In 1974, the famous boxing match known as the "Rumble in the Jungle" featured George Foreman and which other boxer?
And the answer: Muhammad Ali.
The Rumble in the Jungle was a historic boxing event held in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight put the undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman against the challenger and former champion Muhammad Ali. An estimated one billion people around the world watched on television, as Ali won in the eighth round.
Rumble in the Jungle was one of the most legendary fights of all time. Ending with an iconic knockout, Ali cemented in stone a name for himself and a reputation to boot. After eight brutal rounds, Ali came off the ropes to hit Foreman with a lightning-fast combination that sent his competitor tumbling to the ground. Yet, it was more than sheer force that won it for Ali: it was his unique strategy and skillful technique in the ring.
Before the fight, no one had given Ali much of a chance. Despite his talent and experience, the ability to overcome Foreman's immense power seemed unheard of – the fighter had run through almost every competitor he had ever faced. Yet Ali entered the ring with a secret strategy: tire him out, and then go in for the finishing blow.
Foreman's style was built upon controlling his competitor's arms to set up his punches. By holding his hands far away from his body, Foreman was often able to smother or knock his competitors off balance before coming in with the crushing blow. But, from the opening bell, Ali had a way to turn all of Foreman's best tricks against him. Using his speed and agility to his advantage, Ali consistently dodged Foreman's punches to the head and used the vulnerability of his open arms to land quick jabs.
Ultimately, after an intense eight rounds, Foreman was exhausted. By using the rope for support and timing his punches just right, Ali took down Foreman, watching him as he fell. After the fact, Foreman reported:
"The fact that he didn’t punch me when I was going to fall, made him the greatest of all in my eyes."
Learn more about the fight below.