6/4/2016 12:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
George Foreman says he lost his best friend when Muhammad Ali died Friday night … but the former heavyweight champ tells TMZ Sports he takes solace knowing Ali would’ve been touched by the outpouring of affection.
Ali and Foreman squared off in the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” — maybe boxing’s most legendary match. Ali handed Foreman his first loss. Years later, they became close friends.
Foreman told us about his last interaction with Ali:
“Last year, at the end of the year, I spent some time with him in Louisville. Got to whisper in his ear. He was sickly, but he knew who he was. His mind, his brain, was always together. You could sneak up and give him a kiss. He just couldn’t move much.”
As for the reverence coming from every corner of the world … Foreman says, “All Muhammad ever wanted was to be loved. He wanted love. And the world has shown today that they really love him. It wasn’t a put on.”
Foreman says Ali truly was “The Greatest” … and that extended well beyond the boxing ring.
“Muhammad Ali was like a total eclipse. We won’t see that again. Saying he was a great boxer, that’s making him too small. He was a great man.”