This was to be Don King's first venture into boxing promotion. He guaranteed both fighters a then unheard of $5 million each; money which he didn't have. As a result, he looked for a country other than the USA who were willing to sponsor the fight and take this massive burden off him. The president of Zaire was interested, and the stage was set - the two fighters were to battle it out in Kinhasa, Zaire.
Ali and Foreman - The Two Best Heavyweights in the World
At this time, while the heavyweight division was stacked, these two stood out as the top contenders. Ali was coming off a unanimous decision win over Joe Frazier and Foreman was considered to be an absolute wrecking machine. Going into this fight, he had amassed a 40-0 record, with 37 of those wins coming by way of knockout.
People realised Foreman was for real when he obliterated 'Smokin' Joe Frazier in two rounds, knocking him down six times in the process. Also, in the fight previous to his encounter with Ali, he destroyed Ken Norton, a very respectable heavyweight in two rounds. While the public wanted Ali to win, many people thought Foreman would be too much for him.
How 'The Rumble in the Jungle' Went
The opening round was the most tentative of the fight for both men. However, Ali did well, utilising his speed and jabbing from the outside well. Foreman managed a few decent body shots at the end of the round, but this belonged to Ali.
The second session probably went Foreman's way though. Ali was starting to use the infamous 'rope-a-dope' tactic, but at this stage, Foreman was outworking him, and throwing some really good hooks to the body.
Foreman carried on his excellent body work in the fourth, but he probably lost this round as Ali had now woken up. Ali opened up with some head shots, including a very tasty left hook which rocked Foreman.
The legs of Foreman seemed tired in the fourth, probably because of the immense heat in Zaire. However, he put a big effort into this round, an...