When we last spoke to boxing great George Foreman in 2003 he told us about the amazing, life-changing experience he had in 1977 after his big match with boxer Jimmy Young. While in the locker room after the fight--which he lost--he said he had died and gone to a dark place from which he was ultimately rescued by the grace of God. Shortly after that incident, he gave his life over to God and became a Christian minister. Now he has a new memoir, "God In My Corner" which explores his spiritual transformation and the dark period of his life before he experienced God's grace (he had considered hiring hit men to kill his enemies). Foreman also says that the "Rumble in the Jungle"—the 1974 fight in Zaire in which he lost his heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali--was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Although Foreman is said to have made over $150 million from his popular line of grills, he continues to preach, as he has for years, at The Church of Lord Jesus Christ in Houston, Texas, and is currently a judge on ABC's "American Inventor." He spoke to Beliefnet recently about reading the Bible with Muhammad Ali, his favorite answered prayer, and whether he'll be making another comeback to boxing. After you finish reading the interview, click through our gallery of personal photos from George Foreman.

George Foreman and Muhammad Ali read the Bible together in 1984. Click on the photo to view more from Foreman's personal collection.
When Beliefnet interviewed you a couple of years ago, you spoke about your spiritual experience after your match with boxer Jimmy Young in 1977 [Young won by knockout]. You said that [after the fight] you had the experience of dying and going to a really dark, scary place.  Can you tell us about it?  Do you think it was hell?

I wish I knew where in the world that place is.  All I can tell you is that I would never want to go back there. It was just complete emptiness and darkness. If you multiply every sad thought you've ever had in your life, you wouldn't come close to this dump yard. That's where I was—just dead.  And nothingness where I was, just nothing.


You said that you were interested in several religions before you became a Christian and that you toyed with the idea of becoming Muslim like Muhammad Ali [who took Foreman's heavyweight title in a bout in Zaire in 1974].  Why did you ultimately choose to become a Christian? 


I thought about [Islam], but one day I tore [Ali's] jacket off of him, being the mean guy that I am, and he cussed me out so bad. And I said, "Wow!  I'm like that already."  So, I left [Islam] alone.


And then I admired [David Carradine] from the [1970s television series] "Kung Fu." He looked Buddhist or something.  I don't know what he was.  He just looked so cool—and that karate. And he could stop [doing that] and meditate. And I thought about that [religion], too.