GEORGE FOREMAN, SALESMAN OF THE YEAR
Published December 7, 1995
The current issue of FORBES features GEORGE FOREMAN on its cover, with the accompanying headline, "Businessman George Foreman -- 'I'm not the greatest boxer, but I'm the greatest salesman in the world.'" The piece examines boxing's economics, with Randall Lane writing that the sport "has evolved into the first major sport in the television era to be funded almost entirely by the fans themselves." However, the gap between the very few haves and the many more have-nots among the competitors gives boxing a "somewhat Dickensian" quality. The heightened profile of the top stars is also seen as diminishing the control of the promoters, and the "fan-driven revenue stream" of pay-per- view has damaged the governing bodies. Time Warner Sports President SETH ABRAHAM is called "probably the most powerful man in boxing today." Foreman, on how to build boxing's fan base: "Free, free, free, free, free. Then, boom, everybody knows you. Then cut them off" (FORBES, 12/18 issue).