George Foreman on the current state of boxing

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao are about to sit down before they duke it out, and the hype, you know, off the charts. Is boxing back?

It's something my next guest should know. He fought with some of the legends, a legend himself, in fact, regarded by Ring magazine and so many able authorities as one of the 10 best heavyweight champions of all time, in fact, according to Sports Illustrated, one of the best sports figures of all time.

And he's a fairly modest guy, former heavyweight champion of the world, George Foreman.

George, good to have you. Thanks for coming.

GEORGE FOREMAN, CO-CHAIRMAN, GEORGE FOREMAN ENTERPRISES: Hey, I'm always happy to be with you, my friend.

CAVUTO: You know, I'm looking at the purse on this fight, and I almost have to do a double-take that, when all is said and done, with pay-per-view revenues and the like, it's not out of the question that each of these guys each walk away with $100 million and then some. That seems ridiculous. Is it?

FOREMAN: Yes, you know, with boxing, that old saying, that they gathered much had none over, keep that in mind with boxing purses.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Yes. Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN: It was 44 years ago that Bob Arum gave Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier $2.5 million, unheard of at that time. Believe me, it was only enough to last until their next purse.

CAVUTO: What happens? You have been very good at building on your financial empire long after leaving the ring. You have returned a couple of times.

But obviously you made a lot of money in the ring, you made a lot of money after the ring. But a lot of these guys don't. And Mayweather is -- he's like -- reminds me of Tyson, in a way, that he gives a lot of money away, he's very generous, but very flashy, buys Mercedes and all this stuff for friends and all, which is fine, but it's a quick way to go through that cash, isn't it?

FOREMAN: Oh, you got to do it. They say fast women and slow horses. It won't last long.

(LAUGHTER)

FOREMAN: It's not going to last long.

But, oh, the thrill to be a part of something like that, to go into the ring that night and everybody is cheering one way and the other. You have to live through that. It's more valuable than the purse you will receive.

CAVUTO: Yes. I'm always thinking of you and the Rumble in the Jungle and the great fight with Muhammad Ali. You have said you have watched video of that fight or film, I guess, hundreds of time. It always has the same ending. Does it stick with you?

FOREMAN: Yes. I keep thinking that I'm going to win.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: I have got to win this time. But I never win.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: It's all psychological, too, isn't it? I know, when these two guys get into the ring, I don't know whether they personally like or don't like each other.

But I know Ali was getting on your nerves before that fight. You were getting on his, because, I mean, his own trainer was telling him, hey, this Foreman guy, he just might kill you.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: How does that go -- come into play, George?

FOREMAN: It is strange, because, as the years go by, we -- I hated the guy. And the guy didn't particularly like -- care for me anyway.

CAVUTO: Right.

FOREMAN: But, as the years have gone by, we are the oldest friends we have. You love each other. You want to call each other. You want to take -- I was with on the face -- what is it, FaceTiming him the other day for my birthday.

You realize, boy, if I had only been a little close, a little more affection -- things would have been affectionate. I would have been better off. My best friend now.

CAVUTO: What happens when you come out of the ring?

The first time, you had so many lives, George. If you think about it, you had been angry, surly, knock everyone out in a round or two guy in the early career. Then you come back. You're this grandfatherly, loving -- everyone felt some attachment to you.

And then you went into the Foreman Grill stuff and you were hawking McDonald's and all this stuff. Anything you attached your name to was easy money. Is that where you are at now, the easy money stage?

FOREMAN: You know what? You had -- I had 10 years out of the boxing and you realize, if you don't learn to sell, you're going to starve.

So what do you do? You manufacture a smile. And after a while, you manufacture and you realize you have got to carry 24/7. You're going to have to be nice to people if you want them to buy you and your stuff.

CAVUTO: Wait a minute. Are you saying that's just a manufactured smile? It's fake?

FOREMAN: You have got to -- you go around the corner, you manufacture your stomach muscle. You see the guys with the six-packs? Manufactured. You work on it.

CAVUTO: Yes.

FOREMAN: Then you have to go...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I wouldn't know what you're talking about, but, yes, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: I caught an interview with you. I caught an interview with you recently at Forbes magazine. You talked about money. And you said: "It's a curse to think you have enough. There is never enough. Money has to be spent. It is not made to be saved."

Wow.

FOREMAN: The privilege is to earn.

CAVUTO: Yes.

FOREMAN: You have got to keep earning. For those of us who think you're going to get that magic purse, I'm going to be set for life, that's a curse.

You have got to get up every morning and hit your feet on the ground and say, I have got to go get some more, because earning is a great privilege. It doesn't matter if it's $10,000 or $10. You have got to keep earning.

CAVUTO: Well, my prediction on Mayweather and Pacquiao, I don't know them that well. I have had Mayweather on my show a couple of times. He's a very true, shrewd marketer. He sort of reminds you of a modern-day Muhammad Ali.

But he goes through money fast. And you know, and Mike Tyson, what, lost a billion dollars earned in the ring, right? So it's -- you can lose it fast. How do you advise they hang onto it?

FOREMAN: The most important thing is, you have got to be generous, because when we were poor people, growing up poor, everyone was generous to us.

We -- they only had $10, they would give us $2. You have got to keep that up. But the main thing is have one pocket that you don't spend. Save. Just don't -- just hide it away. You will need it later on, because money is just as important as when you're gray-headed, gray-haired as when you were a bald head. Oops.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: But do your kids and grandkids hear that and say, hey, gramps, come on? We know you have got a lot of money, and, ka-ching ka-ching, pass it on?

FOREMAN: Yes. They come after you, but there was a time when they just wanted -- they love you for George. But as time goes on, they love you for BMWs and Corvettes.

CAVUTO: Yes. You got to watch that.

I thought of this, this bout that is coming up, that if you think about it -- I take nothing away from either fighters and they are great fighters, but they are not heavyweights. In fact, the two of them together I think weigh about my left arm. Now, take nothing away from them, but what happened to the days where guys like you and Earnie Shavers and Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier dominated the sport because you were the biggest, baddest guys?

FOREMAN: And just think if they're -- they're successful with this fight, what would happen if they were both 250-pounders? Boy, the world...

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN: ... heavyweight champion.

CAVUTO: Well, where are their counter -- where are those guys in the heavyweight division?

FOREMAN: I am so hungry, I'm searching myself.

(LAUGHTER)

FOREMAN: I have got my sons and daughters. We are out there trying to find that next heavyweight champion of the world.

The world needs it. But we will have to get along with what we have, Mayweather, Pacquiao. This is -- this represents the most skill there is in boxing.

CAVUTO: Do you think that what was the death of boxing were all of these multiple titles and organizations? You have WBA, WBF, IBF, FBI, CIA, all of these guys. It had gotten ridiculous, right? So you would have at any given time three or more champs, right, and that it diluted the whole thing, ruined it.

FOREMAN: Yes. Yes. Things got bad, but then everyone was making a lot of money, so it wasn't bad for the boxers.

CAVUTO: Yes.

FOREMAN: But you realized they just chewed them up and everybody just disappeared.

I would like at least five, Jerry Quarry, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, just five of those guys to resurrect and come back on the scene. Boxing would be really on its feet again.

CAVUTO: What about promoters? You mentioned Arum a second ago, but I'm thinking of the Don Kings. Mike Tyson was very bitter about Don King. You?

FOREMAN: Yes, Don King, he played his part in making major fights. He put the Rumble in the Jungle on and a few others.

CAVUTO: Right.

FOREMAN: But his time has come and gone now. There are some great young promoters right now, the guy who is with Mayweather right now -- I can't call his name right off -- he is spectacular, a great guy. He's quiet, Harvard graduate, by the way.

CAVUTO: Wow.

FOREMAN: So, good things are happening. They are developing good promoters.

And what do they do, they pay the fighters. Oscar de la Hoya is one of those promoters.

CAVUTO: Oh, sure. Sure.

FOREMAN: They actually -- they actually pay boxers. Oh, boy. Would I have needed them in my days.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: George, I also read somewhere that...

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN: Al Haymon. The guy's name is Al Haymon.

CAVUTO: Al Haymon.

FOREMAN: He's the one.

CAVUTO: Absolutely.

FOREMAN: Yes.

CAVUTO: I also remember that it was Bill Cosby who got you into hawking products. And you have heard all the stuff that has happened to him. What do you think of that and him?

FOREMAN: Boy, was he a -- Bill Cosby was a magnificent guy. He was really the standard bearer of minorities, hey, giving the guy some advice once you make it. Don't stay out late at night. Don't spend up all your money.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But what do you think of all of these women who are making these charges against him? FOREMAN: I never did hear too much about him in those days about women, because, as you know, I was boxing. I couldn't stay up late, coach.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: That is what we call a deft nonanswer, George.

FOREMAN: Yes. But these are beloved fellows. And everybody gets a little adversity here and there, and you just have to wait and let their life play out and you see what happens later on.

CAVUTO: Yes.

OK. The Foreman Grill, do you use it yourself?

FOREMAN: Oh, it knocks out the fat.

CAVUTO: OK.

FOREMAN: I couldn't be without it.

I'm the only guy -- I can't tell you my -- I can tell you my height, but not my weight. But I'm the same weight that I fought at as heavyweight champion of the world.

CAVUTO: Amazing.

FOREMAN: It's because I eat properly and put everything on that grill.

CAVUTO: If you reversed the grill for me, so the fat could go back onto the meat, we might be talking something.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: But, George...

FOREMAN: But now I have just started a program with the George Foreman's Butcher Shop, teaming up with a lot of...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: The Foreman Butcher Shop? So, now you have meat to put on your grill. Man, you're brilliant.

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN: All of the kids have something spectacular to put on the grill, grass-fed cattle.

CAVUTO: All right.

FOREMAN: And so I'm doing something I really love now.

CAVUTO: Good for you, and a great attitude to go with it.

George Foreman, thank you very, very much. Good seeing you.

FOREMAN: Oh, and thank you. Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.

The big fight in a couple of months. George Foreman will probably be there. He should be there.

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