Bob Foster (boxer)

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Bob Foster
Statistics
Real name Robert Lloyd Foster
Rated at Light-Heavyweight
Height 6'3"
Nationality American
Born (1938-12-15) December 15, 1938 (age 76)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 65
Wins 56
Wins by KO 46
Losses 8
Draws 1
No contests 0

Bob Foster (born April 27, 1938) is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA whom many boxing critics consider to be one of the greatest world light-heavyweight champions in history. As an amateur he won a silver medal at the 1959 Pan American Games.

Professional career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Foster started his professional career on the night of March 27, 1961, against Duke Williams, in Washington, D.C., winning by a knockout in two rounds. The first 12 bouts of his career were spent campaigning in the United States' Eastern coast and in Canada. In his tenth bout, he made his first of multiple forays into the Heavyweight division, and suffered his first loss, at the hands of Doug Jones by a knockout in the eighth round.

After two more wins, he went in 1963 to Peru, where he lost to South American champion Mauro Mina by a decision in ten rounds at Lima.

Three more fights back in the States resulted in quick knockout wins for him, and then, in 1964, he made his second attempt at entering the heavyweight rankings, being knocked out in the seventh by future world Heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell. He finished the year by posting three more knockout wins at Light Heavyweight, two of them on one night: November 11. That was the night that Foster's first fight of note as a light-heavyweight took place: One month after knocking out Don Quinn in the first round, he stepped up in the ring again and faced former world title challenger Henry Hank. He beat Hank by a knockout in the tenth.

In 1965, he had five fights, winning four and losing one. He beat Hank again, by decision in 12, and lost to Zora Folley, by a decision in ten, in another attempt at joining the Heavyweight top ten.

In 1966 he defeated Leroy Green in two rounds.

By 1967, Foster, although his attempts to become a top Heavyweight were being frustrated, was a ranked light-heavyweight. He decided to stick to the light-heavyweight division for the time being, and he won all seven of his fights, six by knockout. Among the fighters he beat were Eddie Cotton, Eddie Vick, and Sonny Moore. After defeating Moore, Foster was the world's number one ranked Light Heavyweight challenger.

World light-heavyweight champion[edit]

In 1968, Foster got his first shot at a world title. At Madison Square Garden in New York, on the night of May 24, Foster became world champion by knocking out Dick Tiger in four rounds. Tiger had been a two-time world middleweight champion and was defending his world light-heavyweight crown that night. Foster then decided to box at heavyweight once again, and beat future George Foreman victim Charlie Polite by a knockout in three. He ended that year defeating Vick again, and his future world title challenger Roger Rouse, both by a knockout.

In 1969, he began by rising off the canvas to knock out Frank De Paula in the same first round and retain his belt. It is believed that was the first time ever a boxer won a world title fight in the first round after being floored in that same round. It is also believed that that fight is one of only three times that's happened... the second time being in 1984, when Juan Meza rose off a knockdown to dethrone world Jr. Featherweight champion Jaime Garza in the same first round too. It also happened in the 21st century, when Kendall Holt was dropped twice, only to knockout Ricardo Torres in round 1, for the WBO 140lb title.

Foster's next fight in 1969 was against Andy Kendall, whom he beat in four rounds by knockout, to once again retain the crown. He closed the 1960s with two more knockout wins.

Frazier vs Foster[edit]

In 1970, Foster made two more trips to the heavyweights. In the first, he beat fringe contender Cookie Wallace in six rounds by knockout. This was followed by a return to the light-heavyweight division to defend his title against Rouse. Infuriated by some comments that Rouse's manager had made before the bout concerning the fact that even though Foster knocked out Rouse in their first bout he was not able to drop him, Foster dropped Rouse five times en route to a fourth round knockout victory. A knockout in 10 to retain the battle against Mark Tessman followed, and then he was given the chance to challenge for the world heavyweight title. Facing world champion Joe Frazier on the night of November 18 in Detroit, he was knocked out in two rounds.

After defeating Hal Carroll by a knockout in four rounds to defend his crown, the WBA stripped him of the title, but he kept being world champion on the WBC. Foster became enraged at the WBA, which proceeded to have Vicente Rondon of Venezuela and Jimmy Dupree fight for the world title. Rondon won, becoming the second Latin American world light-heavyweight champion (after José Torres), and Foster set his eyes on him. Foster went on defending his WBC title, and he defeated challengers Ray Anderson, Tommy Hicks, and Brian Kelly. Of those three, it was Anderson who was the only one to last the 15 round distance with Foster.

Ali vs Foster[edit]

Foster and Rondon met in Miami on April 7, 1972, in an unification bout. Foster became the undisputed world champion once again, by knocking Rondon out in the second round. In his next fight, he used what many critics have called one of the best punches in history to retain his title by a knockout in four against Mike Quarry. Foster then went up in weight and faced former and future world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, in what was legendary referee Mills Lane's first bout of note as a referee. Foster lost to Ali by a knockout in the eighth, after being knocked down 7 times.

In 1973, Foster retained his title twice against Pierre Fourie, both by decision. Their second fight had a distinct social impact because it was fought in Apartheid-ruled South Africa, Foster being Black and Fourie being White. Foster became a hero to South African Blacks by beating Fourie the first time around, and in their rematch, the first boxing fight in South Africa after Apartheid featuring a White versus a Black, he cemented that position by defeating Fourie on points again. However, as Mark Mathabane noted in his autobiography Kaffir Boy, South Africa's black population also felt betrayed by Foster since he didn't address Apartheid during his time in South Africa.

Retirement and comeback[edit]

His last defense as world light-heavyweight champion came in 1974, when he was dropped by Argentinian Jorge Ahumada, but managed to keep the title with a draw. After that, he announced his retirement, leaving the world's light-heavyweight championship vacant.[1]

Foster would return to the ring in 1975, winning a series of 10 round contests, before retiring for good after back-to-back stoppage losses in 1978.

Life after boxing[edit]

In his retirement, the former world champion joined the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department and became a detective, where he would become a well known officer in the Albuquerque area.

Later on, the avid autograph signer was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Foster had a record of 56 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw, with 46 wins coming by knockout. He was named to Ring Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Punchers. He was also named to Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years, ranking at #55.

Professional boxing record[edit]

56 Wins (46 KOs), 8 Losses (6 KOs), 1 Draw[2]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round,
Time
Date Location Notes
Loss 56-8-1 United States Bob Hazelton TKO 2 (?),
?
1978-06-02 United States Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, Kansas
Loss 56-7-1 Uganda Mustafa Wassaja RTD 5 (8),
-
1978-02-09 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen
Win 56-6-1 United States Bob Hazelton KO 10 (10),
0:22
1977-09-02 Netherlands Antilles Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles
Win 55-6-1 United States Al Bolden KO 6 (10),
?
1976-09-25 United States Spokane Coliseum, Spokane, Washington
Win 54-6-1 United States Harold Carter UD 10 1976-09-25 United States Eagles Aerie, Missoula, Montana
Win 53-6-1 United States Al Bolden KO 3 (10),
?
1976-05-08 United States Adams Field House, Missoula, Montana
Win 52-6-1 United States Bill Hardney KO 3 (10),
1:26
1975-06-28 United States Sweeney Gym, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Draw 51-6-1 Argentina Jorge Ahumada PTS 15 1974-06-17 United States University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 51-6 South Africa Pierre Fourie UD 15 1973-12-01 South Africa Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, Gauteng Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 50-6 South Africa Pierre Fourie UD 15 1973-08-21 United States University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Loss 49-6 United States Muhammad Ali KO 8 (12),
0:40
1972-11-21 United States Sahara Tahoe Hotel, Stateline, Nevada For NABF heavyweight title.
Win 49-5 England Chris Finnegan KO 14 (15),
0:55
1972-09-26 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
The Ring Fight of the Year 1972.
Win 48-5 United States Mike Quarry KO 4 (15),
?
1972-06-27 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 47-5 Venezuela Vicente Rondón KO 4 (15),
2:55
1972-06-27 United States Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC, & won WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 46-5 United States Brian Kelly TKO 3 (15),
1:56
1971-12-16 United States Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC light-heavyweight titles.
Win 45-5 United States Tommy Hicks TKO 8 (15),
?
1971-10-30 United States Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC light-heavyweight titles.
Win 44-5 United States Vernon McIntosh TKO 3 (10),
0:37
1971-08-17 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win 43-5 United States Ray Anderson UD 15 1971-04-24 United States Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa, Florida Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC light-heavyweight titles.
Win 42-5 United States Hal Carroll TKO 4 (15),
2:32
1971-03-02 United States Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC light-heavyweight titles.
Loss 41-5 United States Joe Frazier KO 2 (15),
0:49
1970-11-18 United States Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan For WBC/WBA heavyweight titles.
Win 41-4 United States Mark Tessman TKO 10 (15),
?
1970-06-27 United States Baltimore Civic Center, Baltimore, Maryland Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 40-4 United States Roger Rouse TKO 4 (15),
?
1970-04-04 United States Adams Field House, Missoula, Montana Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 39-4 United States Roy Wallace KO 6 (10),
?
1970-03-09 United States Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, Tampa, Florida
Win 38-4 United States Bill Hardney TKO 4 (10),
?
1970-02-24 United States Orlando, Florida
Win 37-4 United States Chuck Leslie TKO 5 (10),
2:58
1969-11-02 United States New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 36-4 United States Levan Roundtree TKO 4 (10),
2:10
1969-06-19 United States Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia
Win 35-4 United States Andy Kendall TKO 4 (15),
1:15
1969-05-24 United States Eastern States Coliseum, West Springfield, Massachusetts Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 34-4 United States Frank DePaula TKO 1 (15),
2:17
1969-01-22 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Retained Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 33-4 United States Roger Rouse TKO 5 (10),
2:34
1968-09-09 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C
Win 32-4 United States Eddie Vick TKO 9 (10),
?
1968-08-26 United States Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Win 31-4 United States Charley Polite TKO 3 (10),
?
1968-07-29 United States Eastern States Coliseum, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Win 30-4 Nigeria Dick Tiger KO 4 (15),
2:05
1968-05-24 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won Lineal/The Ring/WBC/WBA light-heavyweight titles.
Win 29-4 United States Sonny Moore KO 5 (10),
?
1967-12-05 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C
Win 28-4 United States Eddie Vick UD 10 1967-11-20 United States Providence Coliseum, Providence, Rhode Island
Win 27-4 United States Levan Roundtree KO 8 (10),
1:35
1967-10-25 United States Washington, D.C
Win 26-4 United States Henry Matthews TKO 2 (10),
?
1967-06-09 United States Starland Arena, Roanoke, Virginia
Win 25-4 United States Eddie Cotton KO 3 (12),
1:58
1967-05-08 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C
Win 24-4 Argentina Andres Antonio Selpa KO 2 (10),
2:30
1967-02-27 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C
Win 23-4 United States Jim Robinson KO 1 (10),
?
1967-01-16 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C
Win 22-4 United States LeRoy Green KO 2 (?),
?
1966-12-06 United States Norfolk Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Loss 21-4 United States Zora Folley UD 10 1965-12-06 United States Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 21-3 United States Henry Hank UD 12 1965-07-26 United States Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 20-3 United States Chuck Leslie TKO 3 (10),
2:58
1965-05-24 United States Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 19-3 United States Dave Russell TKO 6 (10),
1:30
1965-03-21 United States Norfolk Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Win 18-3 United States Bobby Rascon KO 2 (10),
?
1965-02-15 United States Albuquerque Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Win 17-3 United States Henry Hank TKO 9 (10),
?
1964-12-11 United States Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, Virginia
Win 16-3 United States Norman Letcher TKO 1 (10),
0:43
1964-11-23 United States Kezar Pavilion, San Francisco, California
Win 15-3 United States Don Quinn KO 1 (10),
1:07
1964-11-11 United States Norfolk, Virginia
Loss 14-3 United States Ernie Terrell KO 7 (10),
0:58
1964-07-10 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 14-2 United States Allen Thomas TKO 1 (10),
1:26
1964-05-08 United States Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois
Win 13-2 United States Dave Bailey KO 1 (6),
?
1964-02-25 United States Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 12-2 Germany Willi Besmanoff KO 3 (10),
?
1963-12-11 United States Norfolk, Virginia
Loss 11-2 Peru Mauro Mina UD 10 1963-11-07 Peru Estadio Nacional, Lima
Win 11-1 United States Curtis Bruce KO 4 (?),
?
1963-04-29 United States Capitol Arena, Washington, D.C
Win 10-1 United States Richard Benjamin KO 1 (8),
?
1963-02-18 United States Capitol Arena, Washington, D.C
Loss 9-1 United States Doug Jones TKO 8 (10),
0:23
1962-10-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 9-0 United States Bert Whitehurst SD 8 1962-06-27 United States Sunnyside Garden, Sunnyside, Queens, New York, New York
Win 8-0 United States Billy Tisdale TKO 2 (6),
?
1962-05-19 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win 7-0 United States Clarence Floyd KO 4 (6),
2:56
1961-12-04 Canada Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Win 6-0 United States Ernie Knox TKO 3 (6),
?
1961-11-21 United States Norfolk, Virginia
Win 5-0 United States Floyd McCoy PTS 6 1961-08-08 Canada Delormier Stadium, Montreal, Quebec
Win 4-0 United States Ray Bryan TKO 2 (6),
?
1961-06-22 Canada Forum, Montreal, Quebec
Win 3-0 United States Billy Johnson PTS 4 1961-05-08 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win 2-0 United States Clarence Ryan PTS 4 1961-04-03 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win 1-0 United States Duke Williams KO 2 (4),
?
1961-03-27 United States Capitol Arena, Washington, District of Columbia Professional debut.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Foster Keeps Title on Draw". St. Petersburg Times. 1974-06-18. Retrieved 2010-01-13. [dead link]
  2. ^ Bob Foster's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-27.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dick Tiger
World Light Heavyweight Champion
May 24, 1968 – September 16, 1974
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
Michael Spinks
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
May 24, 1968 – December 9, 1970
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Vicente Rondon
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
May 24, 1968 – September 16, 1974
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
John Conteh
Preceded by
Vicente Rondon
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
April 7, 1972 – September 16, 1974
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
Victor Galindez
Awards
Preceded by
Carlos Ortiz
BWAA Fighter of the Year
1968
Succeeded by
Joe Frazier