Who knows if he's serious, but last week former heavyweight-champion-turned-fundamentalist-preacher George Foreman—all 280 pounds of him—announced plans to make a boxing comeback. "I thought I wanted to retire and live the good life," Foreman told Wallace Matthews of Newsday. "But I learned—don't ever get into the position of having everything you ever wanted."
Foreman, 37, who retired in 1977 after an unexpected loss to Jimmy Young, said he has a "newfound strength" and hopes to return to the ring in October if he can trim himself down to 220 pounds—no minor task in itself. Foreman said he had been considering a comeback for quite a while and after seeing Gerry Cooney knock out Eddie Gregg two weeks ago felt certain that he could return and hold his own. "I'm not trying to say boxers today are not as good as they used to be," Foreman told Matthews. "But I'd like to see any of these young whippersnappers knock George Foreman out. George Foreman and Mike Tyson in the ring, what do you think would happen? As long as Muhammad Ali is not around, I'm O.K."
Foreman would be wise to look back at his words to SI's Gary Smith in late 1984, when coming back was the furthest thing from his mind: "Sure, I could get in shape and box now. I could be champ—isn't that what I'm supposed to say? And nine months from now you'd be embarrassed for me. I've got nothing against boxing, but you should make your million, then run and hide."
WILL IT MAKE THE FISH BYTE?
Now available for the fisherman who thought he had it all: the FishMaster computer ($73.70 and attachable to a fishing rod), which is said to beep within half a second after a strike and tell the angler how hard a particular fish fought, how long it took to catch it, how much the fish weighed and how much force was exerted on the hardest pull. The computer also informs the fisherman how many he has caught that day—which presumably will serve to discourage any later fish stories.
It's often hard to convince young athletes to concentrate on their educations; that for most of them, a career in big-time sports is a pipe dream. But the latest statistics from the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations bear out those statements.
Last year 5,112,168 high school students (one of every three) competed in sports. About a million took part in football, while 500,000 played basketball and 390,000 competed in baseball. At the college level, 292,732 men and women participated—among them 48,634 in football, 22,117 in baseball and 14,190 in men's basketball. That's less than 6% of the high school total.
Of this select group, only a few thousand will be drafted by pro teams and no more than several hundred will reach the top. The numbers suggest that roughly one of every 4,000 high school baseball players will someday start in the major leagues, one in 5,000 high school football players will start in the NFL, and one of 12,500 prep basketball players will make an NBA starting five. Those long odds are worth remembering.
A POSER WHO IS NO POSEUR
He signs correspondence "Russ Testo, Physique Artist Extraordinaire," and says his sport is posing. He prances about and flexes his pecs during a choreographed five-minute routine that mixes street dancing with bodybuilding. He stands at the unlikely intersection of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jackson.