Foreman to go into Hall of Fame

Jan. 9, 2003 at 5:38 PM
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CANASTOTA, N.Y., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman, who has become a mainstream personality since his second retirement, heads the list of inductees in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Welterweight Curtis Cokes, junior welterweight Nicolino Locche and Mike McCallum, who won titles in three different weight classes, will be inducted with Foreman on June 8.

Journalist Jack Fiske and author-screenwriter Budd Schulberg also will be part of the Class of 2003.

Foreman was one of the most powerful punchers in boxing history and became the undisputed heavyweight champion on Jan. 22, 1973 with a devastating second-round technical knockout of Joe Frazier. He made two successful defenses before being knocked out by Muhammad Ali in October 1974.

Now an analyst for HBO, Foreman won another bout against Frazier in June 1976, but after a loss to Jimmy Young in March 1977, became a minister and built a church in Houston.

In 1987, at 38 years old, Foreman made a comeback and seven years later became the oldest heavyweight champ when he knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th round to capture the WBA and IBF titles. He retired after losing a majority decision to Shannon Briggs in November 1997.

Since retiring, Foreman has enjoyed the popularity he never had in the 1970s and has become a successful businessman. Foreman, who turns 54 Friday, had a career record of 76-5 with 68 knockouts.

"What a happy moment for me to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame," Foreman said. "It was on my visit there a few years back that I saw the hand wraps of the great Joe Louis. That is when my hopes too started to arise about someday being alongside the past great boxers. I cannot wait for the date of the event. To have my name with the likes of Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali, I have made it."

Cokes was 62-14-3 with 30 knockouts in a career that spanned from 1958-1972. He first won the vacant welterweight title in July 1966 with a 15th-round knockout of Manuel Gonzalez. Cokes held the belt until getting knocked out in the 13th round by Jose Napoles in April 1969.

The 65-year-old Cokes currently is a trainer and was in Kirk Johnson's corner when the Canadian was disqualified in the 10th round against WBA champion John Ruiz last July.

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