In 1969, Foreman turned professional and within two years, Foreman was ranked the No. 1 challenger by the WBA and WBC. By 1972, Foreman had a perfect 37-0 record which included 35 knockouts.
Foreman got his shot at the world heavyweight championship when he fought Joe Frazier on January 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica. Frazier was the favorite going into the bout, but Foreman knocked him down six times en route to a second round knockout. An unprecedented TV audience watched Foreman become the champ because the fight was HBO Boxing's first-ever broadcast.
After becoming the champion, Foreman successfully defended his title twice. He beat Puerto Rican heavyweight champion Jose Roman in only 50 seconds, which at the time was the shortest heavyweight championship match ever. Foreman also beat Ken Norton, who had just beaten Muhammad Ali, in a mere two rounds. Winning those two fights then set up one of the most famous fights in history: "The Rumble in the Jungle" between Foreman and Muhammad Ali.
Ali used a tactic later known as "rope-a-dope" to wear out Foreman who threw hundreds of punches during the fight. Then in the eighth round, Ali unloaded with a series of punches that knocked out Foreman and allowed Ali to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.