George Foreman and Felix Trinidad celebrate birthdays today
By Allan Fox: Former 1968 U.S Olympic heavyweight Gold medalist and former IBF/WBA/WBC World heavyweight champion George Foreman (76-5, 68 KO’s) turns 64 today. Also, former three division world champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad (42-3, 35 KO’s) turns 40 today.
Trinidad was one of the best welterweights in boxing in the 1990s, beating the likes of Hector Camacho, Oba Carr, Freddie Pendleton, Maurice Blocker, Pernell Whitaker, David Reid, Fernando Vargas, Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas. In 2000, Trinidad moved up to light middleweight and captured the WBA World light middleweight title with a win over David Reid. He then beat Marmadou Thiam, Vargas, and William Joppy.
Trinidad was beaten by WBA Super World middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins by a 12th round knockout when he moved up to middleweight in September 2001. Trinidad stayed at middleweight and pulled off a shocker in beating Ricardo Mayorga by an 8th round TKO in October 2004. However, Trinidad was then beaten by Ronald “Winky” Wright and then later Roy Jones Jr. in January 2008 after making a comeback after a three year retirement. Without a doubt, Trinidad was one of the best welterweights in boxing in his prime and it’s too bad he didn’t stay at this weight because he would have likely lasted a lot longer.
George Foreman was known for huge punching power, his many knockouts and for his comeback in his 40s to capture a heavyweight title for a second time at 45. In 1973, Foreman pulled a big upset by stopping then WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Joe Frazier in the 2nd round in a 6 knockdown performance. Foreman would follow that up with knockout wins over Joe Roman and Ken Norton. However, in October 1974, Foreman lost to 32-year-old Muhammad Ali by an 8th round knockout.
Despite trying hard to get a rematch with Ali, Foreman was ignored and never given another chance. Foreman fought only 8 more times before retiring after a surprising loss to the light hitting Jimmy Young in March 1977. Instead of looking for a quick knockout, Foreman had made the bad decision to carry Young into the later rounds and that cost him when he faded badly in the heat in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was beaten.
Foreman then retired. However, Foreman came back 10 years later at 38 after dropping 100 pounds and resumed his career. Although he was no longer trim and muscular like he’d been in his prime year, his power was still there. He quickly piled up an impressive string of knockouts over 2nd tier opposition and in April 1991, Foreman fought IBF/WBA/WBC heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and lost a hard fought 12 round decision.
Despite losing the fight, Foreman gave the smaller and younger Holyfield a lot of trouble. Foreman later lost a 12 round decision to Tommy Morrison in June 1993 in an attempt to capture the vacant WBO heavyweight title. However, Foreman came back in his next fight to stop IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Michael Moorer in the 10th round in November 1994. Foreman’s career ended in November 1997 in losing by a controversial 12 round majority decision to Shannon Briggs.