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Today in Sports History: 4/19 – Evander Holyfield Beats George Foreman for Heavyweight Title

Today in sports history (1991), Evander Holyfield beat George Foreman for the Heavyweight Title. Six months earlier, Holyfield defeated Foreman by way of knockout to become the Heavyweight champion. Holyfield came into this fight with a 25-0 record, winning 21 by knockout. Foreman came into the match with a 69-2 record, with 65 wins coming by knockout.

George Foreman recently had just made a comeback from his 10-year retirement. Very few experts and media members gave Foreman a chance to win this match due to his age and lack of recent experience. This fight lasted 12 rounds and saw Holyfield come out as the victor once again.

Evander-Holyfield-vs.-George-Foreman-Today in Sports History
Credit: Al Bello/Allsport

Evander Holyfield Defeats George Foreman for Heavyweight Title

The fight was hosted at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Anticipation was high in this fight, as many were wondering if Foreman could become the oldest Heavyweight champion of all time. Due to the magnitude of the fight, Evander Holyfield was guaranteed $20 million while Foreman was guaranteed $12 million.

Much like a lot of boxing matches, there was a myriad of trash talk leading up to the fight. Holyfield’s manager Dan Duva took shots at Foreman’s weight, saying, “The Real Deal (Holyfield) vs. The Real Meal (Foreman).”

The fight opened up with both fighters trading blows back and forth. The biggest round of this fight though was the seventh. At the beginning of the round, Holyfield was the aggressor, as he hurled jab after jab pushing Foreman back to the ropes. Foreman looked for his opportunity and that occurred when Holyfield missed a big left hook. Foreman struck back with a strong right hook to Holyfield’s head. This flipped the round, as Foreman took over as the aggressor, landing several punches. As the second minute of the round opened, Holyfield attacked, hitting a 15-second (!) combination that stunned Foreman. Foreman survived the round.

The challenger was able to survive the fight, but it became clearly obvious that Holyfield was going to be the victor. Foreman fulfilled the idea of becoming the oldest Heavyweight champion three years later.

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