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Sunday Punch: George Foreman’s drive-by uppercut vs. Gerry Cooney

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A hidden classic knockout from one of the greatest punchers in heavyweight boxing history.

Thirty years ago, George Foreman was in the middle of his comeback but hadn’t really faced too many notable opponents. Former title challenger Gerry Cooney, who hadn’t fought since losing to Michael Spinks in 1987, was supposed to be a formidable challenge for the 41-year-old. Rather controversially, this was a pay-per-view fight at Caesars Palace in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In fact, this fight was unofficially dubbed “Geezers at Caesars,” while the actual promo was “The Preacher [Foreman] and The Puncher [Cooney].”

Well newsflash: In addition to preaching, George Foreman was also one of the most vicious punchers ever.

This matchup only lasted two rounds, with Foreman dropping Cooney with a series of punches after hurting him with an uppercut. It really looked like Cooney would struggle to beat the count, but somehow he did. As if to say, “How the hell are you still here?”, Foreman casually walked towards Cooney and dusted him with the most nonchalant uppercut ever. A right cross while he was already out on his feet landed for good measure, and Joe Cortez didn’t bother with a count.

Watch the KO at the top of the page. There’s a reason why it’s often been termed as a drive-by uppercut.

Cooney retired after this KO, with a record of 28-3 (24 KOs). Foreman famously went onto become heavyweight champion with his unforgettable upset win over Michael Moorer in 1994, and eventually he retired for good in 1997, boasting a record of 76-5 (68 KOs) and establishing a legacy as one of the best heavyweights and an all-time prolific knockout artist.