George Foreman has been accused by two women of sexual assault ©Getty Images

Heavyweight boxing great and Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games gold medallist George Foreman is facing two lawsuits relating to sexual assault allegations from the 1970s, where he is accused of grooming and raping two girls.

These were filed at the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday (August 24) from two individuals under the pseudonyms Gwen H. and Denise F.

The 73-year-old, best remembered for his "Rumble in the Jungle" fight against fellow American professional boxer Muhammad Ali, has denied the allegations.

Both women, now in their early sixties, claim they met the professional boxer when they were children through their fathers, who were associates to him.

Denise says Foreman groomed her when she was eight years old and had sex with her under the legal age limit at 15, meaning this would count as statutory rape.

One of these incidents is said to have taken place in a San Francisco hotel room.

Gwen, from Nevada, said Foreman met her when she was nine and sexually abused and raped her when she was 15 and 16.

This lawsuit suggests blackmail too, with Foreman allegedly stating Gwen's father would lose his job if she told him what had happened.

The boxer has claimed  these lawsuits are extortion and baseless.

"Over the past six months, two women have been trying to extort millions of dollars each from me and my family," said Foreman in a statement.

"I don't pick fights, but I don't run away from them either."

California law allows victims of childhood sexual abuse to participate in civil lawsuits ©Getty Images
California law allows victims of childhood sexual abuse to participate in civil lawsuits ©Getty Images

Statute of limitations rules on child sexual assault for those aged 15 in California mean a criminal case would have had to be pursued decades ago.

In 2020, a California law allowed statute of limitations to be extended for victims of childhood sexual abuse for civil lawsuits.

Prior to becoming one of the most well-known professional boxers in the world, Foreman became an Olympic champion 54 years ago where he defeated Jonas Čepulis from the Soviet Union in the final.

He defeated Joe Frazier to become world champion in 1973 before losing to Ali a year later in Kinshasa, which ended his undefeated streak after 40 consecutive wins.

Foreman ended his professional career with a record of 76-5.

His name remains in the kitchen of millions, through the George Foreman grill, which has sold over 100 million units.