History | Premium | Jan 24 2020

My Night: George Foreman survives hellacious war with Ron Lyle

George Foreman details arguably the most thrilling fight in heavyweight history
George Foreman

I HAD my best night in boxing, back when I fought, in January 1976, Ron Lyle: it was almost 40 years ago now. In my past fight, I’d lost my undefeated record and the world heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle.

You tell everybody that you’re a good fighter, you tell everybody that you’re a good boxer, but you never get a chance to show it when you get a one-round knockout win, or when you lose.

I told everybody, after losing to Ali, that there were a lot of things going against me in Africa – the fight was in Zaire, known today as the Democratic Republic of Congo – and everybody just said, ‘Oh yeah, sour grapes, you’re just a sore loser’.