Bob Foster (boxer)

Last updated
Bob Foster
Foster c. 1972
Statistics
Real name Robert Lloyd Foster' [1]
Nickname(s) The Deputy Sheriff
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Light heavyweight
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Reach 79 in (201 cm)
Nationality American
Born(1938-12-15)December 15, 1938
Borger, Texas, U.S.
Died November 21, 2015(2015-11-21) (aged 76)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 65
Wins 56
Wins by KO 46
Losses 8
Draws 1

Robert Lloyd "Bob" Foster (December 15, 1938 – November 21, 2015) was an American professional boxer who fought as a light heavyweight and heavyweight. Known as "The Deputy Sheriff", Foster was one of the greatest light heavyweight champions in boxing history. He won the world light heavyweight title from Dick Tiger in 1968 via fourth-round knockout, and went on to defend his crown fourteen times in total from 1968 to 1974. Foster challenged heavyweight kings Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali during his career, but was knocked out by both fighters (the fight with Ali was not for a world heavyweight title, but for the regional NABF version).

Contents

Foster retired from professional boxing in 1978, at the age of 40.

Early years

Foster started his professional career on the night of March 27, 1961, against Duke Williams, in Washington, D.C., winning by knockout in two rounds. The first 12 bouts of his career were spent campaigning in the United States' Eastern coast and in Canada. In his tenth bout, he made his first of multiple forays into the Heavyweight division, and suffered his first loss, at the hands of Doug Jones by a knockout in the eighth round.

After two more wins, he went in 1963 to Peru, where he lost to South American champion Mauro Mina by a decision in ten rounds at Lima.

Three more fights back in the States resulted in quick knockout wins for him, and then, in 1964, he made his second attempt at entering the heavyweight rankings, being knocked out in the seventh by future world Heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell. He finished the year by posting three more knockout wins at Light Heavyweight, two of them in the month of November. The night of November 11 was Foster's first fight of note as a light-heavyweight. One month after knocking out Don Quinn in the first round, he stepped up in the ring again and faced former world title challenger Henry Hank. He beat Hank by a knockout in the tenth.

In 1965, he had five fights, winning four and losing one. He beat Hank again, by decision in 12, and lost to Zora Folley, by a decision in ten, in another attempt at joining the Heavyweight top ten.

In 1966 he defeated Leroy Green in two rounds.

By 1967, Foster, although his attempts to become a top Heavyweight were being frustrated, was a ranked light-heavyweight. He decided to stick to the light-heavyweight division for the time being, and he won all seven of his fights, six by knockout. Among the fighters he beat were Eddie Cotton, Eddie Vick, and Sonny Moore. After defeating Moore, Foster was the world's number one ranked Light Heavyweight challenger.

World light-heavyweight champion

In 1968, Foster got his first shot at a world title. At Madison Square Garden in New York, on the night of March 24, Foster became world champion by knocking out Dick Tiger in four rounds. Tiger had been a two-time world middleweight champion and was defending his world light heavyweight crown that night. Foster then decided to box at heavyweight once again, and beat future George Foreman victim Charlie Polite by a knockout in three. He ended that year defeating Vick again, and his future world title challenger Roger Rouse, both by a knockout.

In 1969, he began by rising off the canvas to knock out Frank DePaula in the same first round and retain his belt. It is believed that was the first time ever a boxer won a world title fight in the first round after being floored in that same round. It is also believed that that fight is one of only three times that's happened... the second time being in 1984, when Juan Meza rose off a knockdown to dethrone world Jr. Featherweight champion Jaime Garza in the same first round too. It also happened in the 21st century, when Kendall Holt was dropped twice, only to knockout Ricardo Torres in round 1, for the WBO 140 lb title.

Foster's next fight in 1969 was against Andy Kendall, whom he beat in four rounds by knockout, to once again retain the crown. He closed the 1960s with two more knockout wins.

Frazier vs Foster

In 1970, Foster made two more trips to the heavyweights. In the first, he beat fringe contender Lee Wallace in six rounds by knockout. This was followed by a return to the light-heavyweight division to defend his title against Rouse. Infuriated by some comments that Rouse's manager had made before the bout concerning the fact that even though Foster knocked out Rouse in their first bout he was not able to drop him, Foster dropped Rouse five times en route to a fourth-round knockout victory. A knockout in 10 to retain the title against Mark Tessman followed, and then he was given the chance to challenge for the world heavyweight title. Facing world champion Joe Frazier on the night of November 18 in Detroit, he was knocked out in two rounds.

After defeating Hal Carroll by a knockout in four rounds to defend his crown, the WBA stripped him of the title, but he remained as world champion on the WBC. Foster became enraged at the WBA, which proceeded to have Vicente Rondon of Venezuela and Jimmy Dupree fight for the world title. Rondon won, becoming the second Latin American world light-heavyweight champion (after José Torres), and Foster set his eyes on him. Foster went on defending his WBC title, and he defeated challengers Ray Anderson, Tommy Hicks, and Brian Kelly. Of those three, it was Anderson who was the only one to last the 15 round distance with Foster.

Ali vs Foster

Foster and Rondon met in Miami on April 7, 1972, in a unification bout. Foster became the undisputed world champion once again, by knocking Rondon out in the second round. In his next fight, he used what many critics have called one of the best punches in history to retain his title by a knockout in four against Mike Quarry. Foster then went up in weight and faced former and future world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, in what was legendary referee Mills Lane's first bout of note as a referee. Foster lost to Ali by a knockout in the eighth, after being knocked down 7 times.

In 1973, Foster retained his title twice against Pierre Fourie, both by decision. Their second fight had a distinct social impact because it was fought in Apartheid-ruled South Africa, Foster being Black and Fourie being White. Foster became a hero to South African Blacks by beating Fourie the first time around, and in their rematch, the first boxing fight in South Africa after Apartheid featuring a White versus a Black, he cemented that position by defeating Fourie on points again. However, as Mark Mathabane noted in his autobiography Kaffir Boy , South Africa's black population also felt betrayed by Foster since he didn't address Apartheid during his time in South Africa.

Retirement and comeback

His last defense as world light-heavyweight champion came in 1974, when he was dropped by Argentinian Jorge Ahumada, but managed to keep the title with a draw. After that, he announced his retirement, leaving the world's light-heavyweight championship vacant. [2]

Foster would return to the ring in 1975, winning a series of 10 round contests, before retiring for good.

In his retirement, the former world champion joined the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department and became a detective, where he would become a well known officer in the Albuquerque area. [3]

He married four times and became a widower in 1984.

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame at Canastota, New York, in 1990.

Foster had a record of 56 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw, with 46 wins coming by knockout. He was named to Ring Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Punchers. He was also named to Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years, ranking at #55.

Foster died on November 21, 2015 at a hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the age of 76. [3]

Professional boxing record

56 Wins (46 KOs), 8 Losses (6 KOs), 1 Draw [1]
Res.RecordOpponentTypeRound,
Time
DateLocationNotes
Loss56–8–1 United States Bob HazeltonTKO2 (?),
?
1978-06-02 United States Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, Kansas
Loss56–7–1 Uganda Mustafa WassajaRTD5 (8),
-
1978-02-09 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen
Win56–6–1 United States Bob HazeltonKO10 (10),
0:22
1977-09-02 Netherlands Antilles Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles
Win55–6–1 United States Al BoldenKO6 (10),
?
1976-09-25 United States Spokane Coliseum, Spokane, Washington
Win54–6–1 United States Harold CarterUD101976-08-28 United States Eagles Aerie, Missoula, Montana
Win53–6–1 United States Al BoldenKO3 (10),
?
1976-05-08 United States Adams Field House, Missoula, Montana
Win52–6–1 United States Bill HardneyKO3 (10),
1:26
1975-06-28 United States Sweeney Gym, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Draw51–6–1 Argentina Jorge Ahumada SD151974-06-17 United States University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win51–6 South Africa Pierre Fourie UD151973-12-01 South Africa Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, Transvaal Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win50–6 South Africa Pierre Fourie UD151973-08-21 United States University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Loss49–6 United States Muhammad Ali KO8 (12),
0:40
1972-11-21 United States Sahara Tahoe Hotel, Stateline, Nevada For NABF heavyweight title.
Win49–5 United Kingdom Chris Finnegan KO14 (15),
0:55
1972-09-26 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
The Ring Fight of the Year 1972.
Win48–5 United States Mike Quarry KO4 (15),
?
1972-06-27 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win47–5 Venezuela Vicente Rondón KO2 (15),
2:55
1972-04-07 United States Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida Retained WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Won WBA light-heavyweight title.
Win46–5 United States Brian Kelly TKO3 (15),
1:56
1971-12-16 United States Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Retained WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win45–5 United States Tommy HicksTKO8 (15),
?
1971-10-30 United States Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania Retained WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win44–5 United States Vernon McIntoshTKO3 (10),
0:37
1971-08-17 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win43–5 United States Ray Anderson UD151971-04-24 United States Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa, Florida Retained WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win42–5 United States Hal CarrollTKO4 (15),
2:32
1971-03-02 United States Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania Retained WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Loss41–5 United States Joe Frazier KO2 (15),
0:49
1970-11-18 United States Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan For WBC & WBA heavyweight titles.
Win41–4 United States Mark TessmanTKO10 (15),
?
1970-06-27 United States Baltimore Civic Center, Baltimore, Maryland Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win40–4 United States Roger RouseTKO4 (15),
?
1970-04-04 United States Harry Adams Field House, Missoula, Montana Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win39–4 United States Roy WallaceKO6 (10),
?
1970-03-09 United States Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory, Tampa, Florida
Win38–4 United States Bill HardneyTKO4 (10),
?
1970-02-24 United States Orlando Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Win37–4 United States Chuck LeslieTKO5 (10),
2:58
1969-11-02 United States New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win36–4 United States Levan RoundtreeTKO4 (10),
2:10
1969-06-19 United States Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia
Win35–4 United States Andy KendallTKO4 (15),
1:15
1969-05-24 United States Eastern States Coliseum, West Springfield, Massachusetts Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win34–4 United States Frank DePaula TKO1 (15),
2:17
1969-01-22 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Retained WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win33–4 United States Roger RouseTKO5 (10),
2:34
1968-09-09 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win32–4 United States Eddie VickTKO9 (10),
?
1968-08-26 United States Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Win31–4 United States Charley PoliteTKO3 (10),
?
1968-07-29 United States Eastern States Coliseum, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Win30–4 Nigeria Dick Tiger KO4 (15),
2:05
1968-05-24 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won WBA, WBC, The Ring & lineal light-heavyweight titles.
Win29–4 United States Sonny MooreKO5 (10),
?
1967-12-05 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win28–4 United States Eddie VickUD101967-11-20 United States Providence Coliseum, Providence, Rhode Island
Win27–4 United States Levan RoundtreeKO8 (10),
1:35
1967-10-25 United States Washington, D.C.
Win26–4 United States Henry MatthewsTKO2 (10),
?
1967-06-09 United States Starland Arena, Roanoke, Virginia
Win25–4 United States Eddie CottonKO3 (12),
1:58
1967-05-08 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win24–4 Argentina Andres Antonio SelpaKO2 (10),
2:30
1967-02-27 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win23–4 United States Jim RobinsonKO1 (10),
?
1967-01-16 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win22–4 United States LeRoy GreenKO2 (?),
?
1966-12-06 United States Norfolk Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Loss21–4 United States Zora Folley UD101965-12-06 United States Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win21–3 United States Henry HankUD121965-07-26 United States Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win20–3 United States Chuck LeslieTKO3 (10),
2:58
1965-05-24 United States Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win19–3 United States Dave RussellTKO6 (10),
1:30
1965-03-21 United States Norfolk Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Win18–3 United States Bobby RasconKO2 (10),
?
1965-02-15 United States Albuquerque Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Win17–3 United States Henry HankTKO9 (10),
?
1964-12-11 United States Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, Virginia
Win16–3 United States Norman LetcherTKO1 (10),
0:43
1964-11-23 United States Kezar Pavilion, San Francisco, California
Win15–3 United States Don QuinnKO1 (10),
1:07
1964-11-11 United States Norfolk, Virginia
Loss14–3 United States Ernie Terrell TKO7 (10),
0:58
1964-07-10 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win14–2 United States Allen ThomasTKO1 (10),
1:26
1964-05-08 United States Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois
Win13–2 United States Dave BaileyKO1 (6),
?
1964-02-25 United States Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida
Win12–2 Germany Willi Besmanoff KO3 (10),
?
1963-12-11 United States Norfolk, Virginia
Loss11–2 Peru Mauro Mina UD101963-11-07 Peru Estadio Nacional, Lima
Win11–1 United States Curtis BruceKO4 (?),
?
1963-04-29 United States Capitol Arena, Washington, D.C.
Win10–1 United States Richard BenjaminKO1 (8),
?
1963-02-18 United States Capitol Arena, Washington, D.C.
Loss9–1 United States Doug Jones TKO8 (10),
0:23
1962-10-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win9–0 United States Bert WhitehurstSD81962-06-27 United States Sunnyside Garden Arena, Sunnyside, Queens, New York City, New York
Win8–0 United States Billy TisdaleTKO2 (6),
?
1962-05-19 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win7–0 United States Clarence FloydKO4 (6),
2:56
1961-12-04 Canada Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Win6–0 United States Ernie KnoxTKO3 (6),
?
1961-11-21 United States Norfolk, Virginia
Win5–0 United States Floyd McCoyPTS61961-08-08 Canada Delormier Stadium, Montreal, Quebec
Win4–0 United States Ray BryanTKO2 (6),
?
1961-06-22 Canada Forum, Montreal, Quebec
Win3–0 United States Billy JohnsonPTS41961-05-08 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win2–0 United States Clarence RyanPTS41961-04-03 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win1–0 United States Duke WilliamsKO2 (4),
?
1961-03-27 United States Capitol Arena, Washington, District of ColumbiaProfessional debut.

See also

References

  1. 1 2 Bob Foster's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-27.
  2. "Foster Keeps Title on Draw". St. Petersburg Times. 1974-06-18. Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
  3. 1 2 Goldsmith, Alex (2015-11-21) Champion boxer, BCSO deputy Bob Foster dead at 77. krqe.com
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dick Tiger
Lineal Light Heavyweight Champion
May 24, 1968 – September 16, 1974
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
Michael Spinks
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
May 24, 1968 – December 9, 1970
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Vicente Rondon
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
May 24, 1968 – September 16, 1974
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
John Conteh
Preceded by
Vicente Rondon
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
April 7, 1972 – September 16, 1974
Retired
Vacant
Title next held by
Victor Galindez