Feature | Dec 25 2016

George Foreman on Muhammad Ali

2016 was marked by the death of Muhammad Ali. George Foreman remembers his great friend and great rival
George Foreman-Muhammad Ali
Foreman-Ali  |  Action Images

MUHAMMAD ALI was Mr Media. At a time when nobody knew how important it was, he really spelled it out. He could give lessons now to press agents and in this era of social media he would be king. I’d been in contact with his family [when Ali went to hospital]. Actually, it was the media who called me up and told me he had passed.

All these years, since I was 17 or 18, whatever I said I would look to the left and look to the right and think, ‘Muhammad may have heard this’ or ‘Muhammad may have seen this.’ And I’ve had that in my life and all of a sudden I’ve woken up and it’s not there. It’s an emptiness.

Nothing prepares you. I knew he was sick but nothing prepares you. Muhammad Ali was truly my brother, as much of a brother as I’ve ever had. He was my brother.