You may only know George Foreman as a television pitchman and father of ten children including five boys, all named George: George, Jr., George III, George IV, George V and George VI.
But he is much more than that. He won an Olympic gold medal as a heavyweight boxer in 1969 and ended his amateur career with a 27-0 record. In 1969 he turned pro, had a total of thirteen fights that year and won all but two of them by knockout.
One day previous to a big fight, a sports writer asked Foreman, “You would continue boxing even if you lose?”
Foreman stared into the journalist’s eyes and said, “I beg your pardon?”
The journalist quickly rephrased his question, “You don’t think about losing?”
Forman smiled slyly, wagged his head and said with quiet confidence, “No.” Then he walked away.
He won his first world heavyweight title when he beat Joe Frazier in 1973 before retiring in 1977 at age 28 to enter the Christian ministry.
For most athletes, to win the heavyweight boxing championship of the world by beating Somkin’ Joe Frasier would be sufficient. But after ten years in the ministry, he decided to return to the ring to win a second world heavyweight championship.
In his comeback he had the same intense expectation to win as he did in his younger career. He didn’t think about losing to the much younger Michael Moorer, he planned to win.
In the highly publicized Las Vegas, Nev. fight held on Nov. 5, 1994, Moorer danced around for nine rounds, dodging the clumsy, plodding nearly 46 year-old bald preacher. Moorer threw punches at the old man but also worked hard to stay out of reach of Foreman’s cocked right hand.
Just before the beginning of the tenth round Foreman’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, told him, “You gotta put this guy down. You’re behind, baby.”
Slow and plodding, Foreman kept marching forward like a clumsy giant into what most thought was a losing battle. But Foreman was just waiting for his opportunity. At 3:44 in the tenth round it came. Suddenly he threw his powerhouse right hand only six short inches directly into the chin of Moorer. Morrer went down on his back for the ten-count, and Foreman went to his knees in prayer.
Foreman had his comeback and was crowned the new WBA and IBF heavyweight champion of the world. This bald-headed, middle-aged TV pitchman and preacher had returned to the ring with what has since been heralded as one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.
Do you need to plan your comeback? Do you need to get back in the ring again? Do you have an unrealized dream that is tugging at your heart? Then don’t spend another day working on your fallback plan, start to plan your comeback.
And if someone asks you what you’re going to do when you go down, look him in the eye with steely confidence and ask quietly, “I beg your pardon?”
What could possibly go right when you plan your comeback? You could end up the heavyweight champion of YOUR world.