Bob Foster (boxer)

Last updated

Bob Foster
Bob Foster 1972.jpg
Foster c. 1972
Statistics
Real nameRobert Wayne Foster [1]
Nickname(s)The Deputy Sheriff
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Light heavyweight
Height189.5 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Reach200 cm (79 in)
Born(1942-04-27)April 27, 1942 [2]
Borger, Texas, U.S.
DiedNovember 21, 2015(2015-11-21) (aged 73)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights65
Wins56
Wins by KO46
Losses8
Draws1

Robert Wayne "Bob" Foster (April 27, 1942 – 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 against thirteen different fighters in total from 1968 to 1974. Foster challenged Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali during his career, but was knocked out by both (the fight with Ali was not for a world heavyweight title, but for the regional NABF version). 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. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 1990. [3]

Contents


Early life

Foster was born at Borger, Texas on April 27, 1942. In his childhood years his family moved to Albuquerque in New Mexico, and he received his formal education at Albuquerque High School. On leaving school he enlisted with the United States Air Force, in which he served with the rank of Airman Second Class. [4] He began boxing on the Golden Gloves amateur circuit, and also took part in competitive inter-service matches for the U.S. Air Force. [5]

Boxing career

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. This was his first major Light Heavyweight bout, but it wouldn't be his last.

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 win 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 rounds, and lost to Zora Folley, by a decision in ten rounds, 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 was still recognized by the WBC as a champion. 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, on November 21, 1972 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 during Apartheid featuring a White versus a Black, he cemented that position by defeating Fourie on points again.

Piet Koornhoff was the South African Minister of Sport at that time and he had to be persuaded to allow the fight. He had to amend the regulations relating to the prohibition of "mixed sport" in order to do so. Bob Foster was allowed into the country on condition that he refrain from making any political comments or speeches. In a post fight interview he diplomatically responded to a specific question that he liked the country and would be willing to come back again. This explains the sentiment of Mark Mathabane as noted in his autobiography Kaffir Boy , that South Africa's black population felt betrayed by Foster since he didn't address Apartheid during his time in South Africa.

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. [6]

Foster returned to boxing in 1975, before retiring from the sport in 1978 at the age of 36.

Post-boxing life

In the mid-1970s Foster became a police officer with the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department, later becoming a detective and a well known policeman in Albuquerque, New Mexico. [7]

Death

Foster died at the age of 73 on November 21, 2015 in a hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. [7] His body was buried at Fairview Memorial Park cemetery in Albuquerque. [8]

Personal life

He married Pearl with whom he had four children. He divorced then married Sue. He had a child named Nelson. Bobby married Patricia Saiz in 1982. Her death in 1984 was ruled a suicide. His fourth wife is Rosetta Benjamin.

Professional boxing record

56 Wins (46 KOs), 8 Losses (6 KOs), 1 Draw [9]
Res.RecordOpponentTypeRound,
Time
DateLocationNotes
Loss56–8–1 Flag of the United States.svg Bob HazeltonTKO2
1978-06-02 Flag of the United States.svg Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, Kansas
Loss56–7–1 Flag of Uganda.svg Mustafa WassajaRTD5
1978-02-09 Flag of Denmark.svg K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen
Win56–6–1 Flag of the United States.svg Bob HazeltonKO10 (10),
0:22
1977-09-02 Flag of the Netherlands Antilles.svg Willemstad, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles
Win55–6–1 Flag of the United States.svg Al BoldenKO6 (10)
1976-09-25 Flag of the United States.svg Spokane Coliseum, Spokane, Washington
Win54–6–1 Flag of the United States.svg Harold CarterUD101976-08-28 Flag of the United States.svg Eagles Aerie, Missoula, Montana
Win53–6–1 Flag of the United States.svg Al BoldenKO3 (10)
1976-05-08 Flag of the United States.svg Adams Field House, Missoula, Montana
Win52–6–1 Flag of the United States.svg Bill HardneyKO3 (10),
1:26
1975-06-28 Flag of the United States.svg Sweeney Gym, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Draw51–6–1 Flag of Argentina.svg Jorge Ahumada SD151974-06-17 Flag of the United States.svg University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win51–6 Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg Pierre Fourie UD151973-12-01 Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, Transvaal Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win50–6 Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg Pierre Fourie UD151973-08-21 Flag of the United States.svg University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico Retained WBA, WBC and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Loss49–6 Flag of the United States.svg Muhammad Ali KO8 (12),
0:40
1972-11-21 Flag of the United States.svg Sahara Tahoe Hotel, Stateline, Nevada For WBC-NABF heavyweight title
Win49–5 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Chris Finnegan KO14 (15),
0:55
1972-09-26 Flag of England.svg Empire Pool, Wembley, London Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win48–5 Flag of the United States.svg Mike Quarry KO4 (15)
1972-06-27 Flag of the United States.svg Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win47–5 Flag of Venezuela.svg Vicente Rondón KO2 (15),
2:55
1972-04-07 Flag of the United States.svg Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida Retained WBC and The Ring light heavyweight titles;
Won WBA light heavyweight title
Win46–5 Flag of the United States.svg Brian Kelly TKO3 (15),
1:56
1971-12-16 Flag of the United States.svg Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Retained WBC and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win45–5 Flag of the United States.svg Tommy HicksTKO8 (15)
1971-10-30 Flag of the United States.svg Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania Retained WBC and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win44–5 Flag of the United States.svg Vernon McIntoshTKO3 (10),
0:37
1971-08-17 Flag of the United States.svg Miami Beach, Florida
Win43–5 Flag of the United States.svg Ray Anderson UD151971-04-24 Flag of the United States.svg Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa, Florida Retained WBC and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win42–5 Flag of the United States.svg Hal CarrollTKO4 (15),
2:32
1971-03-02 Flag of the United States.svg Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania Retained WBC and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Loss41–5 Flag of the United States.svg Joe Frazier KO2 (15),
0:49
1970-11-18 Flag of the United States.svg Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan For WBA and WBC heavyweight titles
Win41–4 Flag of the United States.svg Mark TessmanTKO10 (15)
1970-06-27 Flag of the United States.svg Baltimore Civic Center, Baltimore, Maryland Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win40–4 Flag of the United States.svg Roger Rouse TKO4 (15)
1970-04-04 Flag of the United States.svg Harry Adams Field House, Missoula, Montana Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win39–4 Flag of the United States.svg Roy WallaceKO6 (10)
1970-03-09 Flag of the United States.svg Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory, Tampa, Florida
Win38–4 Flag of the United States.svg Bill HardneyTKO4 (10)
1970-02-24 Flag of the United States.svg Orlando Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Win37–4 Flag of the United States.svg Chuck LeslieTKO5 (10),
2:58
1969-11-02 Flag of the United States.svg New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win36–4 Flag of the United States.svg Levan RoundtreeTKO4 (10),
2:10
1969-06-19 Flag of the United States.svg Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia
Win35–4 Flag of the United States.svg Andy KendallTKO4 (15),
1:15
1969-05-24 Flag of the United States.svg Eastern States Coliseum, West Springfield, Massachusetts Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win34–4 Flag of the United States.svg Frank DePaula TKO1 (15),
2:17
1969-01-22 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win33–4 Flag of the United States.svg Roger Rouse TKO5 (10),
2:34
1968-09-09 Flag of the United States.svg Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win32–4 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie VickTKO9 (10)
1968-08-26 Flag of the United States.svg Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Win31–4 Flag of the United States.svg Charley PoliteTKO3 (10)
1968-07-29 Flag of the United States.svg Eastern States Coliseum, West Springfield, Massachusetts
Win30–4 Flag of Nigeria.svg Dick Tiger KO4 (15),
2:05
1968-05-24 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
Win29–4 Flag of the United States.svg Sonny MooreKO5 (10)
1967-12-05 Flag of the United States.svg Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win28–4 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie VickUD101967-11-20 Flag of the United States.svg Providence Coliseum, Providence, Rhode Island
Win27–4 Flag of the United States.svg Levan RoundtreeKO8 (10),
1:35
1967-10-25 Flag of the United States.svg Washington, D.C.
Win26–4 Flag of the United States.svg Henry MatthewsTKO2 (10)
1967-06-09 Flag of the United States.svg Starland Arena, Roanoke, Virginia
Win25–4 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie CottonKO3 (12),
1:58
1967-05-08 Flag of the United States.svg Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win24–4 Flag of Argentina.svg Andres Antonio SelpaKO2 (10),
2:30
1967-02-27 Flag of the United States.svg Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win23–4 Flag of the United States.svg Jim RobinsonKO1 (10)
1967-01-16 Flag of the United States.svg Washington Coliseum, Washington, D.C.
Win22–4 Flag of the United States.svg LeRoy GreenKO2
1966-12-06 Flag of the United States.svg Norfolk Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Loss21–4 Flag of the United States.svg Zora Folley UD101965-12-06 Flag of the United States.svg Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win21–3 Flag of the United States.svg Henry HankUD121965-07-26 Flag of the United States.svg Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win20–3 Flag of the United States.svg Chuck LeslieTKO3 (10),
2:58
1965-05-24 Flag of the United States.svg Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win19–3 Flag of the United States.svg Dave RussellTKO6 (10),
1:30
1965-03-21 Flag of the United States.svg Norfolk Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Win18–3 Flag of the United States.svg Bobby RasconKO2 (10)
1965-02-15 Flag of the United States.svg Albuquerque Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Win17–3 Flag of the United States.svg Henry HankTKO9 (10)
1964-12-11 Flag of the United States.svg Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, Virginia
Win16–3 Flag of the United States.svg Norman LetcherTKO1 (10),
0:43
1964-11-23 Flag of the United States.svg Kezar Pavilion, San Francisco, California
Win15–3 Flag of the United States.svg Don QuinnKO1 (10),
1:07
1964-11-11 Flag of the United States.svg Norfolk, Virginia
Loss14–3 Flag of the United States.svg Ernie Terrell TKO7 (10),
0:58
1964-07-10 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win14–2 Flag of the United States.svg Allen ThomasTKO1 (10),
1:26
1964-05-08 Flag of the United States.svg Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois
Win13–2 Flag of the United States.svg Dave BaileyKO1 (6)
1964-02-25 Flag of the United States.svg Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida
Win12–2 Flag of Germany.svg Willi Besmanoff KO3 (10)
1963-12-11 Flag of the United States.svg Norfolk, Virginia
Loss11–2 Flag of Peru.svg Mauro Mina UD101963-11-07 Flag of Peru.svg Estadio Nacional, Lima
Win11–1 Flag of the United States.svg Curtis BruceKO4
1963-04-29 Flag of the United States.svg Capitol Arena, Washington, D.C.
Win10–1 Flag of the United States.svg Richard BenjaminKO1 (8)
1963-02-18 Flag of the United States.svg Capitol Arena, Washington, D.C.
Loss9–1 Flag of the United States.svg Doug Jones TKO8 (10),
0:23
1962-10-20 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win9–0 Flag of the United States.svg Bert WhitehurstSD81962-06-27 Flag of the United States.svg Sunnyside Garden Arena, Sunnyside, Queens, New York City, New York
Win8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Billy TisdaleTKO2 (6)
1962-05-19 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win7–0 Flag of the United States.svg Clarence FloydKO4 (6),
2:56
1961-12-04 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Win6–0 Flag of the United States.svg Ernie KnoxTKO3 (6)
1961-11-21 Flag of the United States.svg Norfolk, Virginia
Win5–0 Flag of the United States.svg Floyd McCoyPTS61961-08-08 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Delormier Stadium, Montreal, Quebec
Win4–0 Flag of the United States.svg Ray BryanTKO2 (6)
1961-06-22 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Forum, Montreal, Quebec
Win3–0 Flag of the United States.svg Billy JohnsonPTS41961-05-08 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Clarence RyanPTS41961-04-03 Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York
Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Duke WilliamsKO2 (4)
1961-03-27 Flag of the United States.svg Capitol Arena, Washington, District of Columbia

See also

Notes

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    References

    1. Entry for Foster in the 'Encyclopedia Britannica' https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bob-Foster
    2. http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/foster.htm
    3. https://www.upi.com/Archives/1990/04/07/Boxing-Hall-of-Fame-names-first-inductees/6244639460800/
    4. Obituary for Bob Foster, 'Daily Telegraph', December 4, 2015.
    5. Entry for Foster in the 'Encyclopedia Britannica' https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bob-Foster
    6. "Foster Keeps Title on Draw". St. Petersburg Times. June 18, 1974. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
    7. 1 2 Goldsmith, Alex (November 21, 2015) Champion boxer, BCSO deputy Bob Foster dead at 77. krqe.com
    8. Entry for Bob Foster's grave in Findagrave website (2019). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/155272027/bob-foster
    9. Bob Foster's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on December 27, 2011.
    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 Rondón
    WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
    May 24, 1968 – September 16, 1974
    Retired
    Vacant
    Title next held by
    John Conteh
    Preceded by
    Vicente Rondón
    WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
    April 7, 1972 – September 16, 1974
    Retired
    Vacant
    Title next held by
    Víctor Galíndez