FightSaga

Foreman vs Cooney: Stats, facts & reaction

By Leroy Cleveland - July 2, 2022

Event: George Foreman vs Gerry Cooney

Division: Heavyweight

Date: Jan 15, 1990

Location: Convention Center

Venue: Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Broadcast: HBO Closed-circuit TV and PPV

Promoter: Bob Arum/Top Rank

Referee: Joe Cortez


Foreman vs Cooney Facts & Stats

  • George Foreman, 41, (64-2, 60 KO) vs Gerry Cooney, 34, (28-2, 24 KO)

  • Attendance: 12,581 

  • Weights: Foreman – 253¼, Cooney – 231

  • Although no title was contested, Foreman vs Cooney was the first big heavyweight fight of the 1990s – a decade rich in heavyweight boxing

  • Each boxer was guaranteed $1 Million USD.

  • George was 19-0, 18 KOs on the comeback trail following his 10-year hiatus from the sport

  • Bout was Cooney’s first in 2½ years but he appeared to be in better physical shape than he’d been in quite some time.

  • Big George was about 10-15 lbs lighter and a bit quicker in this bout versus his previous comeback fights

  • Cooney buckled Big George with his trademark left hook in Round 1

  • Foreman, one of the greatest KO artists in heavyweight history, kept his composure after being jolted in Round 1, continued to pressure his foe, and eventually caught Cooney with heavy powershots in Round 2.

  • Cooney went down twice in the second and was out cold from the last knockdown.

  • After the fight, Foreman said Cooney ‘Hit me harder than anyone I’ve ever been in the ring with.”

  • There was speculation the winner would fight then-undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson but Iron Mike would lose four weeks later to James ‘Buster’ Douglas.

  • Reaction: The fight was billed as “The Preacher vs. The Puncher” but critics referred to it as “The Geezers at Caesars.”

  • This fight put George on the radar because Cooney was his first big-name opponent on his 20-fight comeback. And not only did he KO Cooney, he did so in destructive fashion while showing durability. However, not everyone was impressed because Cooney had been relatively inactive over the years and had his fair share of critics who insisted Gerry was washed up.

  • Foreman vs Cooney was a mainstream sports event and a true ‘do or die’ situation for both fighters. The winner would earn tremendous juice while the loser’s career was likely over.

Foreman vs Cooney Highlights