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On this Day: The comeback of George Foreman gathers pace as he knocks out Gerry Cooney in two rounds

George Foreman
George Foreman’s comeback record moves to 20-0 as he ends the career of Gerry Cooney

GEORGE FOREMAN w rsf 2 GERRY COONEY
January 15, 1990; Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ
THE comeback of George Foreman has been labelled as the greatest of them all. But it took a while to reach such heights and, in 1990, an ageing and inactive Gerry Cooney was deemed the toughest test of Foreman’s return. Cooney hadn’t boxed since losing in five rounds to Michael Spinks in 1987 but he’d got himself into shape and for the first three minutes he was a marked improvement on Foreman’s 19 previous comeback opponents. Foreman hacked away at Cooney in the second, dropping him twice with accurate and clubbing blows.

DID YOU KNOW? This was one of the first bouts in America that had the new gumshield rule. Previously, if the gumshield came out mid-round – as Cooney’s did in the first – a boxer would have to wait until the break to have it replaced. Here, the action was stopped so it could be put back in immediately, much to the confusion of both fighters.

WATCH OUT FOR: The short left hook that wobbled Foreman in the opening round. As he waits for the bell for the second round you can see George checking for damage as he moves his jaw and prods it with his tongue.

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