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.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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Rihanna Inks Publishing Deal With Sony/ATV

Rihanna continues to make our jaws drop and we just can't get enough. After two successful New York Fashion Week events with her Savage X Fenty lingerie line and her fifth annual Diamond Ball event, the world's richest female musician has signed a global deal with Sony/ATV Music publishing.

Billboard reports the announcement was made on Monday (Sept. 16), stating that the deal will cover the artist's full songwriting catalog and future projects.

Rih also made history as the first entertainer to follow Jon Platt, chairman, and CEO of Sony/ATV, after he stepped into the executive seat in April 2019. Their partnership first began in 2015 at Warner/Chappell before Platt moved to Sony/ATV, according to Variety.

"I'm proud to have known Rihanna since the beginning of her career," he said. "Music, fashion, philanthropy and a heart of gold have solidified Rihanna's position as one of the biggest icons in the world."

The Bajan-beauty has numerous musical achievements including 14 Billboard Hot 100 No.1s, nine Grammy Awards, and seven RIAA-certified multi-platinum albums. Her elite status doesn't stop there since she snagged 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, and the 2017 Songwriter of the Year at the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards.

Her last seven albums have reached platinum status 22 times in the United States.

"It's an honor to be reunited with her at Sony/ATV," Platt said.

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Black Trans Woman Bee Love Slater Found Burned Alive In Florida

Over the weekend, the body of Bee Love Slater, a 23-year-old transgender woman was found burned beyond recognition inside a car. According to reports, Slater is the 18th trans woman to be killed this year.

Hendry County investigators said as of now the investigation into Slater's death is ongoing. They cannot title it a hate crime until a clear motive has been established, but Slater's best friend, Kenard Wade thinks the vicious manner of her death is a clear sign.

"She had a really, really good heart," Wade told CBS Fort Myers affiliate Wink. "She would never harm anyone, never put anyone in harm's way. How could someone go to that extreme to get rid of her?"

Wade continued and said Slater received several death threats because she's trans and expressed a desire to leave the area for safety reasons.

Slater's death falls in line with an on-going trend of violence against trans women, particularly black trans women. The Human Rights Campaign states 18 trans women have been murdered in 2019, while 26 members of the trans community were killed in 2018 and 29 trans deaths were recorded in 2017.

CBS News reports that the week of Slater's death, Bailey Reeves, 17 transgender teen was shot and killed in Baltimore on Labor Day.

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T.I. Grills Candace Owens On Trump's 'MAGA' Slogan At The Revolt Summit

T.I. had one pressing question for Candace Owens during the 2019 Revolt summit that Owens couldn't quite answer. The two-day conference held in Atlanta brought together music executives, activists, and entertainers to discuss hip-hop, it's power, the current climate of the genre and to network. However, with the 2020 presidential elections nearing politics were also a hot topic.

For Saturday's (Sept. 14) Hip Hop and Politics panel hosted by Jeff Johnson, T.I. asked the conservative commentator to explain Donald Trump's campaign slogan. "When you say Make America Great Again, which period are we talking about?" Tip questioned. "[Is it] the period when women couldn't vote? The period when we were hanging from trees? The crack era? Which period in America are you trying to make great again."

The 30-year-old Connecticut native said: "I actually think that I would totally rock a hat right now that says Make Black America Great Again," which prompted T.I. to interject and restate the original question.

"Which period was America great that we're trying to replicate? Which era was it? Tell me." T.I. questioned. With an excited audience, Owens' attempt to explain Trump's slogan didn't go so well.

Watch the clip below.

@Tip was not trying to hear it from black white supremacist #CandaceOwens #Diddy #Revolt

— MMS Online (@MMS_Online_) September 15, 2019

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