43 years ago, in 1974 one of the most iconic boxing tournaments occurred. This was known as the “Rumble In the Jungle”.
The fight was between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. In this fight, Foreman was expected to win.
This fight was intended to mark a comeback for Muhammad Ali, who had lost three years earlier when he was defeated by Joe Frazier.
According to ESPN, the undefeated Foreman effectively won the world title by flattening the great Joe Frazier. This caused legitimate fears for Ali’s safety in the fight.
“He was 32 by then and didn’t float like a butterfly any more. It was hard to see how he could stay away from Big George’s punches for long.”
The fight between Ali and Forman was set to occur on October 30, 1974 in Zaire, who’s president wanted to convey a more forward thinking country.
According to an article on History.com, the president paid the fighters 5 million dollars for just showing up, in hopes to bring positive attention to the country.
When the fight was staged, Foreman went out and started throwing punches as hard as he was known to do, as Ali backed up against the ropes, a move his trainer named the “rope a dope” technique, to help tire out the opponent.
By around the fifth round, Foreman was beginning to tire out and by the time the 8th began, Ali knew to make his move and started throwing punches.
Foreman, visibly exhausted, was counted out with two seconds on the clock. This win was a huge comeback in Ali’s career.
This was undoubtedly one of the greatest sports moments of all time and is listed frequently as one of the biggest upsets the sports history.
This was supposed to be a win for Foreman, who had previously been undefeated and had won all his bouts except two in early knockouts.
Ali, who recently has passed away, is not remembered solely for his great fighting abilities but also remembered for his oral skills through constant taunting of his opponents. It is hard to say that the legacy of Muhammad Ali may not have been as great if he hadn’t demolished who was considered the greatest fighter at that time in history.
George Foreman later on, famously became the spokesperson for a wildly successful electric grill, along with returning to the sport of boxing twenty years later, becoming the oldest heavyweight boxing winner.
This fight is consistently cited as one of the greatest bouts of the game and shall not be forgotten.