The Art of War According to Ali
One of the most well documented fights of all time between Heavyweight World Champion George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in what would be billed as “The Rumble in the Jungle”.
The Rumble in the Jungle and The Thrilla in Manilla are without a doubt the two most famous boxing fights of all time. They transcended boxing and even people who were not fans of the fistic sport have heard or know about these encounters. The Rumble in the Jungle is not a fight filled with boxing skill per say but actually 1 boxer getting the hell beaten out of him and yet coming out on top almost unscathed (at the time) against all odds. It was one of the most unexpected outcomes of any world title fight and a testament to just how great the 1970's era of boxing was. It's also hard to imagine knowing how the fight ended and what Ali was still to go on and achieve in his career, that Ali was actually the underdog in this fight and given almost no chance of winning…
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”Sun Tzu, The Art of War
George Foreman at the time of this fight was undefeated with 40 wins, 37 by knockout and a majority of those occurring in the first 3 rounds. In 1971 George Foreman stopped Gregorio Peralta in the 10th round to win the vacant NABF Heavyweight title and in 1972 he beat Miguel Angel Paez to add the Pan America Heavyweight title to his waist. These achievements were far out-shadowed however by his demolishing of Joe Frazier in 1973 when he stopped Smokin' Joe in the 2nd round to win the WBC and WBA World Heavyweight titles. He defend the titles against Jose Roman by 1st round KO and then Ken Norton by 2nd round KO. Foreman had cleaned out the heavyweight division on his way to the top and was seen as invincible. He was one of the heaviest hitters to ever lace gloves, undefeated in 40 fights and still only 25 years old. He was the clear standout favorite to win against Muhammad Ali even though he was not the most liked.
Muhammad Ali went into exile in 1967 following his refusal to fight in the Vietnam war and had to give up his World Heavyweight title. When he returned in 1970 the boxing landscape had changed and now Joe Frazier was World Heavyweight champion. Muhammad Ali was quickly given a shot at the new World Champ however much to every-bodies surprise Frazier would pull off the upset and win a 15 round unanimous decision. Although Ali would bounce back with wins against Jimmy Ellis, Mac Foster, George Chuvalo, Jerry Quarry, Floyd Patterson, Ken Norton and Joe Bugner among others, the Ali of the 70's was not the same quick footed bouncing Ali of the 1960's and his wins were not seen as anywhere near as impressive as Foreman's.
Sit back and enjoy one the most famous fights in history.
Source: When We Were Kings