Former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman said on Wednesday that two women have accused him of sexually abusing them in the 1970s, allegations the 73-year-old American denies.
Foreman said the two women have been trying for the past six months to get “millions of dollars” each from him and his family.
“They are falsely claiming that I sexually abused them over 45 years ago in the 1970s,” Foreman said in a statement. “I adamantly and categorically deny these allegations.”
Foreman said he would work with his lawyers to expose what he called his “accusers’ scheme” and defend himself in court.
“The pride I take in my reputation means as much to me as my sports accomplishments, and I will not be intimidated by baseless threats and lies,” said Foreman. “I don’t pick fights, but I don’t run away from them either.”
Foreman, who won the heavyweight gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, had a professional record of 76-5 with 68 knockouts during a career in which he earned a reputation as among the most fearsome punchers of all time.
In 1974, he famously lost his world title to Muhammad Ali in the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasa.
Twenty years later, a 45-year old Foreman defeated Michael Moorer to regain the heavyweight championship and became the oldest man ever to hold the crown. Foreman was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003.