Tommy “The Duke” Morrison’s Highlight Beating Foreman!
By Ken Hissner: In June of 1993, Tommy “The Duke” Morrison entered the ring with a 36-1 record with 32 knockouts facing former world champion “Big” George Foreman for the vacant WBO World Heavyweight title at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I’m sure those watching, like myself, felt it was going to be a real slugfest. To my surprise, Morrison turned from a knockout artist to a boxer, not only surprising those watching but Foreman with the scores of 117-110 twice and 118-109. Foreman had been deducted a point in round ten.
Morrison won his first 28 fights, 24 by knockout. He claimed to have had a 222-20 record as an amateur. In July of 1988, at the Olympic Trials, he lost to Ray “Merciless” Mercer.
The “rematch” was in October of 1991 in his twenty-ninth fight. He won three of the first four rounds on all judge’s cards before being stopped by Mercer, 17-0, in the fifth round at Convention Center, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Morrison would follow his first loss with eight straight knockouts earning the title fight with Foreman, including stopping Joe Hipp, 24-2, and Carl “The Truth” Williams, 26-5.
In his second defense, he was stopped in the first round by Michael Bentt, 10-1, who was on a ten-fight winning streak at the Convention Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Morrison went 7-0-1 after this loss, including a draw with Ross Puritty, 8-8, being dropped twice. Puritty would later stop Wladimir” Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, then 24-0.
In June of 1995, Morrison came off the canvas to stop Donovan Ruddock, 28-4-1. Next, in October of 1995, Morrison was stopped by former world champion Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, 27-1, in six rounds at the Convention Center, in Atlantic City. He would go on to win his next and last three fights ending with a 48-3-1 with 42 knockouts record.
Claiming to be the nephew of actor John Wayne, he was nicknamed “The Duke” to whom Wayne was referred to have been called.
Morrison was diagnosed with HIV in 1995. He co-starred in Rocky V. In February of 1996, after failing a test prior to fighting Arthur Weathers after the Lewis fight. He co-starred in Rocky V during his career.
His son Trey Lippe Morrison, 18-1, last fought to lose his final bout in 2021.
Tommy died in September 2013 of what his mother said was from AIDS. He had his problems during his career outside of the ring, but in the ring he was a problem for his opponents.
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