EDMONTON, ALBERTA, JULY 31 -- George Foreman knocked out Ken Lakusta at 1:24 of the third round of a scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight tonight.

The 41-year-old Foreman, 68-2 with 64 knockouts overall and 23-0 since returning in 1987 after a 10-year retirement, knocked down Lakusta early in the round and the Canadian barely beat the count. The knockout came on a right to the jaw that sent Lakusta down for the count.

"He got that mean look in his eye," Lakusta said. "I could sense he got really mad in there. I felt it about a quarter of the way through the second round. When I caught him under his eye, he really started throwing punches with bad intentions."

Foreman, who at 261 outweighed Lakusta by 45 pounds, used overhand rights and a stinging left jab to back the Canadian into the ropes.

Foreman stood between each round, while his 35-year-old opponent sat. Foreman virtually walked through most of Lakusta's counter punches with his arms folded.

There was some swelling around Foreman's right eye after the second round, although it was Lakusta who absorbed most of the punches in the fight. Lakusta, who twice held the Canadian heavyweight title, is 30-16.

Foreman, hoping for a shot at the heavyweight title currently held by Buster Douglas, is ranked fourth by the World Boxing Council, seventh by the World Boxing Association and 10th by the International Boxing Federation.

Douglas is to put his title on the line against Evander Holyfield this year. Foreman said he "was already guaranteed a shot at the winner of that fight. I may have been thinking a little too much about that tonight."