Here’s How George Foreman Went From Being Nearly Bankrupt To Having A Tremendous Net Worth Of $300 Million
George Foreman, known as “Big George”, is a renowned name in the world of boxing. Having won 76 out of 81 fights in his boxing career, you would think that Foreman must have earned all his net worth through fighting. However, he has surprisingly earned more as an entrepreneur than as a boxer. Foreman is the only boxer to have earned more outside the ring than from inside it. The man is a two-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and a billionaire businessman.
Troubled Teenage Years
Born on January 10, 1949, in Marshall, Texas, Foreman was brought up by his mother and stepfather J.D Foreman, even though his biological father was Leroy Moorehead. In his autobiography, the boxer said that he had a troubled childhood. Dropping out of school at the age of fifteen, he frequently got involved in violence and gang clashes, eventually becoming a mugger.
Fortunately, after just a year, he realized that his actions were wrong and decided to convince his mother to sign him up for Job Corps. Later, he trained to become a carpenter and bricklayer. After moving to Pleasanton, California, he started his endeavor towards boxing and began training.
An Astonishing Start To Foreman’s Boxing Career
His boxing career began with a massive victory against Jonas Cepulis, a 29-year old veteran, who had a career of 12 years and was 10 years older than Foreman at the time in 1968. For winning the fight, Foreman was awarded a gold medal in Mexico City Olympic Games in the boxing/heavyweight division. Following the victory, he celebrated in the ring by walking around with a US flag and bowing to the audience. Earning this gold medal was the most-proud moment of his entire career, he later said.
In the following year, the powerful boxer won 13 fights out of which 11 were total knockouts. In 1970 again, Foreman won all of his 12 bouts and in 1971, he succeeded in winning seven fights by knockout. The unbreakable winning streak continued until 1974, when another great fighter, Muhammad Ali, defeated him. Foreman faced Ali in Zaire with the match being touted as The Rumble in the Jungle. Following a series of failures, Foreman opted for the tough decision of retiring in 1977 after he received an outstanding defeat from Jimmy Young.
At the time, he wasn’t worried about the money. He had earned a significant amount from the matches he fought in the previous years. In the 1980s, his net worth was around $5 million. However, owing to some bad decisions on investments and his overly luxurious lifestyle, he lost almost all of his money by 1987. In a recent interview, Foreman pointed out that the condition was so horrible that he was on the edge of being homeless.
Foreman’s Stunning Comeback
In 1987, at the age of 40, Foreman made his comeback surprising everyone. Even though he was out of shape and unfit, he defeated Steve Zouski through a knockout in the fourth round of the match. In the next year, 1988, he knocked out Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi and won a total of 9 fights. His comeback lasted until the late 1990s when he also joined HBO as a boxing commentator.
At the age of 48, in 1997, Foreman retired after winning a total of 76 matches with only 5 losses. He was instated in the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has also been listed as the eighth greatest heavyweight in history.
The George Foreman Grill
After his retirement when he said that his achievements were due to his healthy lifestyle and nutrition, Salton Inc, now known as Spectrum Brands, was looking for a spokesperson for its fat-reducing grill and grabbed the opportunity to reach out to the former boxer in 1999. Foreman agreed to give his name and the Grill had achieved a sale of 100 million units by 2009.
George Foreman has quite a long history of relationships with his four previous marriages, none of which lasted more than three years. He married his fifth wife, Mary Joan in 1985 and both live together. The 71-year old man has around 12 children, with all five of his sons named George Edward Foreman and the daughters having George as their middle name. George III has followed his father and joined the field of boxing where he has recently won his first professional boxing match.
George Foreman’s Net Worth 2020
Given his extensive career, different people know George in a different way. The younger generation has probably seen him in the commercials that he has done for various multinational brands for which he acts as the brand ambassador like Meineke, Doritos, McDonald’s, and Pepsi. They know him as a jolly person who always keeps smiling, while they stay ignorant of the fact that the same guy was once one of the most feared boxers in history. Foreman mentions in his autobiography “Knockout Entrepreneur”, that he wanted to shed the tough-guy image and let people know that he was not someone to be feared.
After losing almost all of his net worth of $5 million after his first retirement, his deal with the fat-reducing grill of giving it his name made him around $8 million per month. As of 2020, his net worth is estimated to be as high as $300 million. When he first signed the endorsement deal with Salton Inc, in 1999, it was roughly for $137.5 million over five years. In addition to this, he was also paid 40% of the profit made on each sale of the grill, which is around $4.5 million a month during peaks. The Salton Inc deal earned him an estimated massive amount of $200 million.
His sources of earnings don’t end just there. In 2013, Foreman launched Foreman Boys Promotions, an endeavor towards promoting boxing. He is also the owner of a meat company, George Foreman’s Butcher Shop.
Besides, Foreman is also in collaboration with the Panther Racing Indy Car team. Surprisingly, he is a writer too and has written five books so far. The fun-loving boxer also keeps making appearances on TV shows, he was called as a guest on The 700 Club and as a judge on the American Inventor. He even had a cameo in the movie “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”.
George Foreman learned how to sell and that has helped him to keep expanding his brand. Even though he had first lost his $5 million and went almost bankrupt, he did not lose his confidence and eventually learned how to be liked by everyone. Changing his image from a rigid, daunting boxer, to a jovial human being, was not an easy task, but George Foreman did it. The man isn’t afraid of failures and continues to invest in good opportunities which are likely to increase his already enormous net worth even more.
Disclaimer: All of the information mentioned above has been gathered from the sources mentioned below: