HOUSTON - Former heavyweight champion George Foreman, who makes his home north of Houston, spoke with FOX 26 Sports about the passing of the great Muhammad Ali minutes after the news of Ali’s death was confirmed.
“It’s like a part of me just passed with him,” Foreman said. “It’s hard for me to think about being in a world without Muhammad Ali alive.
“When I heard he was in the hospital I’ve been having tears here and there because you know you don’t want him to leave. You can pray all you want, but you don’t want to lose your friend. You don’t want to live in a world without Muhammad Ali.”
Foreman had been in contact with Ali’s family earlier in the day on Friday.
“I was in touch with his daughter and trying to encourage her because she said he was in the hospital and there was media saying some things about this and I said ‘look, he is Mr. Media,’ ” Foreman said. “ “There’s no one who loved media and the press more than Muhammad Ali.
“This is his day, just like he came on the scene by way of the press, he’s going off enjoying the fame he left the family.”
With the passing of Ali, Foreman said his life will never be the same.
“I always tell everybody all of us were pretty much connected,” Foreman said. “We’re just like one guy. George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, it was just one. We were just one guy. So the world is going to be different for me with those guys not being around, already kind of horrible.”
It is Foreman’s opinion that while Ali may have died, his spirit will live forever.
“Believe me he didn’t die,” Foreman said. “He’s still alive. Because whenever someone tries to make a stand about anything, stand up for something they believe in, It’s like we’ll all be saying another Muhammad Ali. He’s alive forever.”
Ali was the first boxer to beat Foreman, who had won his first 40 fights.
“I never got in the ring with anyone as tough as Muhammad Ali,” Foreman said. “It’s like he always had that in his ear, Ali, Ali. He could hear that crowd chanting that, and no matter how hard you hit him, he was not going to fall because of it.
“He was the best I ever got in the ring with, maybe the best in the heavyweight division that we’ve ever seen.”