He is at the very top of the list when speaking of the sports’ living legends, and George Foreman was kind enough to chat about boxing current events while traveling abroad, in Iceland.
The 70 year Hall of Famer shared that he was in Iceland, because as a hobby he raises Icelandic horses. He has done so for 27 years and he finally decided he wanted to see them on their turf. “They are beautiful, the countryside is a lot of volcanic action, you can see what was lava flow, and then you look on the side, you see them, standing calm and nice, they can take any kind of weather, they are calm and nice,” Foreman said.
Then we shifted to boxing matters; we touched on that Dec. 7 heavyweight rematch, between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua. That rumble will unfold in Saudi Arabia, and that choice has drawn chatter.
Not everyone agrees with placing it in SA. What about Foreman? He and Muhammad Ali did their Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire (October 1974), which was then run by a dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, who was seen as nakedly corrupt, in some circles.
I asked Foreman about bringing a high level prize fight promotion to a controversial place.
“There is no more controversy anywhere than there is right there in boxing itself,” said the Texas native. “So it takes a good sport like boxing to go and open up the eyes of the world…’Hey let us see for ourselves.’ All the media from all around the world will get a real bird’s eye view, and not hear what they heard someone else say. I think it’s a wonderful thing. Let all the media just fly in there, they’re not gonna stop anybody now, when Joshua and Ruiz face off. You’re going to see pictures, and action…even a little politics! I think it’s wonderful for the world that they’re even going to invite a boxing match there!”
For those that don’t know, Foreman comes from a certain place. He darn well does heavily contemplate morality and decency and within a larger construct; he’s been a preacher for five decades.
And, what about differences between 1974 and now? Social media is a game changer, yes?
“It’s wonderful, everybody’s got a voice now,” Foreman said. “You can close a mouth because of social media! Everybody can tell you everything little thing that goes on in every inch of the world, and I think it’s wonderful. A lot of us have been hurt by social media, because one rumor can get started and you’re dead in the water,” he said, but he thinks that all in all, social media is a huge net plus.
More George…He shared that yep, he reached out to Steven Seagal’s people, and made an offer of a ‘winner take all’ match in Vegas. Slap boxing, he was ready to rumble….but Seagal didn’t respond.
Also, an announcement is coming soon…He will be touting a mixed boxing-MMA project, and next week him and a partner are firming things up in Hollywood. Also, a George Foreman movie is in the works…
Lastly..Ruiz vs Joshua 2….who wins and how.
“The winner of the last one has a slight edge in my book,” he shared. Also, get this…Foreman put word out that he was willing to give AJ some tips to get the confidence back, to the Joshua people. It’s about trying to help out the loser. He might be reaching out to Ruiz next, he said.
In closing, he said: “I’ve been looking for an excuse to get to Saudi Arabia, wow this would be a good excuse.”