HOUSTON --- George Foreman named each of his five sons after himself, clearly set on carrying on the family name. The two-time heavyweight champion, however, drew the line at a family boxing tradition.
"It is such a rough sport," he said. "I never wanted my kids to do that."
Still, when George III chose to box, the father was there. On Saturday, George III will become Foreman's first son to fight professionally when he faces Clyde Weaver in Kinder, La. A sister, Freeda George, had a short boxing career early in the decade.
George III, who is nicknamed "Monk," is 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. He may have gotten to the ring sooner if not for his father's insistence on putting education first. The 26-year-old son has worked as his father's business manager since getting a business degree from Rice.
"That was the main focus with my family," Monk said. "I couldn't even talk about girlfriends until I had my college degree, much less boxing. Once I did that I'm sure they figured, it's my life."
Monk had been training mostly on his own for almost a year with some advice from his father before George decided he'd test him. The intimidating bear of a man entered the ring and announced the pair would spar the next day.
"So he walks in there, doesn't smile at me, doesn't tell me anything, says 'no pointers,'" Monk said.
So George hit his son?
"He hit me," George said. "He didn't hurt me, but he hit me."
When it was over, George came away impressed and is now Monk's trainer and manager.
"When you get in the ring with the ex-heavyweight champion of the world, if that doesn't frighten you, nothing can frighten you," George said. "He wasn't bothered by it."
Though the entire family -- which includes 10 children -- is supportive of Monk's dream, some aren't exactly excited about a Foreman getting back into the ring more than 11 years after George's last fight.
"I really thought we were done," sister Natalie Foreman said. "I thought that as a family we had been through enough waiting in the dark for the phone call that says dad's OK."