The "Rumble in the Jungle"- Not a Good Fight?

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Post by Guest on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 10:58 am

When Muhammad Ali was promoting the upcoming fight, he named it "The Rumble in the Jungle." We all know it, we could shorten it to "The Rumble" and boxing fans would surely sigh, lean an elbow against the bar and say something like,"Ahhhhh.The Rumble In The Jungle.Well, Ali let him punch himself out,you see..." and cue what will probably be a fairly interesting conversation.The chances are that even a fairly unknowledgeable boxing fan would know about the Rumble ,by a kind of boxing osmosis or proxy.You should just know about it.Explaining it to a total boxing novice is one of the greatest pleasures(okay, talking to a girl who is pretending to be interested.Maybe that's why the second date never happens).Someone on 606 recently said that the fight always brings a lump to the throat.

Mind over matter.Brain over brawn.Ali beat another monster, ten years after Liston, in the form of George Foreman, in the final reckoning, himself a boxer like no other.Norman Mailer wrote an entire book (well,almost) on the fight, calling it simply "The Fight".It's fantastic. The film "When We Were Kings" is incredibly moving.It seems to say something about Ali that is hard to express- unconquerable spirit.Muhammad Ali is probably my favourite boxer and human being,but to be honest, Zaire '74 is a fight that I won't be revisiting any time soon,if ever.

The facts of the matter are, there are only two stages to the fight.Ali provokes Foreman, Ali covers up,takes a load of punches but mostly they don't solidly connect, Ali waits for the opportunity to pounce, then delivers a fierce salvo, which wins him the fight.A perfect strategy, just not a very good spectacle.Watching Foreman career around the ring, like he never did before or after, perhaps wondering if it was worth fighting on,going to the well-as Ali did between round one and two, when his face shows shock and awe of Foreman's power.are must-see.The book and the film really illuminated all the small details you can miss.But is it a GOOD fight?Take away all the love for Ali (and Foreman) and the other contexts and it sadly does not hold up as exciting.It's seven and a half rounds of waiting for the knockout.Apart from that it's simply not true that Ali invented the Rope-A -Dope tactic, it having been utilisied many years previously by other boxers.

I would be keen to know your thought s of the fight, if you disagree,is it because of the smaller moments that make up the whole, or can you sit through the whole thing, genuinely savouring it?Cheers.


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Post by 88Chris05 on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 11:10 am

Fine article, Andy, and I largely agree; great event, fabulous moment in boxing history, full of significance from plenty of different angles....But not actually a great boxing match, if you strip all of that away.

I suppose it goes back to what any individual views 'greatness' as. For instance, if we take the fact that Ali was a pop culture icon, phenomenal entertainer and a byword for political activism all rolled in to one, then he surely does live up to his moniker of 'The Greatest.'

Take all of that away, however, and he becomes a great fighter, but not top dog. I believe a similar notion is afoot with regards to the 'Rumble.' A great fight if you consider all aspects, but from a purely boxing perspective, not the type of fight you'd be tempted to watch more than once.
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Post by azania on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 11:14 am

I've seen the fight too many times to remember and Ali was not taking a beating as many claim. He was blocking most of the punches and landing very effective counters. I had him ahead until he scored the KO.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 11:18 am

Great article, as ever, andy.

My thoughts are much in line with alma and Chris. Maybe not the greatest 'fight' in history, but certainly the most memorable 'event', for me.

I think it still, even stripping away all the background and myth, holds the attention as a fight as it really does have some great moments and fierce rounds, but it is hard to know how much sub-conscious weight we apply to the fight knowing what we do about its significance as a postmark in boxing history. I never tire of watching it, despite how often it is on.




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Post by bhb001 on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 1:32 pm

It's the iconic nature of the fight that is important, not the fight itself. It was a superb demonstration on how to get someone to box themselves out. Letting them hit you isn't enough, you must keep the SOB working! Highly competative, high drama, just not the Hagler Hearns wham bham thank you mam also goes don in history

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Post by eddyfightfan on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 9:38 pm

i level of competition we havent seen for years too

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Post by Guest on Thu 21 Jun 2012, 1:21 am

Agreed, Eddy, I think the seventies was a superb time for boxing and how can it be as exciting as it was with Ali ever again!

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Post by horizontalhero on Thu 21 Jun 2012, 3:57 am

I think it was a fantastic fight, great counter attacking from Ali, who btw I thought was ahead at the time of the ok, plenty of big punches, plenty of courage, huge occasion . What's not to like?

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