Rice president to fight Foreman for charity

Updated: May 1, 2004, 9:52 AM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- The president of Rice University intends to fight two-time heavyweight boxing champ George Foreman in a bout for charity.

"I look to come out of this with nothing but the satisfaction of having been in the ring with a world champion," said Malcolm 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 the 55-year-old from Houston 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.

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 told the Houston Chronicle on Friday for its Saturday editions.

Gillis, who is 5 feet 11½ inches tall and weighs 207 pounds, keeps fit by working out in his home gym, lifting weights, running the treadmill and shadow boxing. "I'm in great shape," he said.

The 6-foot-3 Foreman reclaimed the heavyweight title from Michael Moorer in 1994 and last fought in 1997.

In February of this year, Foreman said he wanted to lose 45 pounds and fight at 225 pounds.

"George is looking forward to accommodating President Gillis," Johnson said.

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

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press