George Foreman documentary debuts on Epix this fallWritten by Lee Cleveland
Epix's documentary 'Foreman' premieres Sept. 13 and is directed by Chris Perkel and executive produced by Gary Cohen. Ross Bernard is also an executive producer.
A former heavyweight champion and already regarded as one of the most destructive fighters ever, Foreman quit boxing in 1977 and became a full-time evangelist. But ten years later, he would return to the ring and stage perhaps the greatest sports comeback ever.
No longer a muscular, ill-tempered bad guy always wearing a scowl, Foreman returned to the ring a chubby, jolly Santa Claus-like figure of sorts. He'd made an unparalleled personal transformation and was about to embark on an incredible journey, inside and outside of boxing.
Early in his comeback, George was incessantly ridiculed by the boxing community and mainstream sports fans.
"He's a farce," the media chanted. "This fat guy is nothing but a circus sideshow."
And while 'Big George' fought journeyman and woefully outgunned opponents early in his comeback, he, unbeknownst to many back then, he was slowly and deliberately increasing his level of opposition while climbing the heavyweight ratings.
Three years into his comeback, George had compiled a record of 24-0, 23 KOs before getting a shot at lineal heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in 1991.Very few boxing experts gave the 42-year-old Foreman a chance of winning. As a matter of fact, the fight was supposed to be a mis-match by most accounts. And while Foreman would lose, the fight lived up to its billing, A Battle of the Ages.
George's impressive performance was instrumental in proving he was once again a heavyweight powerbroker and that an experienced, well-trained fighter in his 40s could, in fact, threaten a young, top-flight 20s-something champion at his peak.
Of course Foreman, at 45, would achieve his dream 2 1/2 years later and, once again, become the lineal heavyweight champion of the world, regaining the crown he'd lost to Muhammad Ali 20 years prior.
“Epix is proud to continue its long-standing tradition of delivering thought provoking, insightful documentaries and specials to our audience,” said Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of Epix.
“As Epix continues to expand its slate of originals, these new additions underscore our commitment to delivering the kind of relevant, incisive programming for which we’re known.”
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.