Today in History: Muhammad Ali wins the Rumble in the Jungle fight

Today in History for October 30th
Today in History for October 30th

It was 41 years ago that boxing was on the world's biggest stage -- in this particular case, Kinshasa, Zaire, when Muhammad Ali and George Foreman squared off. Foreman entered the match undefeated at 40-0, while Ali was 44-2 at the age of 32.

What was scheduled to be a 15-round bout ended in the middle of the eighth, though, with Ali pulling off a feat that no other boxer had ever done -- knocking out Foreman. It was Ali's 32nd career knockout. He'd go on to achieve five more before retiring.

It was a long-awaited matchup between boxing's two biggest personalities. Ali was suspended from boxing in 1967, and in his absence, Foreman had taken over as the sport's most dominant fighter. When Ali was finally reinstated, a fight between the pair was inevitable.

See photos of the thrilling fight:

The Rumble in the Jungle was the birthplace of the famous "rope-a-dope" strategy deployed by Ali. Starting in the second round, Ali began intentionally leaning back against the ropes as Foreman belted him with power blow after power blow -- all by design, and it worked. By the eighth round, Foreman had worn himself out, and Ali connected with a five-punch combination ending with a left hook to Foreman's head.

Outside of Ali's two bouts against Joe Frazier, this 1974 bout could very well be the most publicized fight in the history of boxing. Ali's robe and gloves worn during the bout are found in the National Museum of American History, and was named the greatest moment in ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Take a closer look at Ali's boxing career:

More from
Cowboys player ditched the team after learning of a demotion and possible suspension, and it's turning into a mess
AP sources: Don Mattingly hired as Marlins manager
GM Alex Anthopoulos leaving Blue Jays, rejects 5-year offer

Originally published