The time George Foreman fought 5 men in one night

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

April 26th, 1975 was the date of one of the strangest events in boxing history as former heavyweight champion George Foreman took to the ring to fight five men in a row in Toronto, with each bout scheduled for three rounds.

At the time Foreman was coming off the first loss of his 41-fight career, having been knocked out by Muhammed Ali in their famous ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ clash in Zaire.

It was expected that Foreman would knock down his journeymen opponents at the ‘Toronto Five’ event like bowling pins, but it didn’t quite go according to plan, with Foreman acting somewhat erratically during the fights, perhaps put off by the fact that Ali was at ringside commentating on the spectacle alongside Howard Cosell, and kept loudly taunting his rival at every opportunity.

First up to fight Foreman was Alonzo Johnson, a 23-18 journeyman, who had only fought once in the last 10 years.

Foreman showboated by dancing around the cage in the opening round of the fight, but by the second round he’d dropped Johnson three times and finished him off with two clubbing right hooks.

Next up was Jerry Judge, who held a more respectable 15-4-1 record, but was quickly despatched, initially dropped by a right uppercut, then again with a right hook.

In a bizarre turn of events, Foreman continued taunting Judge afterward and the two started trading punches again, with his opponent eventually taking him down from the clinch like a proto-MMA fight.

Following that Foreman faced the 34-18-1 Terry Daniels and finished him inside of two rounds before another post-fight scrap between the two pugilists broke out that left Daniels downed on one knee.

A subpar journeyman named Charlie Polite with a 15-31-3 was Foreman’s fourth opponent and should have been his easiest fight, but while he clobbered him to the canvas at one point, Polite lasted the distance.

In the final fight, Foreman faced his toughest challenge, the 32-5 Boone Kirkman, though despite dropping him with a left hook in the opening round he wasn’t able to put him away before the final bell.

Foreman boasted afterward that no one had ever knocked out three boxers in one night before, but the fans weren’t impressed and neither was Ali.

“He can whoop these five men, but he won’t whoop on me!” Ali exclaimed.

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