Boxing legend and WBO heavyweight champion George Forem is to die at 81.
Forem, who fought for the WBO and the IBF heavyweight titles until his retirement in 1986, was a two-time world champion and had the greatest career of any fighter to ever compete in boxing.
His final fight came against Muhammad Ali in December 1974.
Foreman was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010 and is the only heavyweight champion in the history of boxing to be inducted twice.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, two sons and three daughters.
Foreman was born on the island of Trinidad in 1915.
He grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, and joined the US Navy in 1936.
He fought in World War II, and later was involved in the Korean War.
In 1954 he moved to Los Angeles, where he was an assistant to the legendary trainer Joe Louis.
He retired in 1972, having won nine world titles, including three heavyweight titles.
Fellow boxing legend Joe Louis said Foreman “has never ceased to inspire and entertain” fans.
Foremen final fight was with Ali in 1976.
“Foreman is a true champion of the game and the most important fighter of all time,” Louis said.
“He is the most complete fighter I have ever met.
He has made himself an icon in his sport and we will miss him dearly.”
Fighters such as Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali, who were not professional athletes, are often cited as forerunners of the modern era of boxing.
The Hall of Famer also fought in the 1960s and 1970s.
“Forem’s legacy will be one of the greatest in the sport’s history,” said John McCarthy, a senior vice president of the World Boxing Association.
Louis, who won eight heavyweight titles and the WBC heavyweight title in the 1970s, said the boxing legend had “given his heart and soul to the sport”.
The boxing world will mourn the loss of a legend, but we can only grieve in his place.””
We have lost one of boxing’s greats.
The boxing world will mourn the loss of a legend, but we can only grieve in his place.”
Forem had a “heart of gold” that had been “laid bare” and he “gave his heart to the game”, McCarthy said.
The WBO said he had died in his home in New York.
Foremon was born in New Jersey on August 22, 1916, and lived in New Haven, Connecticut, and Los Angeles.
His first two fights were in the United States and later fought in Japan.
He went to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, but was expelled after he turned 18 and dropped out.
He attended boxing school in California but was sent to a boxing camp in Los Angeles in 1927, and trained at the Alhambra Boxing Gym in West Hollywood, California.
After a career as a boxer, he moved back to New Jersey and was a full-time boxer.
In the late 1930s, he was a professional boxer.
He won the world heavyweight title four times, but lost it twice in 1941 and 1943.
He was inductee into the Hall of Honor in 1979, and retired from boxing in 1990.
He also served as a commentator on ESPN, as well as a broadcaster for Fox Sports and NBC.
At his peak, he had six world heavyweight titles, five of which he lost.
In March 1995, he became the first man to win the heavyweight title by knockout in a fight, winning a fight by knockout against Joe Louis in Los Vegas.