If George Foreman’s retirement after being defeated by Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico in 1977 shocked the boxing community, the announcement of his return in 1987 sent the sport into raptures.
In what was supposed to be the last match of his career, Big George put on an unprecedented display of cautiousness during the early rounds his clash against Young.
The American flew in just one day before the start of the encounter, giving himself little time to acclimate. He fell ill following the fight, prompting him to have what he claims to be a "near death experience."
At the age of 38, after a 10-year absence, Foreman made his return to the ring. Steve Zuoski was the first in a line of 24 victories, most of which were routine wins against less established boxers.
His form earned him a match against Evander Holyfield, fighting for the WBC, WBA and IBF world titles. Despite a valiant display, at the age of 42, Foreman was defeated by way of unanimous decision.
For most boxers, this would culminate into being a bitter end to an impressive comeback.
Two years later he became eligible for a shot at the vacant WBO heavyweight title, against Tommy Morrison.
Morrison distributed a series of huge hits on Big George, but Foreman managed to take it to the judges, losing by way of another unanimous decision.
Foreman’s second attempt to win a world title in his comeback had failed.
Again, he persevered.
A little over a year later, he was awarded a title shot against Michael Moorer for the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles, this time winning by way of technical knockout.
Foreman went on to win the IBA and WBU title, but was stripped of his IBF belt because he refused to offer a rematch to Axel Schulz, the man from whom he claimed the title.