Today marks the 41st anniversary of one of the most iconic fights in boxing history
The Rumble In The Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974 is symbolic of a different time in boxing and still to this say, stands as one of the premier examples of courage exhibited in a professional ring from a human being.
A 32 year old Ali at the time sought to regain the heavyweight championship of the world from a ferocious 25 year old champion George Foreman, who had cut through champions like Joe Frazier and Ken Norton before meeting Ali in Zaire, Africa in front of 60,000 fans at the 20th of May Stadium.
At the time it was perceived by many, that Ali had seen better days after losing to Joe Frazier not long before the showdown with Foreman and previously before that, having had his boxing licence revoked for over three years for failing to comply with conscription in the Vietnam war.
Although Ali perhaps was no longer at his best physically, his tactical genius, cunning and bravery was to prove to be a surprising factor on the night.
He used Foreman’s physicality against him in the now famous ‘Rope a Dope’ tactics, where he allowed Foreman to hit him while laying on the ropes, gradually wearing down Foreman’s stamina during the fight.
His taunts at Foreman during the fight only perpetuated this fatigue faster, as Foreman whaled away to the body of Ali, before finally succumbing to exhaustion in the 8th round, allowing Ali to seize his opportunity and rattle off a combination on Foreman, that saw him crash to the canvas and referee calling off the fight.
To this day, it stands as a masterpiece in boxing, undeniably. Here’s a look back at the full fight:
(Image credit: DW.com)
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