Former light heavyweight boxing champion Bob Foster died Saturday, per Alex Goldsmith of KRQE News 13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Foster was 77 years old.
Although he went 56-8-1 over his impressive career and held the WBC and WBA light heavyweight titles for over six years, many boxing fans will remember Foster for his defeat to Muhammad Ali on Nov. 21, 1972. Ali knocked Foster down seven times, finally knocking him out in the eighth round. Ali didn’t come away from the victory unscathed, however, as he suffered the first cut of his professional career at the hands of Foster.
In an interview with Shawn M. Murphy for BoxingInsider.com, Foster contended the roughly 40-pound weight difference between him and Ali was a decisive factor in the bout.
“Yeah, it would have been different,” he said. “Ali even said it would’ve been different if ‘Bobby weighed 190 to 195.’ If I had weighed 200 pounds, I would have beaten them all. I would have knocked Joe Frazier out.”
Foster never lost his light heavyweight belts. He vacated the titles as a result of his brief retirement following a draw with Jorge Ahumada in 1974.
Foster returned to the ring and continued boxing until 1978. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.