesars.” That tagline first appeared, I believe, in the late Bert Sugar’s excellent Boxing Illustrated magazine, yet a better tagline might have been “Punchers Collide.” For whatever shortcomings the returning duo that was Foreman and Cooney might have had, hitting incredibly hard was not one of them. The match-up sure caught the interest of the fans – hence the 12, 581 paying fans in attendance and the many more hundreds of thousands who had parted with some pay-per-view dollars to watch the 50-50 affair on TV.

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