May 01, 2004
Is there a geezerweight division?

This might be the first boxing match ever for which I'd be tempted to do a pay-per-view.

Rice University's Malcolm Gillis, president of one of the world's leading centers of wisdom and knowledge, intends to fight two-time heavyweight boxing champ and grill king George Foreman in a charity bout.

While others have made millions of dollars by stepping into the ring with Houston's hometown pugilist, Gillis said he won't be paid so much as one of those swanky grills for whatever happens.

"I look to come out of this with nothing but the satisfaction of having been in the ring with a world champion," said Gillis, 63, who did some amateur boxing as a youth. "I'm trying to show that old people can do these things. We can dust off old skills and use them again."

Over the past few months, Gillis has been quietly negotiating with Foreman, 55, for a little time in the ring. Thursday night, Foreman's daughter, Frieda Foreman, announced at a banquet that Gillis would be a warm-up for her father's coming out of retirement.

Foreman, who was not available for comment Friday, has said in recent months that he intends to box again.

The Foreman-Gillis card will be at the George Foreman Youth and Community Center. Other details have not been decided.

Foreman associate Richard Johnson has been helping the champ work out details of the match, and Rice Vice President Terry Shepard is helping Gillis.

"We're like the corner men," Johnson said Friday.

Johnson said Foreman's motivation to fight again is the same as Gillis':

"He wants to show the American people that just because you turn 55 or 60 years old, it's not time to throw in the towel."

Keeping fit is part of Gillis' routine. If he doesn't have an early meeting, Gillis works out in his home gym, lifting weights, running the treadmill and shadow boxing. He said he's 5 feet 11 1/2 inches tall and weighs 207 pounds.

"I'm in great shape," he said.

I hope so, Dr. Gillis. May the best man win. I'm just hoping this doesn't inspire Fox to do a Celebrity Boxing Seniors Tour.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 01, 2004 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack

The crazy thing about this idea is that either one of these two could well be in the top ten contenders of one of the major sanctioning bodies after this is said and done. This is how sad the heavyweight division of boxing has become.

I'm surprised Malcolm Gillis isn't already in the WBO top five. ;-)

Posted by: William Hughes on May 1, 2004 12:32 PM