A Review of George Foreman's Book, "God In My Corner" (c) 2007

george foreman05.06.07 - By John Howard: If you're looking for a book on boxing don't buy George Foreman's latest book "God In My Corner." Let me suggest something by Bert Sugar, Thomas Hauser, or the late Jack Newfield for that. But if you're looking for a book to lead you through the journey of life while being happy and content, then this is the perfect book for you.

This isn't a book on boxing but a spiritual journey. The last time I got this pumped up reading a book was when "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren came out. At times, while reading Foreman's book, I felt like I was reading the New Testament with a little Old Testament thrown in for good measure. George gives more spiritual advice than the Dalai Lama. In his book, Foreman remembers Grants Pass, Oregon as the place where he started to turn his life around.

His first life anyway -- the life before he found Jesus Christ. This was the surly, mean, anger and hatred motivated Foreman and, by his own account, an empty and miserable young man.

Foreman was headed to a life of crime in Texas when he saw a TV ad with football players Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas touting the Job Corps, a federal program for troubled youths. Foreman landed at a Job Corps facility at what is now Rogue Community College.

Foreman spent six months with the Job Corps in Grants Pass in the middle 1960's. He would go on to win an Olympic Gold Medal in 1968 and become heavyweight champion of the world in 1973.

Then came the devastating loss to Muhammad Ali in 1974. On page fifteen of his book, Foreman makes an amazing revelation about being drugged by someone in his own camp prior to his fight with Ali. As he drinks a glass of water handed to him by his trainer, Foreman takes a swig and almost spits it out. "Hey, this water tastes like it has medicine in it!" After his trainer reassures him the water is fine, Foreman drinks down the rest of it.

By the end of the second round, according to Foreman, his energy dwindled faster than any of his previous boxing matches. After the third round, he's as tired as if he'd fought fifteen rounds. Then comes the eight round when Ali puts Foreman on the canvas and his world comes tumbling down along with the heavyweight title.

Foreman tells of the $25,000 he paid to the referee before the Ali fight. The money was intended to keep the referee from disqualifying him. He revealed this years ago in a Sports Illustrated interview. Foreman claims Ali's management team gave the referee $35,000.

On March 17, 1977 in San Juan, Puerto Rico comes the spiritual awakening. The transformation. The day the old George Foreman died. On an extremely hot night, and matched against the late Jimmy Young, Foreman loses a decision and a probable rematch with Ali is now out of the question.

In the dressing room after the fight, Foreman loses consciousness and is taken to the trainer's table for observation by a physician. According to Foreman, he left his body and was "transported into darkness." Upon awakening, he becomes overcome by God and shouts out "JESUS CHRIST IS COMING ALIVE IN ME!"

The book goes on to talk about how Foreman became a street preacher until he finally gets the chance to Pastor the Church Of The Lord Jesus Christ in Houston, Texas. He has mended his past wrongs, or at least attempted to, with people in his "past" life, the non - Christian life. For the first time in his life, Foreman is at peace.

Then comes bankruptcy and a return to the ring at thirty-seven years old. Despite being over a hundred pounds heavier, this ill-advised comeback was intended to fund the George Foreman Youth and Community Center. After two unsuccessful attempts at the heavyweight championship, finally, on November 4, 1994 he becomes the oldest heavyweight champion of all time at the age of forty-five. He also broke the record for a boxer with the most time between one world championship and the next -- twenty years. Remarkable!

"Big George" Foreman. Reverend, pitchman, heavyweight champ, Olympic Gold Medalist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, commentator, and a family man. But more importantly, a man at peace.

Article posted on 05.06.2007

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