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Foreman Claims He Was Showing Compassion Letting Rival Go Distance

Associated Press

George Foreman said the 19th straight victory in his comeback bid for the heavyweight title went the scheduled 10 rounds only because he was showing compassion.

His opponent, 25-year-old construction worker Everett (Big Foot) Martin, said Thursday night’s non-title fight showed he could stay in the ring with “a legend.” Martin, who lost for the eighth time in 26 tries that included one tie, also said he wants a rematch.

None of which particularly showed that the 40-year-old Foreman is ready for a shot at Mike Tyson, who retained his undisputed title by knocking out Carl (the Truth) Williams in 93 seconds Friday night at Atlantic City, N.J.

“I didn’t want to hurt the guy, and I needed to get the rounds,” Foreman said after recording a unanimous win, his 64th against two losses in a career that took a 10-year break after he lost to Jimmy Young in 1977.

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Foreman, who weighed in at 256 pounds, floored Martin, 228 1/2 pounds, in the eighth round with a right uppercut, but Martin rose for a standing eight count.

Foreman said he hit Martin “so hard that I eased up on the guy after that. I told the ref to stop the fight. I had accomplished what I wanted to do; I dropped him.

“I creamed him good. When I knocked him down, I thought that was it. I told him, ‘Don’t get up.’

“You got to be compassionate, too.”

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