“Big George Foreman” would never have hit theaters Friday if George Foreman had not become a Christian. The two-time heavyweight champion was only interested in having a movie made about his legendary boxing career because it was an opportunity to share what God has done in his life.
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“I never would have had interest in doing a movie whatsoever had it not been for my meeting up with Jesus Christ,” Foreman said during a recent appearance on the Sports Spectrum Podcast. “I wanted to express that because I was a lost man and I was found. And this movie gives a chance for me to tell the whole world about what happened to me.”
The movie chronicles Foreman’s boxing career and depicts his transformation from someone who was primarily focused on himself to a pastor trying to inspire others through boxing. Foreman was introduced to God early in his life but did not develop a relationship with Him until having a near-death experience in 1977 after a fight in Puerto Rico.
He stepped away from boxing and became an ordained minister, spending the next decade focused on preaching and spreading God’s Word. In 1987, he made an unexpected return to the ring and eventually became the heavyweight champion for a second time at the age of 45. His last fight was in 1997, and he ended his career with a 76-5 record.
Foreman said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast that much of his quiet time with the Lord these days is dedicated to finding sermon ideas. He wants his messages to be an encouragement to people as they navigate life’s challenges.
“I’m always looking for a sermon, something to inspire people,” he said on the podcast. “Something to tell people about life so that they can be inspired to get up. When you get knocked down, get up and believe in God, and you can go the rest of the way.”
Khris Davis, the actor who plays Foreman in the movie, found a connection in their shared faith. Davis was not initially aware of Foreman’s testimony and was able to draw on his own experiences in the church.
“I didn’t even know that was a part of his life,” Davis said in an interview with Cody Benjamin. “… So, now I have this experience to try to draw from, to identify with in his story, but I can’t say that being in church helped. I just think [faith] helped me kind of guide those moments.”
Davis gave thanks to God in an Instagram post promoting “Big George Foreman” back at the beginning of February.
“We tell stories,” he wrote in the post’s caption. “We push and pull away at ourselves. We search for that place of truth within our hearts. We give it all we’ve got. We sacrifice. We are triumphant, and we are humbled. We do our duty that is best, and we leave unto God the rest.”
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The movie is exclusively available in theaters across the country.
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