Today on October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali delivers his legendary knockout punch to George Foreman at the Rumble in the Jungle.
The Rumble in the Jungle was one of the most highly anticipated boxing matches held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The marquee event was perhaps one of the greatest sporting events of the 20th century. The match pitted the undefeated world heavyweight champion, George Foreman, against the legendary Muhammad Ali, a former heavyweight champion. It took place on May 20 with a full stadium of more than 60,000 fans. The American boxing promoter, Don King, arranged the match and signed separate contracts with Ali and Foreman, each worth $5 million. However, King did not have the funds to pay them so he looked abroad to find a country willing to sponsor the premiere event.
The match was really a battle between skilled agility and brute force. Ali was famed for his lightning-fast speed and technical abilities, while Foreman's raw power was his greatest strength. During this match, Ali came up with his innovative strategy which he later dubbed the “rope-a-dope”. Ali began frequently leaning on the ropes and covering up, letting Foreman punch him on the arms and body. As a result, Foreman was scoring a few points and was quickly running out of energy. Ali waited for his moment and finally dealt the knockout blow near the end of the 8th round. Interestingly, Foreman and Ali became very close friends in the years following the match.