Foreman also took the time to sit down with me for a Q&A, discussing subjects ranging from his most memorable Father's Day, his favorite food, and the highlight of his boxing career.
DF: Today you're here to talk about Father's Day and your book, Fatherhood...you've got five sons named George. Do you have nicknames for them? When you're addressing "George," how do they know which one you're talking to?
George Foreman: Well, I decided to name them all George, because as a boxer, I wanted to get ready for memory loss. So if I go out and give nicknames, I could ruin the whole thing! [laughs] But in reality, we all know the tone of voice with whom we're speaking.
DF: So they can tell just from your tone--
GF: You give them all a name, and as I've told them, if one of us does well, we're all gonna be happy. If one does bad, we all suffer, too. So the name is sort of like a badge to keep everyone under wraps.
DF: Keep everyone in line.
DF: Do you have a Father's Day memory that you're particularly fond of?
GF: Yeah, I can remember back in 2000 or a little later. I went to the gym on Father's Day. I worked out with all my sons. We all did weightlifting, they didn't have to help me around. And we were all physically challenged with all the weights and exercising together. That was the best Father's Day I had with all of my sons.
DF: Any plans for this Father's Day?
GF: Now, I'm just gonna cook. As the days and years go on, you think, I just wanna cook. So someone's gonna bring out a little meal, and we'll just eat at the house. It'll be a typical day at the house honoring Dad...with no presents.
DF: Why no presents?
GF: You want to make family members understand that I need them. I want them around. I don't want their things. You can send me a gift from Vietnam. But the idea of having your kids around you on Father's Day, that's a lot. But don't send presents. If you can't come, see you next year! [laughs]
DF: Well, speaking of cooking...what's your favorite meal to cook on one of your Foreman grills these days?
GF: I always fire up the grill. The children love their steaks, so I'll cook them lots of steaks. They're great meat eaters. So I'll do the grill up, make steaks for the children, and for me...fish!
DF: Any kind of fish?
GF: Salmon steak. Give me a salmon steak. I can eat them morning, noon and night.
DF: Let's talk a little about your boxing career. How often do people ask you about the Rumble in the Jungle? How often does that come up?
GF: As a matter of fact, I hear more about that boxing match than any match I've had, because it was a historical event. One of those phenomenons in sports that people never forget. Like the first Super Bowl, the Rumble in the Jungle, the time when the United States won the hockey gold medal.
The Rumble in the Jungle always comes up. It's too bad I gotta say I lose every time! I keep thinking the conversation gonna come up and they'll say, "George, you actually won that fight." But I like it.
DF: You like it. You don't mind talking about it even though the outcome wasn't in your favor?
GF: No, no, no. Probably one of the most famous moments in sports. You can't call out the great Muhammad Ali's name without saying, "Well, how did you beat George Foreman, Muhammad?" [laughs] So my name will be there because of it.
DF: Do you have a favorite fight from your career?
GF: Yeah, I won an Olympic gold medal in Mexico City. I was a 19-year-old boy, and I had never had a dream come true. I couldn't believe it. I stood on that platform, they put the gold medal around my neck with the national anthem playing in the background, I'll never forget that. It's like it was yesterday, and there has not been a moment second to that one.
DF: Can you believe it's been 40 years since then?
GF: Can you believe? You had to bring that up! [laughs] But the point is that I had never had a dream that came true, and I'm still on a high from that boxing match.
DF: Do you follow the Olympics these days?
GF: Still a fan of the Olympics, yes.
DF: Any particular sports you like?
GF: I love them all. The Olympics are a wonderful moment, especially track and field. Of course, I love the boxing, gymnastics. You just name it.
DF: Now, be honest...did you really beat Axel Schulz in '95? I watched that fight with my dad, and I scored it for Schulz, and he scored it for you. So we had a split decision in our house.
GF: Do I have to be honest? [laughs] If I have to be honest, I'm not gonna answer that question! [laughs]
DF: Floyd Mayweather just retired...do you think he's going to stay retired?
GF: Floyd Mayweather is young. You have to understand, when a boxer says, "I'm retiring," that means, "I'll be back pretty soon. As soon as I run out of money, I'll be back!" [laughs] So he'll be back. He's talented, he's got a lot of youth in him, and he can still do it.
DF: Do you have any advice for him -- if he does stay retired -- on how he should spend his time or spend his money?
GF: Most important thing is, if you walk away from boxing, those paydays are not going to be there, you're not going to be earning. So play like you are a poor man. Play poor. The old saying is, "Cry hungry with a loaf of bread under your arm."
If you want to stay retired, don't spend money. Have fun. There are a lot of really great things you can do real cheap. You can hang out with your kids at McDonald's, go on fishing trips...just leave the yachts alone.
DF: Do you really see "Money" Mayweather acting like that?
GF: No way! He's not gonna do it. But I'll tell you, if you want to stay retired, just stop spending. Earn. If you can't earn, stop spending so much.