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The Rumble in The Jungle

The Rumble in The Jungle was a historical boxing event that took place on October 30, 1974, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then known as Zaire. It pitted then world Heavyweight champion George Foreman against former world champion and that time challenger Muhammad Ali, who was looking to become the second fighter ever, after Floyd Patterson, to recover the world's Heavyweight crown.

The event was Don King's first venture as a professional boxing promoter. He looked for an outside country to stage this large event, and Zaire was in need of a positive image in the eyes of the world, so Zaire's president asked for the fight to be held there.

Foreman and Ali spent much of the summer of 1974 training in Zaire, and getting their bodies used to the weather in the tropical African country. Ali also spent his time there endearing himself to Zaire's citizens. Because of that, many of them could be heard during the fight saying the phrase Ali bomaye!, which translates to English as Ali kill him!.

The fight was originally set to happen in September, but Foreman got injured during training, pushing the fight back off to October.

With Hollywood stars and world boxing champions such as Ken Norton and Joe Frazier present, the fight started at 5 am Kinshasa time, to accommodate United States viewers. Howard Cosell and former NFL star Jim Brown were the TV commentators. Ali had told his trainer, Angelo Dundee, and his fans, that he had a secret plan for Foreman.

Ali started laying on the ropes and letting Foreman punch him with everything Foreman had. Dundee asked Ali in his corner if he wanted to commit suicide. Ali had introduced, that way, his Rope-a-Dope fighting style, where he just stood on the ropes and allowed his opponents to punch him, getting them tired.

Foreman landed some punches of significance in the first few rounds, but as round after round went by, he began to tire noticeably. In round six, Ali connected with some important punches that made Foreman appear dazzled. Foreman was then seen apparently gasping for air, as he began to open his mouth more frequently.

In round eight, Foreman tried one more time, but Ali, against the ropes, connected a combination to the head that made the defending champion dizzy and followed that with a right to the chin. Foreman crumbled to the canvas, and he just sat there, looking bewildered as referee Zack Clayton counted to ten.

Foreman later claimed that Ali's trainers had loosened up the ropes to benefit Ali, but he apologized for those comments and has admitted to saying them without any base and in a moment where he was feeling bad because he lost the fight. Having said this, in Norman Mailers account of the match (described in the book The Fight), he describes quite explicitly that a member of Ali's camp had loosened the ropes in full view of the audience.

Ali and Foreman have, despite their famous religious differences, become good friends in the years after the fight. They also appear together in the Champions Forever series of video documentaries and games, and, when Foreman is enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June of 2003, he will join Ali there.

The events before and during this bout are depicted in the Academy Award winning documentary, When We Were Kings. The biographical movie Ali (2002) depicts this fight as the film's climax. In addition Norman Mailer wrote a book (The Fight) describing the events, and placing them within the context of his views of black american culture.

Johnny Wakelin wrote a song about this match called In Zaire.