Saturday, November 21, 2015
Bob Foster, Legendary Light Heavyweight World Champion Who Fought Out Of DC, Passes At 77!
Bob Foster, who was a two-time world champion in the sixties and seventies, passed away today at the age of 77.
Foster was stationed at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC and in 1957, joined the US Air Force Boxing Team and also was a coach. As an amateur, Foster had more than 100 amateur bouts and only lost three. Foster was a three-time All-Service Champion and won a silver medalist at the Pan American Games in 1959.
Foster made his pro debut at the old Capital Arena in DC on March 27, 1961 scoring a second-round KO of Duke Williams. This would be the first of eight appearances Foster would make in his adopted hometown, fighting primarily at the Washington Coliseum.
Foster would win his first nine bouts before losing to Doug Jones, a heavyweight boxer Foster coached in the amateurs, by eighth-round TKO on October 20, 1962 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Seven of Foster's eight losses would be to heavyweights throughout his career.
On May 24, 1968, Foster would receive a shot of the light heavyweight title and make the most of it, knocking out Dick Tiger in the fourth round at Madison Square Garden. This would be the only time Tiger would be knocked out in his career. Foster would make four defenses of his title.
On November 18, 1970 at Cobo Arena in Detroit, MI, Foster would challenge Joe Frazier for the heavyweight championship. Foster would be knocked out in the second round. One month later, the WBA would strip Foster of their version of the light heavyweight crown because he would not defend against the ranked number one contender. Foster would remain WBC champion.
Foster would regain the WBA championship on April 7, 1972 with a second-round TKO over Vicente Rondon in Miami, FL. Foster would remain undisputed light heavyweight champion for two more years, a tenure that included wins over Mike Quarry and a 14th-round TKO over Chris Finnegan on September 26, 1972 in London, England that Ring Magazine called the Fight Of The Year.
After the Finnegan bout, Foster challenged Muhammad Ali for the NABF Heavyweight title on November 21, 1972 in Stateline, NV. Foster would lose by eighth-round knockout. Foster would defend the light heavyweight title three more times before announcing his retirement in September of 1974.
Foster would return to boxing in June of 1975 and would go 6-2 in his final eight bouts before officially calling it a career in 1978. His final record was 56-8-1, 46 KO's. After his retirement, Foster worked for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.
Foster would be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1994, Ring Magazine named Foster the third greatest light heavyweight of all time behind Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore.
Yes, Foster was a Beltway Boxing legend who will live on in boxing memory forever.