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George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali, billed as The Rumble in the Jungle in DRC

Posted by Walter Gido on

George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali, billed as The Rumble in the Jungle in DRC

This was a heavyweight championship boxing match on October 30, 1974, at the 20th May Stadium (now the Stade Tata Raphaël) in Kinshasa, Zaire (now DRC), between undefeated and undisputed heavyweight  champion George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. The event had an attendance of 60,000 people. Ali won by knockout  in the eighth round. It has been called "arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century” and was a major upset, with Ali coming in as a 4–1underdog  against the unbeaten, heavy-hitting Foreman. The fight is famous for Ali's introduction of the rope a dope tactic.

Some sources estimate that the fight was watched by as many as one billion television viewers around the world becoming the world's most watched  at the time This included a record estimated 50 million viewers watching the fight pay per view on closed circuit theatre TV . The fight grossed an estimated $100 million (inflation-adjusted $500 million) in worldwide revenue. Decades later, the bout would be the subject of the Academy Awards  winning documentary film When We were Kings.

Foreman and Ali became friends after the fight. Ali had trouble walking to the stage at the 1996 Oscars to be part of the group receiving the Oscar for When We were Kings.(1996), a documentary of the fight in Zaire, due to his Parkinson's syndrome . Foreman helped him up the steps to receive the Oscar

Over the years, Foreman revised his opinions on Ali and on The Rumble in the Jungle, on several accounts. In 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported Foreman's declaration: "We fought in 1974, that was a long time ago. After 1981, we became the best of friends. By 1984, we loved each other. I am not closer to anyone else in this life than I am to Muhammad Ali."Foreman also stated: "Then, in 1981, a reporter came to my ranch and asked me: 'What happened in Africa, George?' I had to look him in the eye and say, 'I lost. He beat me.' Before that I had nothing but revenge and hate on my mind, but from then on it was clear. I'll never be able to win that match, so I had to let it go.

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