When Big George Foreman launched his improbable boxing comeback in 1987 after a long ten year hiatus, most boxing insiders and experts scoffed at the idea of George Foreman, bald, fat, and years past his prime, ever lacing up the gloves again and fighting. When he returned to the ring, most people thought of George as a complete joke!
Predictions on the fight varied. Foreman, up to that point in his comeback, had feasted on washed-up heavyweights and smaller-sized heayweights. And Cooney, although having been inactive and with considerable ring rust, was a large heavyweight – 6′7", 233 pounds – and he owned one of the hardest left hooks in history. The consensus was that the fight wouldn't go the scheduled ten round distance - Somebody was going to get knocked out.
With the Cooney victory, George Foreman's comeback gained credibility, and many in the boxing world believed that Foreman had a definite shot to regain the heavyweight championship. The naysayers and skeptics, who doubted Foreman since the start of his comeback and labeled him a complete "joke," were forced to take Foreman and his comeback more seriously.
George proved he still was, even at the age of forty one, a legitimate, top-tier contender!
The winner of this bout was supposed to fight then undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson but Tyson would lose to Buster Douglas four weeks later.
Both fighters came into the bout leaner and in better shape than most expected.
George Foreman registered his 20th consecutive comeback victory - 19th by KO.