It is often said of baseball players that they die twice. Once when they retire from the game and once when they actually pass. The same can be said about boxers, but a fighter's first death seems to be exponentially harsher and more dramatic than of their professional athlete peers.
Unfortunately, the list is long and sad of fighters whose afterlife has been long and sad, or often just sad. But that is not always the case. Sometimes, post punching brings stability and credibility. And as boxing fans ride the wave of what was and will be back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-with no end in sight eventful Saturday nights, lets run with the positive.
Which boxer has had the best afterlife? Whose life has thrived after boxing? In the interest of interesting, the candidate must have been accomplished or at least had their moment in the sun.
Unless challenged the top three are...
1. Big George Foreman's name must be grilled into any story about a successful afterlife. Most of his career was spent as an ornery curmudgeon. Loose with his wives and his money, eventually losing four wives and all his winnings.
After two comebacks, the latter with a new persona and devotion to Christ, opportunities opened up to become the sports most successful pitchman, banking close to a quarter billion in income. Since 1985 he has been married to wife number 5. He has a total of 10 children, a Ministry and is involved in AIDS charity work.
Yes, it seems to be either an open secret or well known misconception that George is not the lovable, huggable giant that the public views him as, that he is really closer to the menacing and grumpy brute from his early career. Either way, from the outside, his afterlife looks pretty good.
2. Oscar De La Hoya has survived some tabloid type scandals and kept his marriage together. Golden Boy is a giant in the promotion business. He had a great record inside the ring, Golden Boy is hosting record setting promotions, and he even released a good selling record.
Oscar still talks well and looks the same as he did when he hooked his way onto the boxing scene, if not a little plumper. Still pretty darn golden. It is safe to say the shine has not come off the golden boy, in fist life or the next.
3. Lennox Lewis is still getting checks from HBO. It might be to the chagrin of many, but those checks still cash. He still talks well, just not about boxing while holding a mic. Though that may be a little harsh and a little over stated.
He's had the dollars and sense to turn down the WWE's advances. He's done the Celebrity Apprentice and was by far the most popular of all the trumpeters. Married since 2005, first wife, Miss Jamaica runner-up, two children. Unfortunately, working the balding-braids, but Miss Jamaica runner-up seems not to mind.