Boxing Legend George Foreman Shows Utmost Grace as He Explains Why He Lost to Muhammad Ali at Rumble in the Jungle

Published 12/21/2021, 9:30 AM EST


Muhammad Ali and George Foreman will remain as two of the greatest heavyweight boxers to have ever graced the sport. Be it for their personal achievements or the bad blood that they mutually shared, Ali and Foreman will always be contemporary to each other. That said, the pair blessed heavyweight boxing by locking horns in 1974.

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The heavyweight scrap dubbed as ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ is one of the biggest sporting events of all time that took place in Zaire. Don King staged a multi-million fight by putting two absolute best against each other. It did tremendous business and didn’t lack the intensity of the in-ring affair.

Following a gruesome battle in the first stage, Ali’s clever tactics and game plan fetched him the win via stoppage in round eight. While Foreman offered his best against ‘The Greatest, it shocked him to see himself go down to the canvas. After over four decades of the fight, ‘Big George’ revealed what cost him the win that night.

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In a media interaction, George Foreman recalled the fight and said, “Ali was a wonderful man. But human is so diverse.”

“There is no ‘good standard for any [one]. He won cause he outfought me. I am a human being. That’s all.”

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Foreman offered a violent game plan in the fight that also helped him see some success in the early stage. However, Muhammad Ali used the rope-a-dope technique to stick by the ropes and allure Foreman to throw shots. George Foreman fell prey to it and drained his energy without gaining much from his action. That’s when Muhammad Ali took his best form and returned heat in the later stage before stooping Foreman in the eighth.

George Foreman knew the people loved Muhammad Ali

25-year-old George Foreman entered the ring with sheer grit but had very minor support from the crowd. The entire crowd in Zaire backed Muhammad Ali and chanted ‘Ali Bomaye’ when the 32-year-old was stepping into the ring.

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He saw the contrast in behavior between both the contenders. But Foreman accepted it in a good sporting spirit.

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Re-collecting the famous ‘AIi Bomaye’ chant, George Foreman said, “The people of Zaire treated me with great respect, but somehow the truth got masked. Everyone has the right to cheer for their choice.”

Following the fight, the rivalry remained for a few years. But as both the legends approached the end of their careers; they shared mutual respect towards each other. Today, Muhammad Ali is no longer with us, but people’s and Foreman’s love for him remains intact.

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Raj Sarkar

3018 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. Combining his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports, he has earned a combined 3000 plus bylines over the last two years.

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