Foreman Vs Ali: The Rumble in the Jungle

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)Muhammad Ali defeats George Foreman, Kinshasa, Congo, October 1974

George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali

The Rumble in the Jungle. The Fight.
October 30, 1974.
Kinshasa, Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo)

A peak of the late Muhammadi Ali‘s boxing career was his fight against George Foreman in Kinshasa, then Zaire, under the rule of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko

See the video above.
– The Outsized Life of Muhammad Ali
– American Hunger
– Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X
– The bridge : the life and rise of Barack Obama

However, The Champ’s actually fulfilled his life  outside the realm of sports: as convert to the Nation of Islam, a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war, a proud African American, an ambassador for peace, and a world icon.

Initially an admirer of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali’s broke up with his mentor after Malcolm left Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam in 1964. He went to create the Organization of Afro-American Unity. When he spoke at the  University of Ibadan in 1965, the Nigerian Muslim Students Association bestowed on him the honorary Yoruba name Omowale (“the son who has come home”).

In All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, Maya Angelou’s recounts the encounter between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X in Accra:

« We  were all laughing with pleasure when we heard the familiar sounds of Black American speech. We turned around and saw Muhammad Ali coming out of the hotel with a large retinue of Black men. They were all talking and joking among themselves. One minute after we saw them, they saw Malcolm.
The moment froze, as if caught on a daguerreotype, and the next minutes moved as a slow montage. Muhammad stopped, then turned and spoke to a companion. His friends looked at him. Then they looked back at Malcolm. Malcolm also stopped, but he didn’t speak to us, nor did any of us have the presence of mind to say anything to him. Malcolm had told us that after he severed ties to the Nation of Islam, many of his former friends had become hostile.
Muhammad and his group were the first to turn away. They started walking toward a row of parked cars. Malcolm, with a rush, left us and headed toward the departing men. We followed Malcolm. He shouted:
— Brother Muhammad. Brother Muhammad.
Muhammad and his companions stopped and turned to face Malcolm.
— Brother, I still love you, and you are still the greatest. Malcolm smiled a sad little smile. Muhammad looked hard at Malcolm, and shook his head.
— You left the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. That was the wrong thing to do, Brother Malcolm.
His face and voice were also sad. Malcolm had been his supporter and hero. Disappointment and hurt lay on Muhammad’s face like dust. Abruptly, he turned and walked away. His coterie followed. After a few steps they began talking again, loudly.
Malcolm’s shoulders sagged and his face was suddenly gloomy.
— I’ve lost a lot. A lot. Almost too much. »

Yet, Ali would join mourners in paying homage to Malcolm as his body laid in rest in New York City in October 1965. Today, these two great Muslims and sons of Africa have left us. May Allah grant them Eternal Peace!

Tierno S. Bah

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