Foreman's world heavyweight destiny arrived on January 22, 1973 against Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica. Frazier was the favourite going into the bout, but Foreman knocked him out in the second round to win the world title.
Foreman successfully defended his title twice. He beat Puerto Rican heavyweight champion Jose Roman in 50 seconds; Foreman also beat Ken Norton (who had just beaten Muhammad Ali) in two rounds.
The much-hyped "Rumble in the Jungle" against Ali arrived in 1974 in Zaire. Foreman's preparation had been dogged by injury and Ali finally won the world title.
After taking 1975 off, Foreman returned to boxing, winning a number of fights before losing by decision to Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico in 1977. It was in his dressing room after the fight that Foreman had a spiritual experience. "What happened to me in that room is so incredibly bizarre. Simply stated, I died and went to the other side. The experience impacted me so profoundly that three decades later I can't go a single day without thinking about it." He then gave up boxing. The event transformed him and He described himself as a born-again Christian. Foreman then devoted himself to a host of ministries as a way to serve Jesus. However, to support these many ministries, at the age of 45, he returned to the ring and regained his Heavyweight title. His final record was a 76-5 record.
Foreman was ordained a minister and began preaching in his hometown of Houston, Texas. In 1984, he founded the George Foreman Youth and Community Center, a non-denominational place for kids who need direction like he once did. (www.georgeforeman.com)
George's Favorite Scripture:
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the
counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of
sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his
law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does
not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the
wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the
judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the
For the LORD watches over the way of the
righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.