The Ali — Foreman fight wasn’t in the U.S. It was in Kinshasa, in Zaire. Ali loved Africa. Zaire was a black country. The government was black. Ali stayed in a beautiful big hotel, and the people there loved him.
He was on the streets of Kinshasa every day and people called to him, «‘Ali! Bomaye! Ali! Bomaye!'»
«Bomaye? What are they saying?» Ali asked a man.
The man had a big smile. «They’re saying, Ali! Kill him!»
Of course, George Foreman was a black American, too. But Africans loved Ali because he wanted peace in Vietnam. And he was very famous because he didn’t go into the U.S. Army.
But George Foreman was a very big, strong boxer. He was twenty-five years old and Ali was thirty-two. And Foreman wasn’t slow and heavy.
At four o’clock on the morning of October 30 1974, Ali and Foreman start the big fight. It is very hot in Kinshasa. There is going to be heavy rain later in the day.
In round 1 Ali starts to move and dance across the ring. Foreman comes after him. In the first round, there is no winner.
Ali sits down. «I can’t dance for fifteen rounds,» he thinks. «It’s very hot, and Foreman is quick.
The old game isn’t going to work.»
In round 2 Ali stops dancing. He tries a new game. He is going to make his opponent tired. He moves slowly. Sometimes he only stands there. Foreman hit him with big, heavy punches. People call out. «Dance, Ali! Dance! Don’t stop moving. He’s killing you.»
For six rounds, Foreman hits Ali again and again. But Ali stays on his feet. In round 8. Foreman is getting slow. He is very hot and tired. His hands are heavy slow. Suddenly Ali is quick and strong again. He hits his opponent again and again. And suddenly Foreman is on the floor. He can’t stand up. Ali is dancing. He is the world champion again. He is the world champion again.
Ali stayed the champion for six years. He beat Joe Frazier again in Manila in 1975 after a long and difficult fight.
In 1978, Ali lost a fight with Leon Spinks in Las Vegas. But then, seven months later, he beat him. Ali was the new world champion three times in fourteen years.