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SPORTS

George Foreman: Faith From the Fist

By Corine Gatti
Contributing Correspondent

CBN.comYou may know him as the oldest person to ever capture a heavyweight boxing title. Or you may know him by his famous cooking gadget that reduces the amount of fat in your meat products. Regardless, George Foremans name goes beyond the kitchen and the boxing ring.

Foreman earned this title at the age of 45 after being out of the sport for 10 years. An ordained minister for the last two decades, Foreman is a commentator for HBO and has released a new book called George Foremans Guide to Life. He also recently launched a new web site called Big Georges Place. However, lets pose this question. How can this tough guy roar like a lion in the ring and be gentle as a lamb?

In his youth, making fists came naturally, but the battle eventually turns into a spiritual struggle for the former mugger and street brawler. God was trying to win his soul. It was his extraordinary encounter of seeing himself dead in a dressing room after his fight with Jimmy Young that caused him to realize God was real. After being knocked unconscious and losing the fight by decision, Foreman not only awoke physically, but spiritually.

"That woke me up," said Foreman in a recent 700 Club interview with Pat Robertson. "Then in 1977, after the fight with Jimmy Young, I went back to the dressing room, and things changed."

Like so many people do, Foreman joked about Gods existence, but a confirmation literally knocked on his dressing room door.

"In a split second I saw death around me and in my hand and forehead, I felt Jesus was coming alive, then I saw blood," Foreman remembers.

He concludes, "It scared me, just the smell of death never leaves you. I had to say goodbye to my mother and children."

This experience brought Foreman to a plateau in his relationship with Jesus.

"I want to tell everybody that there is really a living God," says Foreman. "This is not about a television show, but this is real and it scared me. When I left boxing in 1977 to be a preacher I couldn't make a fist after I learned about Jesus Christ."

Presently, Foreman is birthing new pages in his life and in his new book. He is using tliterary measures to encourage others to learn from his mistakes. In a chapter entitled "Kiss of Death," he discusses why we should appreciate the people in our lives, regardless of their faults.

"So many of us have loved ones and people we really care about, and the only time we show affection is when they are gonel," explains Foreman. "I have preached at funerals and you see loved ones who didnt even say hello to dear ones when they were alive. Give them hugs kisses while they are alive and need it."

Today, Foreman is utilizing what he learned as a teenager. He teaches kids that making a fist will not bring a victory. He teaches kids how to overcome anger and aggression in a productive way.

"I teach kids that want to be tough that their fists are not the way," says the Marshall, Texas native.

Foreman is a father, a husband, a boxing legend, and an all round tough guy. He may not wear the gloves anymore in the ring, but he wears his gloves for another reason -- reflecting the glory of God not from the fists, but from his heart.

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