Former “Big” heavyweight champion George Foreman has revealed great regret over ending his 1974 Rumble in the Jungle with Muhammad Ali.
Foreman, who lost his unbeaten record in the classic “Rope-a-dope” battle in Zaire, spoke of his reaction to the knockout loss.
Foreman would have preferred to have taken the reverse after Ali forced him to punch himself before scoring an unlikely save.
“Ali was a wonderful man,” said Foreman. “But the human is so diverse.
“There is no ‘good standard'” for any [one]. He won because he beat me. I am a human being. That’s all.”
When asked if he said anything to Ali after the dust settled, he added, “Not a word. I would have liked to have congratulated him. What a feat! “
Reflecting on his career losses, Foreman said, “So many times with wins I’ve been as surprised as anyone else. With the losses, I was only going through what many before me already knew.
“The applause made me happy, but it belonged to the arenas before I was born, without pride or gratitude. No one likes to lose; As an athlete, I was no different.
“After a loss I thought of ‘no injury’ – so I am [sic] really happy.
“If I really want a bright future, I really want to look at the past with fondness. Winning and losing are pretty much the same; participation is great, and friendship makes us rules.
The crowd in Zaire chanted “Ali Bomaye” everywhere, leaving no doubt about their loyalty. But Foreman took it as a reflective adult.
“The Zairian people treated me with great respect, but somehow the truth was covered up. Everyone has the right to encourage their choice.
Concluding on how heavyweight boxing has changed over the years, Foreman said, “It’s pretty much the same.
“Every now and then someone does the remarkable thing, but I see little change. For years they are tall; so small. Just men with dreams.
He’s still one of the classiest to ever grace a ring. George Foreman is truly a sports legend.
Phil Jay – Editor-in-chief of World Boxing News since 2010 with over a billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.