Associated Press - February 26, 2004
LAS VEGAS (AP) - George Foreman built a lucrative second career making fun of his waistline and love of hamburgers.
He insists he's not joking about his latest comeback attempt at the age of 55.
``I need an adventure in my life,'' Foreman said. ``At 55, it's time to do it.''
That adventure will take place on Foreman's terms, assuming he can get down in weight and get boxing regulators in some state to allow him to
It won't be against Mike Tyson, or fellow geriatric fighter Larry Holmes. He has no plans to fight a top heavyweight or try for another title.
Foreman wants one fight, on live network television against a decent fighter outside of the top 10 to prove a point to himself and his fans.
``It won't be a senior tour,'' Foreman said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday night. ``I don't want to meet up with guys
like Larry Holmes and all of that. I don't want a circus, although it will be a circus. I want a competitive fight.''
Foreman denied promoter Don King's claim that he had agreed to a $20 million deal for a comeback fight. Foreman fought only once for King, when he
lost the heavyweight title 30 years ago in a big upset to Muhammad Ali in Zaire.
``I'm still looking for the half-million he was going to give me in Africa,'' Foreman said. ``Everybody says they have a verbal deal because I laugh
at everything they say.''
Foreman, who made millions in the ring and many more millions selling hamburger grills, said he would take $7 million for the fight if it could be
shown on network television.
``I really want it on free TV because I want the world to see it,'' Foreman said. ``I want it to be an extravaganza.''
Foreman says he has no timetable for the comeback fight, other than losing about 40 pounds to get down to 225, the weight at which he thinks he should
He was 260 for his last fight, in 1997 against Shannon Briggs, and he hasn't been 225 or below for 28 years, when he stopped Joe Frazier in the fifth
round of their second bout.
``I got down to 229 with (Dwight Muhammad) Qawi (in 1988), though they announced 235,'' Foreman said. ``But I didn't like the way I felt, so I got big
purposely. This time, though, I want to go down and box and show skills.''
Foreman, who became the oldest heavyweight champion ever when he stopped Michael Moorer in November 1994 at the age of 45, said he's more interested
in the adventure than any money he can make.
Since retiring, Foreman has worked as a commentator for HBO. He's quitting that, though, and his last show is Saturday night when Jesus Chavez defends
his 130-pound title against Erik Morales in Las Vegas.
``A lot of people want me to sit and eat the hors d'oeuvres, drive my Ferrari to the Krogers and come back home to be overjoyed my stock is doing
well,'' Foreman said. ``You get to be 55 and are you still an American who can dream? I'm a dreamer, and this is another dream.''