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George Foreman Speaks On The Top 5 Boxers Of All Time And HBO’s Championship Bout

The most interesting man is the world isn’t the cavalier chum in those Dos Equis beer commercials, it’s legendary pugilist George Foreman. His track record is as solid as his right hook. The rugged brawler won an Olympic gold medal in 1968, has been heavyweight champion twice and is still the oldest title-holder in history. Let’s not forget that he’s survived a brutal bout with Muhammad Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle for added measure. On the personal side, he’s named all five of his children “George” and has flipped 100 million portable George Foreman Grills, earning him over $200 million dollars. Now that’s a charmed life.

Since retiring in 1997, Foreman has taken up boxing commentary and gives incredible insight on the physical aspect and business angle of the sweet science. VIBE caught up with George Foreman, to discuss the sport and the upcoming featherweight championship fight (he's co-promoter of this event) with undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Manuel Lopez this Saturday, June 15th on HBO at 10:45PM ET. Tune in and watch history be made in the squared circle, but first check out the grillin’ master's Q&A below. -Richard Boadu

Talk about this weekend's fight between Mikey Garcia and Juan Manuel Lopez.
George Foreman: It’s going to be great. I’m interested in Garcia. I want to see what he’s going to do. He’s the best left hooker that’s not from Philadelphia. He’s the champ right now so that means a lot to me. I’m just happy to be in a promo with a real title match.

This year is the 40th anniversary of you winning your first heavyweight title. How did you feel after winning that fight?
Foreman: It’s like it just happened yesterday. I had fought 37 matches since I won the gold medal. I wanted to be a champion but I didn’t want to get in the ring with Joe Frazier. I knocked him down the first time and thought to myself, “He’s going to kill me.” I knocked him down again and again. I was knocking him down out of fear, and before I knew it, they were holding my hand up and calling me the champion. My life hasn’t been the same since. As soon as you become champion, you can feel the legacy of Jack Dempsey, Joe Johnson, Muhammad Ali and all of the great fighters. All of it just falls right on you. It feels like you’ve been anointed.

What do you consider the highest and lowest moments of your career?
Foreman: The Olympic Gold medal in 1968 was definitely the highest moment of my career. It was a dream come true. I was a 19-year-old boy and it was just amazing to be standing on top of the podium and hearing the National Anthem in the background. I’d have to say losing the title to Ali in ’74 was the lowest moment in sports for me. It was the most devastating thing in my boxing career, and it still hurts to this day.

Who are your top five pound-for-pound fighters of all time?
Foreman: In no particular order: Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Mayweather (we need to wait ‘till his career is over to see where he ranks), Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard (it never got any better than him) and Muhammad Ali. I’ve got six in there, but that’s okay.

In terms of popularity, boxing is nowhere near where it was during your prime. What's it going to take to get the sport back to the level that it once was?
The sport needs a personality, not a fighter. We’ve got plenty of great fighters in the sport, but no personalities. No one is standing for anything. The last personality we had was Mike Tyson. He stood for something. It wasn’t much, but he stood for something. We need another personality, not like Mike, but another Ali, Joe Louis or somebody like that. Once we get a new personality and sportswriters to write about him, the sport will be #1 again if that happens.

Take us through a day in your life now.
I get up early. I breed German shepherd dogs so I’m up early taking care of them. I also run the George Foreman Youth Center so that also keeps me busy. I’m a full-time minister so my Sundays are always busy. I just try to spend as much time with my wife, kids and 8 grand kids. Anytime I can sneak in a moment to fish and ride horses, I’m a happy camper.

For more from Richard Boadu, check out 6Magazine.com.

Photo Credit: Getty

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Don Cheadle as Mo in 'Black Monday,' Episode 4 ("295")
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'Black Monday' Recap: Mo Feels The Weight Of Playing God

Another week, another dive into Black Monday. In this week's episode, “295,” Mo tries to salvage his plan to get the Georgina company’s shares after Blair and Tiffany Georgina’s surprise breakup in the previous episode threw a wrench in that plan. By the end of this week’s episode, Mo gets what he wants but it doesn’t go as planned. Don Cheadle told VIBE that Black Monday was “insane...in a good way,” and this episode shows just that, starting with Mo’s God complex.

Stop Trying To Be God

You need a certain cocktail of self-aggrandization and delusions of grandeur to walk around with a God complex. Mo has that cocktail coursing through his veins. The entire episode revolves around Mo’s attempt to control the actions of humans by placing them in certain situations he is sure will yield his desired results. Only someone blinded by their obsession with being right wouldn’t see having to fix a “foolproof” plan makes him a fool.

The writing expertly showed that when you play God your creation is your reflection, especially in the tense scene at Mo’s dining room table with Blair and Dawn. He turned Blair into a cocaine-addicted party animal to show him how empty life is without having someone you love. Then, in one scene, Dawn exposed how all Mo did was build Blair in his image without realizing that part of his plan was to inadvertently show Blair just how miserable Mo really lives.

Even ostensibly innocuous details carry a huge emotional weight thanks to Black Monday’s writing and Cheadle’s consistently engaging performance. The writers literally had Mo on the outside looking in at forces out of his control at the end of the episode when he’s looking into the bar. It’s at this climactic moment of the show that Mo realizes his own mortality by getting what he wants but missing out on what he knows he needs.

It’s also at this moment that the show’s most boring lead character grew into someone worth watching.

Blair Is Here

For the first three episodes, Blair was as interesting as paint on the wall; always in front of your face but in the back of your mind. Before a single character utters a word in this episode, Blair is chain-smoking cigarettes, snorting coke and dressed like a Saturday Night Fever extra. He died “for a song and a half” and was electroshocked back to life, all in the first minute of the new episode. Blair has finally joined the Black Monday party and the show is better for it.

Mo molding Blair into his image allowed Blair to tap into a new level of confidence.  Blair’s exchange with Dawn about the implicit racism and sexism in 1980s films like Teen Wolf was rewind-worthy hilarious and ends with Blair remarking, “My favorite line from the movie is, ‘I’m not a f*g, I’m a werewolf. Oh, Michael J,” easily one of the funniest 1980s critiques on a show full of them.

The episode also entangled Blair in the show’s first love triangle, ensuring that Blair’s character growth is probably not done. With Blair now being compelling, following Dawn and Keith’s character-defining performances in the previous episode, Black Monday has set up its four most accomplished actors to be able to carry entire story arcs without relying on each other. But, the Black Monday world got bigger than those four in this week’s episode.

The Wall Street Mythology

There’s not enough time in a 30-minute episode to flesh out every character’s backstory and fully formed personality. The most surprisingly funny part of episode “295” was the story arc of Jammer Group traders Keith and Yassir (Yassir Lester) trying to stop Wayne (Horatio Sanz) from completing a “The LaGuardia Spread”. The arc showed that Black Monday has an ingenious way of speeding up character development: mythologize Wall Street.

On Black Monday, “The LaGuardia Spread” is when a trader takes a huge position on a stock, goes to LaGuardia Airport and waits to see if they made a huge profit or debilitating loss. If you guess right, you come home. If you guess wrong, “you don’t come home ever. You get on a plane and you f**king disappear,” according to a frantic Keith. Wayne was nothing more than a bumbling joke punchline of a trader before this episode. In only a few minutes of screentime we find out Wayne slept with his wife’s sister, has some weird dislike for The Howard Stern Show’s weekly guest Jackie Martling, and is so money hungry that he’d be giddy at the news of a mad cows disease epidemic and it’s positive effect on his “LaGuardia Spread” trade.

A similar result happened before on Black Monday. In the series premiere, the Lehman twins (Ken Marino) laid out the Georgina Play, the foundation of Mo’s plans to get all the shares from the Georgina company from Blair after he marries Tiffany. That Wall Street myth led to their grandfather setting himself on fire. That myth also showed that at any moment any person you see on screen become valuable because of what they about know how this fictionalized world works. As long as Black Monday continues to use the inherent absurdity of Wall Street as a machine for character development, this show could begin entering the conversation for one of the best ensemble casts on television.

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Cardi B Says Jussie Smollett May Have "F**ked Up Black History Month"

Many people are split on the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett. The Empire actor claims he was attacked by two MAGA supporters in late-January, who doused him in an unidentified liquid while shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.

Cardi B, who is often vocal about issues in society on her social media platforms, spoke out against the reports that Smollett potentially orchestrated the attack.

"I'm really disappointed in him," she said in an Instagram Live video. "I feel like he f**ked up Black History Month, bro. Like, damn. I'm not gonna say, yet. Until he say it out his mouth that it was fake and the sh*t was staged, I don't want to completely blame him, because somebody I was talking to they said police in Chicago are racists..."

She continues by stating that there's a possibility that the police may be trying to frame the actor, who maintains his innocence amidst damning reports. However, she said that it's "f**ked up" if he is indeed lying to the public.

"Then you gave Donald Trump immunity to f**kin' laugh at n***as and sh*t. Make mothaf**kas look bad," she concluded.

Watch her comments.

Cardi B gave her opinion on the Jussie Smollett case on Instagram live. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/6AYU7cT5nL

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 18, 2019

Cardi B gave her opinion on the Jussie Smollett case on Instagram live. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/c9CdhEB3sN

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 18, 2019

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Reports Emerge Claiming Jussie Smollett "Rehearsed" Alleged Attack

TMZ reports that Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who claimed in late-January that he was attacked by MAGA supporters, reportedly rehearsed the alleged assault with the two men involved. According to prosecutors, his alleged racial and homophobic attack will be headed to a grand jury next week.

Per the site, "Abel and Ola Osundairo told cops they got in a car with Jussie and scouted a location, settling on the one right outside the actor's apartment. The brothers said Jussie chose the spot because he believed a camera would have captured the action."

The sources close the the situation said that Jussie reportedly wanted to make the attack a "physical thing," but did not want to be seriously injured. While Jussie left the scene with just a scratch, the brothers- who are Nigerian, and not white- did not know they left a mark on him, as that's not what they had rehearsed.

"On the night Jussie says he was attacked, the brothers claim they showed up at the scene but were extremely nervous because, just as they played out the scene, a car drove by and they were worried they'd be ID'd," the site continues.

Smollett released a statement through representatives vehemently denying the allegations that he orchestrated the attack, maintaining his original story.

 

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