Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ali Foreman

I remember once as a kid I told my father that I read in the papers that there was a legislative movement in Congress to try and restore boxing's legitimacy, and he laughed and said it never had it. His point, I think, was a fair one. He has been a boxing fan all his life and has seen many of boxing's high and low moments. Boxing has always been subject to the fix, but so has any sport. Boxing just offers the possibility of an instant win via knockout, which makes it particularly susceptible to the opportunistic individuals with a plan. Also, it is the sport that draws the most gambling dollars.

I consider it possible that Foreman was drugged before the famous Rumble in the Jungle fight with Ali, as he claims in his book “God in my Corner.” It's a conspiracy theory, and only the Shadow knows if its true, but I think it's possible. It doesn't diminish my opinion of Ali. I think he's the greatest, by the standard that he put on the most entertaining athletic performances of, perhaps, the century, not that he won every contest in which he ever participated. Only the legend of Jim Thorpe and the popularity of Michael Jordan rival him. But it's difficult to say whether Foreman was drugged before the bout. I have to admit, I've never watched the entire thing, so we can toss all claims of my knowledge and objectivity right out the window. I'm just posting some random opinionated B.S. here. I have watched the first few rounds on Classic Sports Network, and I have seen the footage in the documentary When we were Kings. Foreman looks like he's stumbling into the ropes and about to pass out drunk while he's hitting Ali. Evidence for the conspiracy includes the fact that the fight involves Don King. People who write and say bad things about Don King come to trouble very quickly (please see photo) so I'm going to leave that one right there, even though I doubt he or anyone else will take much interest in some dork's blog posting. Second, Ali was worth huge money as champion, so there's motive. Third, I've seen fighters tired, but not falling into the ropes like drunken fools. Fourth, Foreman claims its true. Fifth, maybe the reason Ali throws 12 right hand leads at Foreman at the start is because he thinks Foreman is supposed to be drugged and the fight is a setup for a first round knockout.

Evidence against: It was hot as hell at fight time, even at 4 in the morning in Zaire. Foreman had been pummeling Ali for 8 rounds in the ropes and Ali was still in front of him. Ali was as good an athlete as there was on the planet, and he was in top condition. Ali and his corner claims that it was part of the grand strategy for the fight. Foreman was slow and clumsy in the ring.

King: Drink the water George. It's tasty and good. You're hot and tired from this tropical climate, and I've had this special water flown in from the Swiss alps.

George: “This tastes like cough syrup.”

King: No, no, its got special vitamins and nutrients to restore your strength.


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