Freeda Foreman: Why Legendary Boxer George Foreman Pleaded With Her Not to Box

In the wake of Freeda Foreman's death this weekend, fans are looking back on her career, and her father's attempt to keep her out of the ring.

In her time as a boxer, Foreman claimed the same title as her father, George — heavyweight champion. While the 42-year-old was seen as a natural fit for the sport at the time of her death, she once told reporters that her dad did not want to see her follow in his footsteps.

Foreman gave an interview in the New York Post in 2000 detailing the disagreement. At the time, she was 23, and was training for her first fight on her way to the title of women's world boxing champion.

"'This is not what I wanted for you,'" Foreman remembered her father saying. "Dad never wanted any of his kids to see him fight. He always protected us from that world."

Foreman took a lot of inspiration from other women in the sport, particularly those with legacies to their names. She looked to fighters like Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of Joe Frazier, or even Laila Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali.

Foreman also said that she felt the draw of combat sports from a very young age, even as her father tried to shelter her from them. At the time, she told reporters from the London Mirror that it was a part of her childhood.

"With five brothers, there were plenty of fights at home," she said. "When Dad was home, we'd run around the house, play fighting and I'd beat up on my three younger brothers!"

Foreman said that her father has repeatedly begged her to choose a more conventional career. However, in the end he gave her some tips.

"He said: 'Take a lot of time and think about it very carefully,'" she said. "My daddy doesn't approve, but this is what I want. It's something I've got to do."

"I felt like this was my opportunity to turn the hands of time. Fighting her was always a dream of mine," she added.


Ultimately, fighting was just a part of Foreman's career. She earned a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also worked as the director of her father's Youth and Community Development Center for six years, and as a Mental Health Technician at the Kingswood Pines Hospital for two.

Foreman was found dead on Saturday in her home in Houston, Texas. She was discovered by a family member, and TMZ reported that no foul play was suspected. Authorities are waiting on the coroner to list an official cause of death.