Beyond the Ropes: George Foreman III

By: Heath Harlem
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George “The Fighting Monk” Foreman grew up in a household sharing the same name with his father; a name that belonged to one of the sports all-time great fighters as well as one of the world’s most recognizable pitchmen.  However, as a young child his father’s fame brought the younger George and his brothers “free stuff” from the companies that his father was a pitch man for but not an early start in the ring.  “Being in the Foreman household, it was impossible for boxing not to be part of our life” stated George. His family instilled values of hard work, charity and a burning desire to go all in with every project taken on which is still part of the younger George’s DNA as he embarks on a career in the business world while becoming a heavyweight boxing prospect at the same time.
While boxing wasn’t part of his life as a young child, George grew up in a very competitive family whose bread and butter were healthy living and charity. As a child he showed some of the same personality characteristics as his father and they were both given the same nickname MONKEY, which for the younger George was shortened to MONK.   While in college a 280lb George succumbed to peer pressure from his brothers and agreed to train for what he thought was one amateur fight to get them off his back.  He was intimidated at first when he would walk into a gym and see pictures of his dad, but he eventually was able to bear down, go all in the Foreman way and get into fighting shape as George “The Fighting Monk”.  With his famous name and quite possibly a reputation for his raw ability in the ring, George couldn’t find an amateur opponent but with the persistence and blessing of his family, he dove right into beginning a professional career.  

Starting a professional career without a single amateur fight may not be the most common route to pro success, but it hasn’t stopped George from overcoming opponent after opponent put in front of him in route to a 15-0 record with 14 KOs.  While his record to date may not include the most well-known fighters in the heavyweight division, George has shown steady progress and has a very realistic approach to measuring his success.  To date he cites three fights as his greatest accomplishments.  The first fight that he sees as a real accomplishment was against Dale Mitchell in April of 2010.  While that was Mitchell’s one and only attempt in the pro boxing ring, he had much success in the MMA world.  During the first round of the fight Mitchell’s fighting experience carried him and beat George pretty good but George was able to successfully regain focus, follow his plan and finish Mitchell in round two.  In August of 2010 George faced a onetime prospect James Johnson who had a reputation for coming into fights out of shape.  With the task of facing someone with the Foreman name, Johnson decided to train hard for the fight.  George ended up going 6 rounds with Johnson earning the win on points and that decision was more satisfying than any knockout he previously recorded as it showed himself that he could in fact go the distance and outbox a quality opponent.  Lastly in October 2011 George fought Alonzo Toney and scored a 3 round knockout.  In that fight every time George put Toney down there was pressure from everyone in the building for Toney to get back up.  Foreman finally felt after that fight that he developed his own style as he didn’t get over anxious, wasn’t nervous, let the fight come to him and threw hard punches.

While a 15-0 record against professional competition is impressive enough, George feels the best rounds he has fought have taken place during training.  He feels the heavy sparing that he has done against competition greater than the fighters he faced in his pro fights have taught him much that he hasn’t had the opportunity to take into the ring.  

While he takes his fighting career very seriously, George felt it necessary to take time away from the ring after his last fight in April of this year to study for the GMAT and to focus on some personal business matters.  In the next 4-6 weeks we are going to be hearing something big from “The Fighting Monk”.  While details can’t be released in time, George promises that he will never get in to a business that he doesn’t understand and with his family’s legacy in health, fitness, and charity we can suspect that is the direction of what we are going to hear from George.  Once this project launches George will be able to get back into the ring again and continue his career.

It is important to George that he leave a legacy of charity, improving the life of others, and putting your money where your mouth is.  The currency that George believes that people should use is the time, energy and actions.  While fighters might be paid for the time in the ring, George feels that the publicity that a fighter gets is worth more than any fight check.  For those reasons he has shied away from working with the press feeling it was a waste of publicity if he didn’t have a product, business or charity to promote.  George now has those things in the works and is ready to re-launch his career in the ring as he puts together bigger projects outside the ring.

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