George Foreman — he’s the big guy on all the commercials for the outdoor grill. Seems like a great guy, really funny and really friendly. That’s who he is, right?
Sure, George Foreman is a fun guy who’s created an amazing business with his handy Foreman Grill. But do you know who else he is? He’s a two-time heavyweight boxing world champion, as well as an Olympic gold medalist for boxing.
Foreman won the heavyweight title in 1973 with a clean knockout punch to the reigning champ, Joe Frazier. A year later, in 1974, he lost the title when he fought Muhammad Ali in the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship in Zaire. Foreman lost to Ali, but went on to fight, and win, for many more years.
Yet like every fighter, Foreman knew he had to face the bittersweet reality that sooner or later, he’d have to hang up the gloves. But what could he do for a second act?
In Foreman’s case, the answer came through an honest chat with God. In 1977, Foreman was injured during a fight in Puerto Rico against Jimmy Young. Suffering from exhaustion in his dressing room after the fight, Foreman felt that God was speaking to him, telling him to change his life. The experience so affected Foreman, he became a born-again Christian and ordained minister.
He has since dedicated much of his life to charitable work and to his ministry, while also becoming a highly successful spokesman and entrepreneur. Though he retired, he did come back to fight again many times, even regaining the world heavyweight title at age 44, becoming the oldest fighter ever to hold the title.
Plenty of sportsbook reviews and magazine articles have been written about him, and many more are still to be written. With kindness, humor, and grace, Foreman’s life keeps unfolding in sometimes astounding ways.