George Foreman Biography, wiki, age, career, weight, spouse, children

George Foreman Biography

George Edward Foreman, born on January 10, 1949, is a prominent figure in American sports and business.

His multifaceted career spans professional boxing, entrepreneurship, ministry, and authorship. Throughout his life, he has garnered acclaim and recognition for various achievements.

In the realm of boxing, Foreman’s career spanned an impressive three decades, from 1967 to 1997. He earned the moniker “Big George” due to his imposing stature and formidable presence in the ring.

Foreman achieved the pinnacle of success as a two-time world heavyweight champion and a gold medalist at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Foreman’s journey to boxing stardom was marked by adversity. He overcame a challenging childhood and channeled his energy into amateur boxing, ultimately securing a gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1968 Olympics.

George Wiki

Real Name: George Edward Foreman
Nickname: Big George
Born Date: 10 January 1949 (age 74 years),
Place of Birth: Marshall, Texas, United States
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
ChildrenFreeda Foreman, George Foreman III, MORE
SpouseMary Joan Martelly (m. 1985), MORE
DivisionHeavyweight
Siblings: Roy Foreman
Weight: 118 kg
Total fight: 81
Wins: 76
Wins by KO: 68
Lose: 5

The transition to professional boxing came swiftly, and in 1973, Foreman achieved instant fame with a remarkable second-round knockout of the undefeated Joe Frazier, claiming the world heavyweight title.

However, his reign as champion was short-lived, as he suffered a legendary defeat to Muhammad Ali in the iconic “Rumble in the Jungle” bout in 1974.

Following this loss and a lack of opportunities to reclaim the title, Foreman decided to retire after a defeat to Jimmy Young in 1977.

After retiring from boxing, Foreman experienced a profound religious awakening and became an ordained Christian minister. A decade later, he surprised the world by announcing a comeback.

In 1994, at the age of 45, Foreman achieved an astonishing feat by winning the unified WBA, IBF, and lineal heavyweight championship titles by knocking out 26-year-old Michael Moorer.

Despite this achievement, Foreman opted to relinquish the WBA belt rather than face a mandatory title defense. Subsequently, he defended his title successfully against Axel Schulz and then chose to relinquish his IBF title in 1995.

Notably, at the age of 46 years and 169 days, George Foreman became the oldest world heavyweight champion in history, a record that still stands today.

Foreman’s boxing legacy is cemented in history, as he remains one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, according to the International Boxing Research Organization.

Additionally, The Ring, a renowned boxing publication, recognized him as one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years and ranked him as the ninth-greatest puncher of all time.

Beyond the boxing ring, George Foreman’s entrepreneurial prowess is evident. He is perhaps best known for endorsing the George Foreman Grill, a household kitchen appliance that has sold more than 100 million units worldwide.

In 1999, Foreman made a shrewd business move by selling the commercial rights to the grill for a staggering $138 million.

George Foreman’s impact extends beyond sports and business. He has been honored with induction into both the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

His life story serves as an inspiring testament to resilience, transformation, and success in multiple arenas, making him an enduring icon in American culture.

Early life

Hailing from Marshall, Texas, George Foreman spent his formative years in the vibrant Fifth Ward community of Houston. Raised amidst a large family of six siblings, his upbringing was shaped in the care of J. D. Foreman, his stepfather, who had married George’s mother during his early childhood.

Despite this, George’s biological father was Leroy Moorehead. In his autobiography, Foreman openly recounts his tumultuous youth, acknowledging his struggles.

Foreman’s early life was marked by challenges. He made the difficult decision to leave school at the age of 15 and subsequently found himself involved in criminal activities, including mugging.

A pivotal moment of transformation occurred when he was 16, prompting him to implore his mother to enroll him in the Job Corps after seeing an advertisement for it on television. This decision marked a turning point in his life.

During his tenure in the Job Corps, Foreman achieved significant personal milestones. He earned his General Educational Development (GED) certificate and immersed himself in learning the trades of carpentry and bricklaying.

This period of self-discovery and skill acquisition laid the foundation for his later achievements.

The course of Foreman’s life shifted again as he relocated to Pleasanton, California. With the support of a supervisor, he initiated a new chapter by delving into training.

Although initially drawn to football and harboring admiration for the legendary Jim Brown, Foreman redirected his passion toward boxing, a decision that would ultimately define his legacy.

George Foreman’s life journey exemplifies a trajectory of transformation, resilience, and redirection. From a challenging upbringing to a troubled youth and onto a path of personal growth and sporting greatness, his story serves as an inspiration to individuals navigating their own paths of change.

Amateur career

In the 1968 Summer Olympics, George Foreman achieved a remarkable feat in the boxing heavyweight division, securing a gold medal for his country. Here’s a breakdown of his journey through the Olympic tournament:

– Round of 16: In this early stage of the competition, Foreman faced off against Lucjan Trela of Poland. He emerged victorious in a hard-fought match, winning on points with a score of 4–1.

– Quarterfinal: Foreman continued his impressive run by taking on Ion Alexe of Romania. The contest was halted by the referee in the third round, with Foreman declared the winner by a referee-stopped contest.

– Semifinal: Giorgio Bambini of Italy was Foreman’s opponent in the semifinals. Foreman’s prowess was on full display as he secured a second-round knockout, advancing to the finals.

– Final: The gold medal showdown pitted Foreman against Jonas Čepulis from the Soviet Union. The referee stopped the contest in the second round, awarding Foreman the victory. Čepulis, an experienced boxer, had a notable amateur career and was ten years older than Foreman.

Foreman’s triumph in the gold-medal bout was a significant moment in his career. After securing the victory, he displayed his patriotism by carrying a small U.S. flag around the ring and bowing to the cheering crowd. He often expressed that winning the Olympic gold medal was his proudest achievement in boxing, surpassing even his world titles.

George Foreman’s journey to Olympic success was marked by several highlights in his amateur career, including victories in notable tournaments and competitions:

– He started his amateur journey with a first-round knockout win in the Parks Diamond Belt Tournament on January 26, 1967.

– In February 1967, Foreman emerged victorious in the San Francisco Examiner’s Golden Gloves Tournament in the Junior Division.

– The following month, he knocked out Thomas Cook to claim the Las Vegas Golden Gloves title in the Senior Division.

– In February 1968, Foreman’s winning streak continued as he defeated L.C. Brown to secure the San Francisco Examiner’s Senior Title in San Francisco.

– In March 1968, he reached a significant milestone by winning the National Boxing Championships heavyweight title in Toledo, Ohio, defeating Henry Crump of Philadelphia in the final.

– Foreman had the opportunity to spar with former World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston, a formidable experience that left a lasting impression on him.

– On September 21, 1968, Foreman secured his spot on the U.S. boxing team for the Mexico City Olympic Games by defeating Otis Evans for the second time.

Foreman’s transition from amateur to professional boxing occurred with an impressive 16–4 record. He carried this momentum into the Olympics, where he achieved his crowning glory by knocking out Jonas Čepulis of the Soviet Union to win the Olympic Games Heavyweight Gold Medal. Throughout his Olympic journey, Foreman received guidance and training from his coach, Robert (Pappy) Gault.

As he embarked on his professional career, Foreman’s amateur record stood at 22–4, setting the stage for his future accomplishments in the world of boxing.

Professional career

George Foreman embarked on his professional boxing career in 1969, marking the beginning of his journey towards becoming one of the most formidable heavyweight champions in history. Here’s a chronological account of his early professional fights and achievements:

1969:
– Foreman’s professional debut took place in New York City, where he faced Donald Walheim. He made a strong impression by securing a three-round knockout victory.

– Throughout the year, Foreman engaged in a total of 13 fights, winning each one. An astonishing 11 of these wins came by way of knockout, showcasing his remarkable punching power and determination.

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1970:
– The following year, Foreman continued his relentless march toward the undisputed heavyweight title. He maintained an undefeated streak, winning all 12 of his bouts, with 11 of them ending in knockout victories.

– Among his notable opponents was Gregorio Peralta, whom Foreman defeated by decision at Madison Square Garden. This fight revealed that Foreman, despite his dominance, was not impervious to fast counter-punching and an assertive boxing style.

– Foreman’s triumphs in 1970 also included a technical knockout (TKO) win against George Chuvalo in three rounds. He further defeated Charlie Polite in four rounds and Boone Kirkman in three.

– Peralta and Chuvalo were significant victories for Foreman as they marked his entry into the world-level competition. Peralta was ranked as the 10th-best heavyweight in the world in January 1970 according to The Ring, while Chuvalo held the seventh position in their March 1971 rankings.

1971:
– In 1971, Foreman continued to dominate his opponents, securing seven more victories, all by knockout.
– Among these victories was a rematch with Gregorio Peralta, whom Foreman defeated with a knockout in the 10th and final round, this time in Oakland, California.

– He also faced Leroy Caldwell and demonstrated his power by knocking him out in the second round.
– With an impressive record of 32 wins, including 29 by knockout, and no losses, Foreman solidified his status as a top contender in the heavyweight division.

– His achievements earned him the coveted ranking of the number-one challenger by both the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the World Boxing Council (WBC), placing him on the path to a shot at the heavyweight championship.

During this early phase of his professional career, George Foreman showcased not only his remarkable knockout power but also his ability to adapt and improve as a boxer.

These qualities would serve him well as he continued to rise through the ranks and pursue his goal of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

First reign as heavyweight champion

Foreman vs. Frazier

In 1972, George Foreman, still undefeated with an impressive knockout record, had his sights set on challenging the undefeated and undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, Joe Frazier.

Frazier had won the title from Jimmy Ellis and defended it successfully four times, including a notable 15-round unanimous decision victory over Muhammad Ali in 1971.

Despite Foreman’s superior size and reach, he was considered a significant underdog, with odds of 3:1 against him going into the fight.

The highly anticipated showdown, known as the “Sunshine Showdown,” took place on January 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica. In a stunning turn of events, Foreman dominated the fight and secured the championship by way of TKO.

The fight’s iconic moment was captured by Howard Cosell’s memorable call, “Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!” This epic battle featured Frazier, with a record of 29–0 (25 KO), facing Foreman, who held a perfect record of 37–0 (34 KO).

Frazier was knocked down a total of six times by Foreman within just two rounds (the three-knockdown rule was not in effect for this bout).

After the second knockdown, Frazier’s ability to maintain balance and mobility was severely compromised, making him unable to effectively evade Foreman’s combinations.

Although Frazier managed to rise to his feet for all six knockdowns, referee Arthur Mercante eventually halted the one-sided contest.

Following his victory over Frazier, Foreman continued his reign as heavyweight champion. He successfully defended his title twice during his initial championship tenure.

Foreman vs. José Roman

Foreman’s first title defense took place in Tokyo, where he faced José Roman, the Puerto Rican Heavyweight Champion. Roman, while not considered a top contender, had notable victories against decent opponents, including EBU champion Spain Jose Manuel Urtain.

He was ranked as the number-seven heavyweight by The Ring in their March 1973 rankings. In a swift and devastating performance, Foreman dispatched Roman in just two minutes, achieving one of the fastest knockouts in heavyweight championship history.

Foreman vs. Ken Norton:

Foreman’s next title defense was against the highly respected Ken Norton in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1974. Norton, known for his awkward crossed-arm boxing style, crab-like defense, and heavy punching, had previously broken Muhammad Ali’s jaw in a points victory.

Norton had also performed well against Ali in their two matches, winning the first on points and coming close to victory in the second. However, Norton had a reputation for showing nerves against heavy hitters, which began with this fight against Foreman.

After an evenly matched first round, Foreman landed a devastating uppercut in the second round, staggering Norton and forcing him into the ropes. Norton, clearly not having fully recovered, did not hit the canvas but continued on wobbly legs.

Shortly afterward, he went down two more times in rapid succession, prompting the referee to intervene and stop the fight. This bout became known as the “Caracas Caper.”

With victories over two top-ranked opponents, Foreman’s record improved to an impressive 40–0, with 37 of those wins coming by way of knockout. His reign as heavyweight champion was marked by a string of dominant performances and established him as one of the most formidable boxers of his era.

Foreman vs. Ali

George Foreman’s next title defense, which took place on October 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire, against Muhammad Ali, was a historic and iconic event in the world of boxing. This bout, widely promoted as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” not only lived up to its immense hype but also surpassed all expectations.

The lead-up to the fight had its share of drama and challenges. In mid-September, while training in Zaire, Foreman suffered a cut above his eye, leading to the postponement of the match by one month. This injury had a significant impact on Foreman’s preparation, as it prevented him from engaging in sparring sessions to avoid reopening the cut. Reflecting on this situation, Foreman later remarked, “That was the best thing that happened to Ali when we were in Africa—the fact that I had to get ready for the fight without being able to box.”

During this period, Ali used the time wisely to tour Zaire and connect with the local population, endearing himself to the public. He also took every opportunity to taunt Foreman and engage in psychological warfare to unsettle his opponent.

Foreman entered the fight as the favored champion, given his previous dominant performances. He had convincingly defeated the undefeated heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and dispatched the formidable challenger Ken Norton, both within two rounds, further solidifying his reputation as a formidable force in the boxing world.

As the “Rumble in the Jungle” drew near, the stage was set for an epic showdown between two iconic fighters, each with their own unique strengths and strategies. The anticipation surrounding this historic bout reached a fever pitch, making it one of the most memorable moments in the history of professional boxing.

The next phase of George Foreman’s career featured a series of notable fights and events:

The “Rumble in the Jungle” Against Muhammad Ali:

In the historic “Rumble in the Jungle” on October 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire, Foreman faced Muhammad Ali. Ali began the fight more aggressively than expected, using superior punching speed to outscore Foreman.

However, in the second round, Ali retreated to the ropes, using a tactic known as the “rope-a-dope.” He shielded his head and counter-punched Foreman at every opportunity.

Foreman, known for his vicious body punches, struggled to land significant blows to Ali’s head. The fight took an unexpected turn when Ali used the loose ring ropes to lean back and evade Foreman’s wild swings.

As the bout progressed, Ali absorbed heavy body punches in exchange for opportunities to land hard jolts to Foreman’s head.

Ali later admitted that he was “out on his feet” twice during the fight. Foreman began to tire, and his punches lost power and accuracy. Ali, gaining confidence, taunted the exhausted champion relentlessly.

By the middle of the bout, Foreman had been reduced to pawing and landing ineffective blows. In the eighth round, Ali launched a series of powerful right hooks to the side and back of Foreman’s head, leaving him dazed and stumbling backward.

A combination of a solid left hook and a straight right to Foreman’s jaw sent him crashing to the canvas. This marked the first time in Foreman’s career that he had been knocked down.

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Despite Foreman’s efforts, he couldn’t recover, and the referee stopped the fight. Foreman later reflected on the bout, acknowledging that “it just wasn’t my night.”

There were also claims that Foreman had been drugged by his trainer before the fight. While Foreman sought a rematch with Ali, it didn’t materialize, leading to speculations that Ali might have been avoiding a second encounter. However, Ali continued to take on formidable opponents like Ron Lyle, Joe Frazier, and Ken Norton.

Return to the Ring: Foreman vs. Five:
In 1975, George Foreman attempted to rekindle interest in his career with an exhibition match billed as “Foreman vs. Five.” The event was designed to showcase Foreman’s knockout power as he faced five different opponents in one night.

However, criticism arose when it was revealed that the opponents were journeyman fighters with subpar records. The crowd’s response was mixed, with some fans jeering Foreman and chanting “Ali! Ali! Ali.”

Foreman managed to defeat his first three opponents by knockout but was unable to beat the last two, who received applause for lasting against the former champion. This event raised questions about Foreman’s abilities, and doubts about his career persisted until his comeback against Ron Lyle.

Foreman vs. Ron Lyle:

In 1976, Foreman announced his professional comeback and aimed to secure a rematch with Muhammad Ali. His first opponent was Ron Lyle, who had been defeated by Ali in 1975 via an 11th-round TKO. Lyle was ranked as the fifth-best heavyweight in the world at that time, according to The Ring.

The fight with Lyle started with an explosive first round, with Lyle landing a hard right that sent Foreman staggering across the ring. In the second round, Foreman pounded Lyle against the ropes, and had it not been for a timekeeping error, he might have secured a KO.

The fight became a brutal slugfest in the fourth round, with both fighters taking heavy blows. Lyle knocked Foreman down twice in this round, but Foreman retaliated with a powerful right that sent Lyle to the canvas for the count.

Foreman ultimately won the fight by KO. The fight was later named “The Fight of the Year” by The Ring.

Foreman vs. Joe Frazier II:

Foreman’s next bout saw him face Joe Frazier in a rematch. Despite Frazier’s earlier loss to Foreman and his tough bout with Ali in Manila, he agreed to the rematch.

The fight began competitively, with Frazier using quick head movements to evade Foreman’s powerful punches. However, Foreman eventually floored Frazier twice in the fifth round, leading to the fight’s stoppage.

Foreman continued his comeback with victories over Scott LeDoux and prospect John Dino Denis in 1976, further solidifying his return to the boxing world.

Foreman vs. Young

In 1977, George Foreman had a life-changing year. After defeating Pedro Agosto in a four-round knockout in Pensacola, Florida, Foreman traveled to Puerto Rico just a day before a fight without giving himself time to acclimatize. His opponent was the skilled boxer Jimmy Young, known for his win against Ron Lyle and a controversial decision loss to Muhammad Ali the previous year.

Foreman adopted a cautious approach in the fight, allowing Young to settle into the match. Young constantly complained about Foreman pushing him, resulting in Foreman having a point deducted by the referee, although Young was never warned for his persistent holding.

While Foreman did hurt Young in the seventh round, he couldn’t deliver a finishing blow. Foreman’s energy waned in the second half of the fight, and he even suffered a knockdown in the twelfth round, ultimately losing by unanimous decision.

After the fight, Foreman became seriously ill in his dressing room. He experienced exhaustion and heatstroke and described having a near-death experience. During this experience, he felt he was in a frightening place of despair and nothingness.

In this moment, he began to plead with God for help and realized he was in the midst of death. Despite not being religious at the time, Foreman sensed God asking him to change his life and ways. He recounted saying, “I don’t care if this is death – I still believe there is a God!”

Following this profound experience, Foreman became a born-again Christian, dedicating the next decade of his life to God. While he didn’t formally retire from boxing, Foreman stopped fighting and became an ordained minister.

He started preaching on street corners and became the minister of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Houston. He also devoted his time to his family and congregation and opened a youth center bearing his name.

Foreman shared his experience on Christian television broadcasts, such as The 700 Club and the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Foreman surprised the boxing world in 1987 by announcing a comeback at the age of 38, after being away from the ring for a decade. He cited a need to raise money for the youth center he had established, which had consumed much of his earnings from his initial boxing career.

Another motivation was the desire to fight Mike Tyson. Foreman’s first fight was against journeyman Steve Zouski, which he won by knockout in four rounds. At the time, Foreman appeared out of shape and weighed 267 pounds.

He argued that his comeback was aimed at demonstrating that age should not be a barrier to achieving one’s goals. Foreman gradually improved his fitness and won four more fights that year. In 1988, he won nine fights, including a seventh-round knockout of former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

Foreman had always been a deliberate fighter, and he hadn’t lost much mobility in the ring since his first retirement. He could still land heavy single blows, although he struggled with balance after throwing big punches and could no longer throw rapid combinations.

His late-round fatigue had improved, and he could comfortably compete for 12 rounds.

By 1989, Foreman had also become a pitchman for various products, most notably the successful George Foreman Grill. His public image transformed from the intimidating, aloof champion to a cheerful, friendly figure who engaged in self-deprecating humor on shows like The Tonight Show.

He befriended Muhammad Ali and, like Ali, became a celebrity outside of boxing. Foreman continued his winning streak, securing victories against notable opponents like Bert Cooper.

In 1990, Foreman faced former title challenger Gerry Cooney in Atlantic City. Although Cooney wobbled Foreman in the first round, Foreman landed powerful punches in the second round, knocking Cooney down twice and securing a KO victory. Foreman won four more fights that year.

The following year, Foreman received an opportunity to challenge undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield for the world title in a pay-per-view event. Despite being a 42-year-old underdog, Foreman entered the contest with determination.

Although he lost on points, Foreman demonstrated resilience by lasting the full 12 rounds against Holyfield.

Foreman continued his comeback with victories against opponents like Alex Stewart and Tommy Morrison, although he didn’t secure a world title during this period.

In 1993, he also starred in the situation comedy “George” on ABC, co-produced by actor and former boxer Tony Danza. The show featured Foreman as a retired boxer and ran for ten episodes, with nine of them airing.

Second reign as heavyweight champion

Foreman vs. Moorer

In 1994, George Foreman once again pursued a chance to compete for the world championship, following Michael Moorer’s victory over Evander Holyfield for the IBF and WBA titles.

At this point, Foreman faced challenges in his career, particularly due to his recent loss to Tommy Morrison, which left him unranked and seemingly without a shot at another title.

However, Foreman’s enduring popularity in the world of boxing made a title shot against Moorer, who was 19 years his junior, an enticing opportunity for the champion with seemingly little risk.

The title bout between Foreman and Moorer occurred on November 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Foreman notably wore the same red trunks he had worn in his memorable title loss to Muhammad Ali 20 years prior.

Going into this match, Foreman was considered a significant underdog. For the first nine rounds, Moorer displayed superior boxing skills, landing punches and effectively evading Foreman’s advances. Foreman, on the other hand, seemed to struggle to unleash his punches.

As the 10th round began, Foreman was trailing on all scorecards. However, in a dramatic turn of events, Foreman staged a remarkable comeback in that round, landing a series of powerful punches.

Then, a short right hand connected with Moorer’s chin, causing a gash on his lower lip, and Moorer collapsed to the canvas. He remained flat on the canvas as the referee began the count.

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In an unforgettable moment, Foreman had recaptured the world championship he had lost to Muhammad Ali two decades earlier. After the knockout, he returned to his corner and knelt in prayer as the arena erupted in cheers.

This historic victory earned Foreman a place in the record books in three significant ways: Firstly, at the age of 45, he became the oldest fighter ever to win a world championship.

Secondly, he set a new record for the fighter with the longest gap between his first and second world championships, achieving this feat 20 years after his initial title loss. Lastly, the 19-year age difference between the champion and the challenger marked the largest age gap in any heavyweight boxing championship fight.

Foreman vs. Schulz

Shortly after George Foreman’s 1994 victory over Michael Moorer, he began discussing the possibility of a superfight with Mike Tyson, who was then the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

In 1995, Foreman was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “If he doesn’t sign with Don King, we’ll fight before the end of the year… I can’t be bothered having trouble with Don King.

Every contract has some complication.” However, Tyson ultimately signed with Don King (and later sued him for $100 million), leading to the bout never materializing.

During this time, the WBA insisted that Foreman defend his title against their number-one challenger, who happened to be Tony Tucker. Tucker, though competent, was considered past his prime. For reasons that were not entirely clear, Foreman declined to fight Tucker, resulting in the WBA stripping him of that belt.

On April 22, 1995, Foreman defended his remaining IBF title against Axel Schulz, a relatively lesser-known German boxer. Schulz utilized a strong jab from a distance and grew in confidence as the fight unfolded.

Foreman finished the fight with swelling over one eye but was awarded a controversial majority decision. The IBF subsequently ordered an immediate rematch to be held in Germany, but Foreman refused the terms and was consequently stripped of his remaining title. Nevertheless, he continued to be recognized as the Lineal Heavyweight Champion during this period.

Post-title career

Foreman vs. Briggs

In 1996, George Foreman made a return to Tokyo, where he secured a comfortable victory over the unrated Crawford Grimsley through a 12-round decision. The following year, in 1997, he faced contender Lou Savarese and emerged victorious in a closely contested decision, in what was a grueling and highly competitive encounter.

Shortly after, Foreman was presented with another significant opportunity as the WBC (World Boxing Council) arranged a bout against Shannon Briggs in a 1997 “eliminator bout.” The winner of this fight would earn the right to face WBC champion Lennox Lewis.

Throughout the 12 rounds of this intense bout, Foreman consistently landed powerful punches, often rocking Briggs. Almost everyone in attendance believed Foreman was the clear victor.

However, much like Foreman’s previous contentious decision with Axel Schulz, the result of this fight stirred controversy. This time, though, the decision went in favor of Foreman’s opponent, with Briggs being awarded a majority decision.

The judges’ scores were 114–114, 117–113, and 116–112 for Briggs. At the age of 48, George Foreman had fought his final professional fight.

Second retirement

George Foreman’s post-boxing career was marked by a few notable ventures. He was scheduled to host a travelogue series called “The Walt Disney Magic Hour,” which would explore Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

This show was originally slated to debut as part of PAX’s inaugural lineup in 1998 but, unfortunately, never made it to air.

Following his gracious and philosophical response to his loss against Shannon Briggs, Foreman announced his “final” retirement from boxing. However, he had plans for a comeback bout against Larry Holmes in 1999.

This fight was set to take place at the Houston Astrodome and was dubbed “The Birthday Bash” as both fighters had birthdays coming up. Foreman was slated to earn $10 million, while Holmes was set to make $4 million.

Unfortunately, negotiations fell through, and the fight was canceled. Despite this setback, Foreman remained closely connected to the sport of boxing and became a respected boxing analyst for HBO.

Although Foreman initially stated he had no intention of resuming his boxing career, he surprised many by announcing in February 2004 that he was training for one more comeback fight.

His goal was to prove that at the age of 55, much like at 40, life still held opportunities. The specific opponent was not disclosed, although there were rumors it might be Trevor Berbick.

Ultimately, this comeback bout never materialized, with many speculating that Foreman’s wife played a significant role in this change of plans. Subsequently, George Foreman left the world of boxing, departing from HBO to explore other opportunities.

Other works

In 2022, George Foreman made an unexpected appearance in the entertainment world by participating in season eight of the popular show “The Masked Singer.” He took on the persona of “Venus Fly Trap” on the show.

Unfortunately, Foreman’s journey on the show came to an end during “Hall of Fame Night,” where he was eliminated alongside George Clinton, who was performing as “Gopher.”

In addition to his television appearance, Foreman took on a role as an executive producer for a 2023 Christian film titled “Big George Foreman.” This film is based on his life story, highlighting both his remarkable sporting career and his spiritual journey.

It offers viewers a unique glimpse into the various facets of Foreman’s life and experiences.

Personal life

George Foreman has been married to Mary Joan Martelly since 1985. However, before this marriage, he had four previous marriages. His previous marriages were to Adrienne Calhoun from 1971 to 1974, Cynthia Lewis from 1977 to 1979, Sharon Goodson from 1981 to 1982, and Andrea Skeete from 1982 to 1985.

George Foreman is the father of twelve children, consisting of five sons and seven daughters. His five sons are named George Jr., George III (“Monk”), George IV (“Big Wheel”), George V (“Red”), and George VI (“Little Joey”).

Foreman has explained that he intentionally gave all his sons the name George Edward Foreman so that they would always share a common bond. He emphasized the idea that they rise and fall together, demonstrating a strong sense of unity within the family.

George III, like his father, pursued a career in boxing and entrepreneurship. George IV appeared on the second season of the reality television series “American Grit,” where he finished in seventh place.

George Foreman’s seven daughters are Natalia, Leola, Freeda, Michi, Georgetta, Isabella, and Courtney. Natalia and Leola are from his marriage to Mary Joan Martelly. His daughters from different relationships include Freeda, Michi, and Georgetta. Additionally, he adopted a daughter, Isabella Brandie Lilja (Foreman), in 2009, and another daughter, Courtney Isaac (Foreman), in 2012.

Unfortunately, Freeda Foreman, who had a 5–1 record as a professional boxer, retired in 2001, and tragically passed away in 2019 at the age of 42 in an apparent suicide. Isabella Foreman currently resides in Sweden and has been active in blogging since 2010 under the name BellaNeutella.

George Foreman’s contributions to his community and his patriotism were recognized when he received the James V. Day “Good Guy” Award from the American Legion during its 95th National Convention in 2013. This award highlighted his dedication to service and his positive impact on society.

George Foreman Grill

When George Foreman made his comeback from retirement, he attributed his success to his commitment to healthy eating. It was during this time that he was approached by Salton, Inc., which was seeking a spokesperson for its innovative fat-reducing grill. This partnership led to the creation of the iconic George Foreman Grill.

As of 2009, the George Foreman Grill had become an incredibly successful product, with over 100 million units sold worldwide. While Foreman has not publicly disclosed the exact amount he earned from this endorsement, it’s known that Salton, Inc. paid him a staggering $138 million in 1999 for the rights to use his name in association with the grill.

Prior to this significant deal, Foreman received about 40% of the profits from each grill sold, which, at its peak, translated to around $4.5 million per month in payouts.

This arrangement resulted in an estimated total income of over $200 million from the endorsement alone, making it a more lucrative endeavor for Foreman than his earnings from his career as a professional boxer.

 

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