Ten-Count for Bob Foster

By Robert Ecksel on November 22, 2015
Ten-Count for Bob Foster
Foster fought Muhammad Ali in 1972 at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel. (Albuquerque Journal)

Former light heavyweight champion Bob Foster passed away yesterday at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. He was 77…

Former light heavyweight champion Bob Foster passed away yesterday at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with wife Rose and his family at his side. He was 77.

Robert Lloyd Foster was born in Borger, Texas, on April 27, 1938. A big man with a big punch and big ambition, he turned pro in 1961 at the age of 23 with a KO victory over Duke Williams. He won his first light heavyweight world title in 1968 by defeating reigning and defending champion Dick Tiger at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Foster defended his title a record 14 times between 1969 and 1973.

He fought in a different era, some might say a preferable era, a time when undefeated records meant less, a time when fighters moved up in weight to test their mettle, a time when fighters took risks.

Foster fought heavyweights throughout his career and tangled with the best of the best. He usually lost when he moved up, but no one ever questioned his manhood or commitment to the sport.

Bob Foster retired in 1978 with a 56-8-1 (46 KOs) record. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. The Ring named him third greatest light heavyweight in history in 1994.

He was one of the all-time greats.

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  1. Jimmy 02:00pm, 11/24/2015

    Bob Foster the best light heavyweight that I ever saw.

    Honorable mention to Matthew Saad Muhammad,  Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Michael Spinks and Roy Jones, Jr.

  2. Jack the Lad 11:41pm, 11/22/2015

    Very sad news indeed on a great light-heavy.  I, too, would put him in the top 5, but I would drop Spinks and put Langford at number 1.  Looking forward to Mike Casey’s analysis - it’s bound to be great.

  3. peter 03:28pm, 11/22/2015

    The news of Bob Foster’s untimely passing is very upsetting. Yes, I agree, Foster was one of the top five light heavyweights of all time. I remember as a young boy, skipping school and hitchhiking up to a hotel near Nyack, NY, to watch Foster train for his fight with Frankie DePaula. On that day, I was lucky enough to get there on time to watch him spar Levan Rountree, a rugged light heavy from the Bronx, and after three tough rounds with Roundtree, a fleet-footed middleweight named “Bunny”. After kicking the crap out of each other and toweling off the blood and sweat, I remember how impressed I was that they could still sit down at a small table and play cards together.

  4. GlennR 01:30pm, 11/22/2015

    Spot on description Eric, one of my all time favourites.
    And yes Don, THATS booming power!

    Thanks for the memories Bob.

  5. George Thomas Clark 10:33am, 11/22/2015

    An absolutely pulverizing left hook had Bob Foster…Dick Tiger had never been knocked out until he got hit with it a couple of times, and poor Mike Quarry stretched out like that - Jerry Quarry said it scared him, and it should have…Bob Foster himself was devastated by two Joe Frazier left hooks - the fight should never have continued after the first knockdown.  Foster almost got killed the second time, noted Frazier trainer Yank Durham.  Referees too often has both thumbs you know where….

  6. Don from Prov 09:57am, 11/22/2015

    Now Foster, Mr. Ecksel, he = booming power.

    I’m very saddened by his death.  Great fighter.

  7. Eric 09:03am, 11/22/2015

    Bob The Beast eschewed the weights and the steroids when he took on the big boys and decided to take them on at his natural weight. Bob was fighting guys like Ali, Frazier, and Terrell why weighing just a tad above the light heavyweight limit. He weighed all of 180lbs when he took on Ali. Bob did beat some heavies but lost when he stepped up in class. I would rank Foster as the 5th greatest light heavy behind Tunney, Charles, Moore and Spinks. RIP Mr. Foster.

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