Titles: Light heavyweight champion 1968-1974 Record: 56-8-1 Born: December 15, 1938 in Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) Years active: 1961-1978 Nickname: None It is incredible how hard Foster could hit when you consider he was not a muscular man, in fact he seemed quite skinny looking much like a later day Thomas Hearns. At 6 foot 3 he never weighed more than 175 pounds and his flat footed style that saw his left hand hang well below his waist invited the foolish to lean into his punches. Foster stalked his opponents leading with the left jab while looking to land his favorite punch the left hook or a straight right hand. Foster was a very serious man and while serving as Sheriff in a New Mexico town arrested his wife for speeding! After a outstanding amateur career Foster turned pro in 1961 and won 9 straight before his manager put him in over his head against the vastly more experienced Doug Jones who went 10 rounds with Muhammad Ali only 5 months later. The result was a predictable loss. Two more losses to heavyweight fighters Zora Foley and Ernie Terrell would follow soon after. These defeats left Foster confused and thinking of retirement, thankfully he did not. After 2 years off he returned and won his next 7 bouts, six by knockout. A title shot soon came his way and against Dick Tiger in New York City. 12,000 fans saw the 7 inch taller Foster overcome a shaky first round and from the 3rd round on dominate the champion. The knockout was brutal! A uppercut followed by a left hook left the usually tough Tiger out for the full count. For the next 6 years he was unstoppable at the light heavyweight level. You would think that Foster would have learned from earlier defeats to heavyweights....but he did not. Still people gave Foster a punchers chance even against the heavyweights. Knockout losses to Frazier and Ali were his only setbacks during this time. But at light heavyweight he must be considered one of the best ever, if not the best. Foster was stripped of the title for a short period but the man who assumed his title Vincente Roldon was knocked out in 2 rounds when they actually met in the ring. After 14 title defenses Foster retired at the age of 36, seeing his skills erode and having to settle for a draw with Jorge Ahumada in his last defense. A comeback saw him win 5 fights over three years but he quit for good after two knockout losses in 1978. Only the lack of a great chin stops most from ranking Foster as the best light heavyweight of all time.
1961 27 Mar Duke Williams Washington, DC KO 2 3 Apr Clarence Ryan NY W 4 8 May Billy Johnson NY W 4 22 Jun Ray Bryan Canada KO 2 8 Aug Floyd McCoy Canada W 6 2 Nov Ernie Knox VA KO 4 4 Dec Clarence Floyd Canada KO 4 1962 19 May Billy Tisdale NY KO 2 27 Jun Bert Whitehurst NY W 8 20 Oct Doug Jones NY KO by 8 1963 18 Feb Richard Benjamin Washington, DC KO 1 29 Apr Curtis Bruce Washington, DC KO 4 6 Nov Mauro Mina Lima L 10 11 Dec Willie Besmanoff VA KO 3 1964 25 Feb Dave Bailey Miami Beach, FL KO 1 8 May Allen Thomas IL KO 1 10 Jul Ernie Terrell NY KO by 7 23 Nov Norm Letcher CA KO 1 11 Dec Don Quinn VA KO 1 11 Dec Henry Hank VA KO 10 1965 15 Jan Roberto Rascon NM KO 2 21 Mar Dave Russell VA KO 6 24 May Chuck Leslie LA KO 3 26 Jul Henry Hank LA W 12 6 Dec Zora Folley LA L 10 1966 6 Dec Leroy Green VA KO 2 1967 16 Jan Jim Robinson Washington, DC KO 1 27 Feb Andres Selpa Washington, DC KO 2 8 May Eddie Cotton Washington, DC KO 3 9 Jun Henry Matthews VA KO 2 25 Oct Levan Roundtree Washington, DC KO 8 20 Nov Eddie Vick RI W 10 5 Dec Sonny Moore Washington, DC KO 5 1968 24 May Dick Tiger NY KO 4 (Won World Light Heavyweight Title) 29 Jul Charley Polite MA KO 3 26 Aug Eddie Vick NM KO 9 9 Sep Roger Rouse Washington, DC KO 5 1969 22 Jan Frank De Paula NY KO 1 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 24 May Andy Kendall MA KO 4 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 19 Jun Levan Roundtree GA KO 4 2 Nov Chuck Leslie LA KO 5 1970 24 Feb Bill Hardney FL KO 4 9 Mar Cookie Wallace FL KO 6 4 Apr Roger Rouse MT KO 4 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 27 Jun Mark Tessman MD KO 10 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 18 Nov Joe Frazier MI KO by 2 (For World Heavyweight Title) 1971 2 Mar Hal Carroll PA KO 4 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 24 Apr Ray Anderson FL W 15 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 17 Aug Vernon McIntosh FL KO 3 29 Oct Tommy Hicks PA KO 8 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 16 Dec Brian Kelly OK KO 3 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 1972 7 Apr Vincente Rondon FL KO 2 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 27 Jun Mike Quarry NV KO 4 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 26 Sep Chris Finnegan England KO 14 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 21 Nov Muhammad Ali NV KO by 8 1973 21 Aug Pierre Fourie NM W 15 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 1 Dec Pierre Fourie South Africa W 15 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 1974 17 Jun Jorge Ahumada NM D 15 (Retained World Light Heavyweight Title) 1975 28 Jun Bill Hardney NM KO 3 1976 8 May Al Bolden MT KO 3 28 Aug Harold Carter MT W 10 25 Sep Al Bolden WA KO 6 1977 2 Sep Bob Hazelton Curacao KO 10 1978 9 Feb Mustafa Wassaja Denmark KO by 5 3 Jun Bob Hazelton KS KO by 2