Former heavyweight champion George Foreman faces his toughest test after revealing an alleged extortion plot by two women.
Allegations of historical sexual abuse came to the fore when “Big George” released a statement through his team.
The former Muhammad Ali opponent and two-time world ruler stated he would fight to clear his name and good reputational standing.
George Foreman statement
“Over the past six months, two women have been trying to extort millions of dollars each from my family and me,” stated Foreman.
“They falsely claim that I sexually abused them over 45 years ago in the 1970s.”
The 73-year-old added that he’d done nothing wrong: “I adamantly and categorically deny these allegations.
“The pride I take in my reputation means as much to me as my sports accomplishments. I will not be intimidated by baseless threats and lies.”
Defend in court
He concluded: “I am, and always will be, guided by my faith and trust in God.
“I will work with my lawyers to fully and truthfully expose my accusers’ scheme. I’ll defend myself in court.
“I don’t pick fights, but I don’t run away from them either.”
Foreman is a beloved member of the boxing community and never has a bad word to say about anyone. He built those foundations after years of being a fearsome competitor.
Until losing to Ali in 1974, Foreman had a fearsome reputation. The media portrayed him as a pulseless robot with a one-track knockout mind.
After the Ali fight in Kinshasa, Foreman got humbled by the experience. He spoke about it recently:
“Ali was a wonderful man. But human is so diverse.
“There is no ‘good standard” ‘for any [one]. He won cause he outfought me. I am a human being. That’s all.”
On the crowd chanting for Ali and whether he said anything to “The Greatest” when the dust settled, Foreman said: “Not a word. I wish I’d congratulated him. What a feat!
“The people of Zaire treated me with great respect, but somehow the truth got masked. Everyone has the right to cheer for their choice.”
Foreman stepped away from boxing in the late 1970s for a decade. He came back with a renewed zest for life.
Eventually, Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in history in November 1994 – a full twenty years from the Ali reverse.
“So many times with victories, I was as surprised as anyone else. With defeats, I was only experiencing what many before me already knew,” Foreman said of his career.
“Applause made me happy. But they belonged to the arenas before I was born with no pride or gratefulness. No one likes losing; As an athlete, I was no different.
“After a loss, I thought about “no injury,” – so I am truly happy.
“If I really want a bright future, truly I want to look back at the past with fondness. Winning and losing are about the same; participating is tops, and with friendship, we make rules.”
Airing his thoughts on the sport today, George Foreman stated: “It’s pretty much the same.
“Every now and then, someone does the remarkable. But I see little change. For years they are big; then small. Just men with dreams.”
He now faces his biggest fight – to clear his name.
George Foreman has since deleted his social media as he focuses on his impending legal battle.