Originally created 02/11/00

Foreman's daughter latest to throw hat in boxing ring



LAS VEGAS -- First there was Kahlilah Ali. Then Jacqui Frazier-Lyde made her debut. Now Freeda Foreman wants a piece of the action.

What's next, a female Rumble in the Jungle?

"Oh yeah, that was the fight with Ali and Frazier, wasn't it?" Freeda Foreman said Thursday.

Actually, it was Ali and George Foreman, Freeda's father, in the 1974 fight in Zaire that became one of the most famous heavyweight fights of the era.

But you might forgive Freeda Foreman she didn't know the nickname of her father's most devastating loss. She wasn't born until three years later, when Big George was doing more preaching than fighting.

Freeda does know what sells, though, and that's why the 23-year-old is following in the footsteps of both her father and the daughters of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.

"My goal is to change history and knock Kahlilah out," she said. "It's not revenge, but the opportunity is there for me."

It's an opportunity that her father doesn't exactly embrace.

"He flat out doesn't like it," Freeda Foreman said. "But I do have his love and support. That's what counts."

The third oldest of Foreman's 10 children -- five girls and five boys -- Freeda Foreman was working as a customer relations clerk for United Parcel Service in Greenville, S.C., only a month ago.

She had heard of Kahlilah Ali's entry into boxing. And then Jacqui Frazier-Lyde decided to enter the ring, making her debut this week with Ali's daughter at ringside.

Ali and Frazier-Lyde are friends. And Foreman and Frazier-Lyde talk on the phone all the time.

"After I spoke to Jacqui about it, I said `I want to get in on this,"' Foreman said. "That's our love, that's all we talk about. I just wish I would have done it earlier."

The single mother of a 4-year-old, Foreman turned in her notice and quit UPS. She hooked up with promoter Dan Goossen of America Presents and plans to begin training under Goossen's brother, Larry, on Friday in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Her first fight will be April 1 at the Regent in Las Vegas on a card that features Olympians Chris Byrd and Lawrence Clay-Bey.

"This is a dream of mine and I know positively it can come true," said Foreman, who is both soft-spoken and refined. "As long as the demand is there, I'll be there. I want to let women know there are no limitations."

Foreman has no opponent for her first fight, which will likely be in the super middleweight or light heavyweight range. She is 5-foot-11 and weighs 180 pounds, but intends to drop to the 160s by fight time.

With most of the successful women boxers in the lighter weights, though, her future revolves around two specific opponents -- the daughters of her father's famous opponents.

"I think she's a sweet girl," Foreman said of Ali. "There's no hard feelings."

She says the same about her friend, Frazier-Lyde, but then adds:

"We know if we have to get in the ring one day we'd duke it out."

Goossen acknowledged he signed Foreman because of her name. But he predicted she will eventually become a credible fighter.

"People say this is a gimmick," he said. "But when the gloves are put on, it's no gimmick."