"He come in for the kill and he got killed," Foster explained on his way back to the dressing room. There an admirer, eyes shining with esteem, said of Foster: "When he's hit, he retolerates."
There is a relationship between Foster and Pat DiFuria that does not always exist between fighter and manager. They respect each other. DiFuria glows as he describes Foster's dedication to the tough training regimen he has prescribed. "He doesn't drink or smoke and he's no chaser," says DiFuria. "He's at the gym every night at 6 o'clock for his workout and he's out on the road every morning at 5."
Foster attributes a good deal of his dedication to the disciplines he learned as a marine. "After you've been knocked down a few times in those boot camp days," he says, "you learn to do what you're told. They don't have to tell you in a loud voice."
Naturally, he would like to fight Muhammad Ali and, in fact, he and DiFuria and Rokas have been putting on a premature campaign to get such a fight. At this stage it is pure ballyhoo, but it would make an elegant grudge match. Foster's voice lowers to a growl when he recalls a remark Ali is said to have made, as reported in The Stars and Stripes. "Clay didn't want to go in service," Foster sums up. "Well, that's fine. But there's one thing he said that irritated me real bad. He said it takes more courage to face a man in the ring than to face bullets. Me and my sergeant, you know, we talked a lot. He says, 'I would like to see that guy face a 100-pound Viet Cong with a submachine gun and we'd see how much courage he really has.'
"I'm going to whip that guy. Just before I got out of service, before I ever turned pro, I said I'm going all the way to the top, regardless. I wanted to fight Clay real bad and I never waned it from my mind." This Marine mountain dreams of moving to Muhammad.