HOUSTON — Family members are opening up about the sudden death of Freeda Foreman.
She was a professional boxer and daughter to two-time world heavyweight champ George Foreman.
Authorities said Freeda died inside her Atascocita home on Friday.
In an exclusive interview with KHOU, the family hopes the world remembers how Freeda lived and not how she died.
Freeda’s mother Andre Skeete said her only daughter was 42 years old.
She had two daughters, 24-year-old Justice Green and 12-year-old Marlena Foreman.
She’s also the grandmother to Nevaeh, Iana and Chance.
Skeete last talked with her daughter on Thursday.
She wants people to know that there was so much to her outside the ring and her famous father.
“She asked me a couple of weeks ago ... ‘Mom, what was the biggest joy of your life?’ And I told her, ‘The day that you were put in my arms,’” Skeete recalled.
Even though Freeda followed in her father’s footsteps by becoming a boxer, Skeete said the sport was just 1 percent of her life.
Skeete described her daughter as a strong and smart woman who wanted to create change for others.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and was on her way to graduating with a master’s in criminal justice.
Skeete always told her to follow her dreams.
“Having had those discussions with her, I was quite shocked and unprepared mentally,” she said before pausing.
You can see it in her face as she talks about her daughter’s death that the shock is still there.
Green, Freeda’s oldest daughter who was silently watching the interview in the wings, rushed in to console her grandmother.
They said Freeda was the glue that held the family together.
“She loved to be close to me," Skeete said. "She loved to be up under me. She loved to cuddle with me. Just like that. (It’s OK). Wherever we were. (It’s ok),” Skeete said.
And, just like Freeda always wanted her mother by her side, Justice knew her mother was always in her corner.
“She defended me,” Green exclaimed. “She always defended me.”
For now, Skeete’s favorite picture of her daughter—taken before her short boxing career— helps bring a smile to her face during this difficult time.
Skeete added, “She called me one day and she said, ‘Mom, I’m going to be a boxer.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ I just left everything I was doing, hoped on a flight to Denver and I stayed there with her. How old were you baby? Five?”
Sadly, Green started sobbing uncontrollably before she could answer her grandmother.
With every story there’s a memory that’s also hard to relive.
“It doesn’t hit now. I just, I don’t, I just, I just don’t believe she’s gone because it doesn’t happen, it’s not supposed to happen,” Green tried to get out.
The family does have one request.
They ask for space and respect.
If you or anyone you know needs someone to talk to there is always help out there.
YOU are not alone.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1.800.273.8255(TALK).
They’re available 24 hours a day. Every day!
► Make it easy to keep up-to-date. Download the KHOU News app now.