George Foreman

HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD

George Foreman

MY MOM’S WORDS FOLLOWED ME

   For years, I would hear my dear mother say that all of the time.... "Oh, Lord!" I didn't understand that. I figured that one day I was going to have enough money so that I would never hear my mother say those words again, "Oh, Lord."

   Boxing promoters promised me, "George, one day you are going to have lots of cars, fleets of Cadillacs, and you can be very rich. You can have anything you've ever wanted." So, I turned professional.

   My career really took off with one knockout after another. I wanted to become rich and famous and be the heavyweight champion of the world so I could stop my dear mother from saying, "Oh, Lord." I just didn't want to be poor anymore. I wanted those fleets of Cadillacs.

   One night in Kingston, Jamaica, I was there to fight Joe Frazier. My manager and I knew that if you hit Joe Frazier, he actually liked it. If you missed him, he got upset. There came that moment where you stand face to face and stare at each other. I looked at him right in the eye. I thought, "I hope Joe Frazier doesn't look down, because then he would see that my knees were knocking." But after two rounds, I was the heavyweight champion of the world!!

   Now, I was the heavyweight champion of the world and I had the fleets of Cadillacs and a lot of money.

   I just didn't believe in this religious stuff. It didn't seem real. I had money and everything, what did I need to pray for? That is how I felt about it.

   I kept winning and winning.

   Then the time came to fight Ali in Zaire. I thought I would go over there and knock him out in two or three rounds. I would collect my money and go back home. I felt like no one could stand up to my power. Ali kept talking to me, "I am the greatest. I am the greatest." I thought, "Yeah, right."

   I beat Ali up in the first few rounds. About the sixth round, when I was really doing great, I hit him in the side and he fell on me and he whispered in my ear, "Is that all you've got, George?" I admitted to myself, "Yep, that's about it."

  georgeForeman The next thing I knew I was in trouble. I was looking for an exit. I was lying on the floor, being counted, "One, two, and three...." I looked up and there was Ali screaming, "I told you." I thought, "Boy, if I could get my hands on him again!" You've heard of "Rope a dope"? Well, I'm the dope!

   I knew I would kill him next time. The next time I was going to stop Ali forever. So I started training hard. I once again became the number one contender in the world. I sent that money back to momma and she still said, "Oh, Lord!"

   I fought a young man by the name of Kenny Young. By the tenth round he knocked me down. After twelve rounds, the decision was made. I thought, "No big deal to me. That didn't mean anything to me. He deserved a knockout. I can go back to my fame." Afterwards, I waited around in my hot dressing room.

   I reflected in the dressing room as I was cooling clown. I thought. "I am still George Foreman. I still have my contract with ABC Sports. I am still rich. I still have money in the hank. I can go back to my ranch in Marshall, Texas and retire if I wanted...and DIE!"

   How did "die" get into my thought process? Wait a minute.

   For years, I would hear my dear mother say that all of the time.... "Oh, Lord!" I didn't understand that. I figured that one day I was going to have enough money so that I would never hear my mother say those words again, "Oh, Lord."

   Boxing promoters promised me, "George, one day you are going to have lots of cars, fleets of Cadillacs, and you can be very rich. You can have anything you've ever wanted." So, I turned professional.

   My career really took off with one knockout after another. I wanted to become rich and famous and be the heavyweight champion of the world so I could stop my dear mother from saying, "Oh, Lord." I just didn't want to be poor anymore. I wanted those fleets of Cadillacs.

   One night in Kingston, Jamaica, I was there to fight Joe Frazier. My manager and I knew that if you hit Joe Frazier, he actually liked it. If you missed him, he got upset. There came that moment where you stand face to face and stare at each other. I looked at him right in the eye. I thought, "I hope Joe Frazier doesn't look down, because then he would see that my knees were knocking." But after two rounds, I was the heavyweight champion of the world!!

   Now, I was the heavyweight champion of the world and I had the fleets of Cadillacs and a lot of money.

   I just didn't believe in this religious stuff. It didn't seem real. I had money and everything, what did I need to pray for? That is how I felt about it.

   I kept winning and winning.

 Then the time came to fight Ali in Zaire. I thought I would go over there and knock him out in two or three rounds. I would collect my money and go back home. I felt like no one could stand up to my power. Ali kept talking to me, "I am the greatest. I am the greatest." I thought, "Yeah, right."

   I heat Ali up in the first few rounds. About the sixth round, when I was really doing great, I hit him in the side and he fell on me and he whispered in my ear, "Is that all you've got, George?" I admitted to myself, "Yep, that's about it."

   The next thing I knew I was in trouble. I was looking for an exit. I was lying on the floor, being counted, "One, two, and three...." I looked up and there was Ali screaming, "I told you." I thought, "Boy, if I could get my hands on him again!" You've heard of "Rope a dope"? Well, I'm the dope!

   I knew I would kill him next time. The next time I was going to stop Ali forever. So I started training hard. I once again became the number one contender in the world. I sent that money back to momma and she still said, "Oh, Lord!"

   I fought a young man by the name of Kenny Young. By the tenth round he knocked me down. After twelve rounds, the decision was made. I thought, "No big deal to me. That didn't mean anything to me. He deserved a knockout. I can go back to my fame." Afterwards, I waited around in my hot dressing room.

   I reflected in the dressing room as I was cooling clown. I thought. "I am still George Foreman. I still have my contract with ABC Sports. I am still rich. I still have money in the hank. I can go back to my ranch in Marshall, Texas and retire if I wanted...and DIE!"

   How did "die" get into my thought process? Wait a minute.  I've got safe deposit boxes and money in the bank. I could retire right now and die. How did that DIE get in there? But I had all this strength. I'm not going to die. That boxing match didn't mean anything to me, I wanted my life!! I started walking real fast. After all, I had to keep my life in me.

   A voice said to me, "Do you believe in God?" Sure, I do. "If you believe in God, then why are you scared to die?" Wait a minute. Everybody believes in God. I did believe in God, but I just didn't believe in this religious stuff. I thought, "I've been rich all these years. I can buy anything I want. Okay, I am still George Foreman. I can box and give money to charities, etc."

   I heard a voice say to me, "I don't want your money. I want you!" I then knew it was God. I was given a chance to hear something that I had never heard before. I said, "God, I believe in you..."

   But before I could say another word, my legs gave out. Just like that, I was gone "out of this life." I was in this deep, dark nothing.

   It was like someone had drug me off into a deep sea. There was nothing to hold onto. I was gone and I was dead. I looked behind me and I saw everything I had ever worked for: my money, my stock, my safe deposit box, but it was as if someone took a match to all of it. It was gone. I knew there wasn't any hope for me.

   Then I got mad. I said, "I don't care if this here is death, I will still love you God." When I said that, it was as if a giant hand reached in and pulled me out of that dark place. I believed in God. The guys picked me up off the dressing room floor and put me on the table. I could feel blood flowing through my veins, so I was no longer afraid. I laid back and realized that if I was dying, I was going to die with God. I said, "Dr. Webb, move your hand, because the thorns on his head are making him bleed." I saw blood coming down my face. I hadn't been cut in a boxing match. I saw blood. "You're bleeding where they crucified him!" I jumped off the table and yelled, "Jesus Christ has come alive in me!" I told the guys that I had to clean myself. I ran for the shower and washed myself. "Hallelujah. I am clean. I have been born-again!"

   "I've got to go out and save the world," I yelled. I started telling people about Jesus Christ. I had a new strength, but it was through Jesus.

   I experienced all kinds of riches, but at that moment in that dressing room, I felt everything I ever wanted to feel. In less than six seconds, I had everything that I had ever wanted in my life. Then they rushed me to intensive care.

   That was almost thirty years ago. Little by little, people started calling me, "Brother George" or "Old Rev." I was ordained a minister and to this day I am a preacher in the church of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

   My life is proof that God never gives up. But, you cannot make that boxing champion money as a preacher. I finally told my wife that I was broke, and that I had to go back into boxing. That was the only business that I really knew. She said, "Don't do it. They are going to kill you." I gathered my kids around the table and said, "What do you think?" They looked at me with that look of "Go get food!" I knew then what I had to do.

   I kept boxing and people laughed at me. They made all kinds of jokes about George Foreman. "He will never be champion again. He is too old." But in 1994, I became the oldest man to ever regain the championship of the world!

   God made me very successful in all kinds of businesses. I believe the scripture that says, "Whatsoever my hand touches, I shall prosper." Put your hand in His hand. Everything you touch will prosper. God has taken me into all kinds of places in the world, but I have never forgotten to tell this same story, that Jesus Christ is alive in me!

   There is no better thing to do, even today, than to give Jesus Christ your life. I asked God to take my life and use it. I have been able to travel around the world and tell people about how great God has been to me. It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter how many times you have heard your mother say, "Oh, Lord!" It doesn't matter how broke you are.

   But God took me and made me everything I could have dreamed of; and even more. Our living God can do the same for you. It doesn't matter who you are or where you have come from. Just give him your life. Remember, God doesn't want your money. He wants YOU!

   "Oh, Lord!"

George Foreman Hearing His Voice Testimony

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