History | Oct 30 2019

On This Day: The Rumble in the Jungle sees Muhammad Ali regain the heavyweight title with victory over George Foreman

Matt Christie takes a trip to 1974 Zaire and the night Muhammad Ali sensationally beat George Foreman in the famed Rumble in the Jungle
muhammad ali

George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali, October 30 1974, Kinshasa, Zaire

WHAT can we say about this contest that hasn’t already been said? The fight when Muhammad Ali, apparently past his best at 32, stunned the world, knocked out the seemingly invincible George Foreman in eight rounds, and regained the world heavyweight title. Ali allowed Foreman to punch himself out, introduce his outrageous Rope-A-Dope technique, and in turn, reinvent himself from fading dancer to cunning assassin. All this happened in Zaire, a faraway place few people knew. It was, and forever will be, The Rumble in the Jungle.

But the passing years have attempted to hack away at some of truth. Many now claim Ali stood and took a beating from Foreman before the knockout. He certainly took some horrible blows but, in reality, the old master was in control from the start, as the judges’ tallies testify.