This Day in Black History: Oct. 30, 1974

Muhammad Ali regained the World Heavyweight championship.

This Day in Black History: Oct. 30, 1974

Muhammad Ali regained the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship in Zaire on Oct. 30, 1974.

Published October 29, 2012

It was one of the most celebrated boxing bouts of the century. Known as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the historic world heavyweight championship fight that took place in Kinshasa, Zaire, on Oct. 30, 1974, between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.  

Ali regained his former title in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo by knocking out Foreman in the eighth round. Additionally, the championship fight was one of Don King's first ventures as a professional boxing promoter.  

Ali was not favored to win the match, largely because of Foreman's reputation of throwing hard punches. During the fight, beginning in the second round, Ali began laying on the ropes, allowing Foreman to hit him with body punches, while avoiding Ali's head. Midway through, when Foreman began tiring, Ali would then counter with punches and some flurries. By the fifth round, Ali began to hit more effectively to Foreman, who was weakening. This practice would later become known as the “Rope-a-Dope.” Halfway into the eighth round, Ali hit Foreman with a flurry of punches that sent Foreman to the canvas, later resulting in him being counted out and Ali winning back the championship for the second time in his career.

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(Photo: dpa /Landov)

Written by Jonathan P. Hicks


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