Forty-one years ago today, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman faced off in what many boxing fans/analysts/experts/historians have called the greatest fight, if not the greatest sporting event, of all-time – the Rumble in the Jungle. On October 30, 1974, a 32-year-old Ali took on the 25-year-old heavyweight champion of the world and all-around badass, Foreman, to take back the belt that was stripped from him seven years earlier when Ali was accused of being a draft dodger. Set in Kinshasa, Zaire, the fight made a colossal impact on the region and its people, as they looked at Ali as a hero and, of course, a People’s Champion. The Rumble has also had a massive impact on popular culture with the documentary When We Were Kings, which took 22 years to make and won an Academy Award in 1996.
As for the fight itself, well, it’s a must watch for any combat sports fan, young and old. In fact, instead of trying to describe Ali’s master class in the legendary “Rope-a-Dope” or how The Greatest flipped the script on the “age versus beauty” storyline, we’ll just put the complete fight right here.
Or, if you don’t have an hour or so to watch the complete fight and interviews included in that video, our friends at Roots of Fight have created this much shorter clip that takes us straight to the spectacular ending…
While Foreman (and boxing fans) never got the rematch that he wanted, he and Ali would go on to become the greatest of friends, which is remarkable considering how much trash-talking took place in the months leading up to the Rumble. We don’t have any huge fights taking place this weekend, which is a shame, but it’s worth remembering this amazing clash of two of boxing’s most dynamic legends while watching some of today’s young fighters in this weekend’s events.
(Also, be sure to check out Roots of Fight’s Rumble in the Jungle collection celebrating the event’s anniversary and Ali’s return to glory, as well as the Thrilla in Manila gear. After all, it is the preferred fight clothing of WWE greatness like Tyson Kidd and that other guy… Dwayne something.)
Premier Boxing Champions has a double shot this weekend, and they start off in Orlando, Florida, on Friday. Heavyweights Tony “The Tiger” Thompson and Malik “King” Scott square off in the main event, with the card starting at 9PM ET on Bounce TV.
Halloween night sees Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo put his undefeated record on the line as he takes on Joachim “Ti-Joa” Alcine at 154 pounds. The action kicks off at 11PM ET on the NBC Sports network.
The long-running and venerable Pancrase organization is now streaming events on UFC Fight Pass. On Sunday morning at 1AM ET, right after you set your clocks back, Pancrase is going to clock you in the face with a 19-fight card. The main event is a lightweight title fight between former UFC competitor Kazuki Tokudome and grappler Satoru Kitaoka, who has probably the best collection of nicknames. He has been known, at one time or another as “The Catch Wrestling Koala Bear”, “Ai Senshi”, which translates to “Soldiers of Sorrow” and my personal favorite, “Weird But Strong”.