George Foreman’s Son Remembers Muhammad Ali
Foreman by Jim Smith
BOSTON (CBS) — George Foreman’s son remembers Muhammad Ali as one of his father’s toughest competitors.
After being hospitalized on Thursday, “The People’s Champion” died at the age of 74 late Friday.
In 1974, Ali and Foreman fought in the classic “Rumble in the Jungle” bout in Zaire.
“When someone like that passes, you’re just in disbelief,” George Foreman III told WBZ on Saturday afternoon. “It still doesn’t seem real.”
What you may not realize was Foreman and Ali were also great friends.
“Prior to the Rumble in the Jungle, they were buddies and would get on the phone and tease one another,” Foreman III said.
“Then they were competitors, but after that my Dad retired in the late 70s, they became friends and by the 80s it was kind of a love affair. They would take care of each other.”
He also remembers speaking with Ali about four years ago.
“When you meet him, what you remember is the scene that followed him around him,” he says. “There was always 30, 40, 50, 60 people everywhere he was and the energy just exuding off him.
“That’s what I would remember about Muhammad.”
But despite all of Ali’s fame, the lingering memory here is Ali the man.
“He’d give you the shirt off his back to everybody,” he said. “He never didn’t sign an autograph. He shook every hand, kissed every baby, and if he had a dollar in his pocket he was going to give it to you.
“To the very last day, he was that generous.”