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Summary

  1. Challenger Muhammad Ali beats champion George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire
  2. Wins the world heavyweight title back at the age of 32 with eighth-round KO
  3. Ali invents new tactic of rope-a-dope to frustrate big-hitting Foreman
  4. Foreman, 25, went into fight with 37 KOs from 40 wins
  5. Hatton, Haye and Froch join Radio 5 live to analyse the fight

Live Reporting

By Ben Dirs

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    That's all from us folks. Join us next May for live coverage of the 30th anniversary of Steve Davis v Dennis Taylor from the Crucible. No, seriously...

  2. Post update

    Jerry Izenberg, American boxing journalist: "About an hour after the fight finished we had such a torrential downpour. Then, suddenly, the sun came up - one of those big African sunrises - and we all jumped on a bus and went back to the military compound where all the journalists were staying.

    "Three of us went to look for Ali and found him staring out at the river. Just staring. For once, three sportswriters had the good sense and brains not to open their damn mouths. We let him drink it in.

    "Eventually he turned around, walked towards us, raised his arms in the air and said: 'You fellas will never know how much this means to me.' At that moment, he truly was the king of the world."

  3. Post update

    Well, who would have thought it? Muhammad Ali has won back the heavyweight world title, the greatest prize in sport, at the grand old age of 32; a seemingly invincible ogre has been bested; and we have surely witnessed the 20th Century's greatest piece of sporting theatre...

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    Andy Hutchings: Foreman will be haunted by that loss for many years! For Ali, what can you say? #livinglegend

  5. Post update

    Colin Hart, British boxing journalist: "Watching the fifth and sixth rounds, you could see Foreman clearly getting weaker and weaker. He was still punching but the punches weren't hurting Ali like they were in the earlier rounds, he was running out of gas very fast indeed.

    "And Ali was capitalising on it, as only he could, with brilliant counter-punching. It was around this time I thought: 'There's going to be a major upset here, my man's going to do it.' Foreman had shot his bolt by then, he had no strength left."

  6. Post update

    George Foreman: "I just couldn't believe I'd lost the world title. This was supposed to be an easy boxing match but it was the most embarrassing moment of my life. It went from pride to pity. That's devastating.

    "I'd be ashamed to be alone with girls in a room. I'd think: 'They know I'm not the man I was supposed to be.' You think you're going to walk away with $5m and everything is going to be OK. But you can't buy back your pride. All you want is the chance to be champion of the world again.

    I've watched the fight back a few times and sometimes I think: 'I'm gonna win this time!' Or I might wake up and think: 'If only I'd done this or done that.' But only once did I win the fight in my dreams…"

  7. Post update

    George Foreman is knocked out by Muhammad Ali

    Gene Kilroy, Ali's business manager: "I knew we had it after round six. Anybody can beat a heavy bag but when you're getting hit back, being frustrated and abused, it takes your heart away. Ali came to the corner after round six and said: 'I got him now, I got him now…'

    "When the end came, Ali didn't hit him as he was falling. I asked him afterwards: 'Why didn't you hit him on the way down?' Ali said: 'He'd had enough.'"

  8. Post update

    Muhammad Ali: "I told you that I was the greatest of all time, I told you today I'm still the greatest of all time, never again say I'm going to be defeated, never again make me the underdog, until I'm about 50 years old, then you might get me..."

  9. Post update

    Muhammad Ali has won the world title back at 32! He took Foreman out for a ride and emptied his tank and it's pandemonium in the ring here, we've got half of Africa in the ring. And here comes the rain, which makes the whole scene seem somehow Biblical...

  10. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Maybe you wish that was his last fight, looking back. My mum tells me that after fighting in front of 80,000 against George Groves at Wembley Stadium, anything you do now you're on the way down. Why would you want to risk it?

    "I don't think anything else Ali did destroyed his legacy, he'll always be a legend, but that was the time to retire. I wish he did."

  11. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    Muhammad Ali wins

    "Boxing is not about being the biggest or strongest, you've got to have a game-plan, you've got to be a thinker - Ali won this with his brain.

    "I'd have loved to have seen Muhammad retire there, that's Mount Everest three times over what he achieved there."

  12. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali had a great game-plan, George Foreman had a terrible game-plan, horrible. He set an unrealistic pace, no-one could fight at that ferocity for 15 rounds. He set off at 100m pace for a 1500m race."

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    Tayyab Akhlaq: Wow what a finish! People will talk about this in 40 years' time.

  14. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "It was a left hook, straight right that did the job, after about four or five right hands. At least George Foreman can go home and when his head hits the pillow he can say: 'I gave it everything, it just wasn't good enough.'"

  15. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "For the all punishment Ali had taken, he'd not lost his speed. George's the technique had gone, you could have got anybody off the street to get what George was doing.

    "Ali leaned back, landed a quick one-two - bang, bang - shifted him round with his palm, George fell over the ropes and that gave Ali the chance to put four punches together."

  16. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman

    "Ali bided his time, waited for the right shot, waited for George to give him his chin. George was aimlessly flailing his arms out and Ali was toying with him, not focusing on power, just landing, always looking for the opening, eyes always wide open.

    "He could have landed three punches but he didn't need to, he knew the job was done, he knew Foreman was finished."

  17. Post update

    BBC commentator Harry Carpenter: "Oh, he's got him with a right hand, oh you can't believe it… Ali's doing his shuffle and I don't think Foreman's going to get up… he's trying to beat the count… and he's out! Oh my God, he's won the title back at 32! He took on Foreman at his own game and he beat him at it!"

  18. ALI WINS BY KNOCKOUT

    Eighth round

    George Foreman and Muhammad Ali
    Image caption: Ali stunned the world when he knocked out Foreman in the eighth

    Foreman a heavy bag on unsteady wheels now and Ali is picking him off with spearing left jabs... Foreman with a big right to the head, two or three more are blocked... Foreman flailing around and Ali picks him off with short punches down the middle... Ali not throwing a great deal now, he looks tired as he lounges in the corner, Foreman flailing away at him... sneaky right from Ali, left, right, FOREMAN IS DOWN! FOREMAN IS DOWN! AND HE'S STAYED DOWN!

  19. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali is not known for being a big puncher but he has got speed and timing and that's all you need sometimes.

    "Foreman's footwork is absolutely terrible. His legs are burning, his arms are full of lactic acid. George has used his second wind already, he has used his third wind. He is now just fighting on instinct."

  20. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali is breathing heavy as well, but he is still composed. Foreman is almost stumbling in and falling over. Round five really was such a significant round. Since that round, Foreman seems to have totally blown a gasket.

    "The writing is on the wall, it's only a matter of time before Foreman falls over and I've got to give that round to Ali, as close as it was."

  21. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Now would be the time to say to Ali: 'Listen, start putting some meat behind the punches, because this fella doesn't look like he has got a leg under him now.' Ali looks like a lion in the long grass just waiting for his moment now.

    "It's a hard round to score, because George was throwing punches and a lot of them were missing, but Ali's work-rate was terribly low."

  22. Round seven

    Muhammad Ali knocks down George Foreman

    The bell goes for the start of the round and Ali doesn't even bother making his way to the middle of the ring this time, he immediately assumes his position on the ropes. Ali grabbing Foreman's ample neck and pulling him down, Foreman still pawing with that right hand... both men look shattered now, as if fighting in sand... huge left on the walk from Foreman but nothing is getting to Ali, at no point has he looked unduly troubled...

  23. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali is not throwing as many punches but the punches he is throwing have a bit more meat behind them. He's thinking: 'I've tired George Foreman out, I don't need threes and fours and fives here, I need solid ones and twos.'

    "Ali has probably got the fastest feet in boxing but he has not used any of that tonight. But Foreman is just emptying the tank, he is ready to go. He staggered back to that corner. That was a big round for Ali, he seems in complete control."

  24. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali is not doing a great deal but Foreman looks half the fighter he was in the previous round and that's because of what Ali took out of him. There is absolutely no power in George's punches. Maybe Ali can do it…"

  25. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "George Foreman's work rate hasn't dropped one bit, he is still going, but you can see the snap has gone from his punches and he is staggering about the ring. His legs look like they have turned to jelly.

    "Ali is just making him miss, making him miss and in the last 10 seconds, just when George stepped back and wanted to take a breather, Ali put his foot on the gas again. Can this dream come true? Is he going to do the unthinkable?"

  26. Round six

    Muhammad Ali lands a right cross on George Foreman

    The ropes were tightened up between rounds, presumably a member of Ali camp making sure their man doesn't end up in the press seats. Ali show no ill-effects from that pounding in the previous round and it's Foreman looking the wearier, falling into clinches, like a drunk man toppling into some shrubbery... more meat in Ali's punches now, and it's more educated work than Foreman's... Ali's trainer Angelo Dundee imploring his man to get off the ropes, and he does so towards the end of the round before threading together some wicked combinations... Ali's round, Foreman looks ground down...

  27. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali started a little bit slower and barely threw a punch. The writing is on the wall for Ali here. He is not coming back with any counter and his legs are glued to the canvas. George is probably thinking: 'Ah-ha, I have got you now…'"

  28. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Foreman was getting on top but Ali was still taunting him and soaking shots up. But shots are getting through, especially the body shots.

    "Frightening, that's all I can say about that, you have got to score that round to Foreman. But Ali finished that round strong."

  29. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Foreman has started to loosen up a little bit, he is not looking as stiff as he did in the first four rounds.

    "Ali is taking some vicious body shots here, his legs are stuck to the floor and he's not punching back. If you didn't know Foreman had had 40 professional fights, you'd be surprised if he'd had 40 amateur fights looking at some of the wild swings and misses. But I'd still give that round to Foreman."

  30. Round five

    Ali and Foreman

    Ironically, light-heavyweight legend Archie Moore, in Foreman's corner tonight and who fought Ali in 1962, was a master at using the ropes to his advantage. But it's not working for Ali in this round, Foreman starting to take chunks out of Ali's defence now...

    Ali not throwing anything here and there are gut-wrenching cries of "careful, Ali!" from an Englishman in the crowd. Foreman pouring it on now but these punches haven't got much heft behind them, they're arm punches, not much more...

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    Paul Judge: I'm going for Foreman in the ninth - he looks hungry - Ali past it!

  32. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    Muhammad Ali and George Foreman contest The Rumble in the Jungle

    "Unbelievable stuff really, it's compelling viewing. The longer this fight goes on, the more questions George will ask himself: 'What have I got to do?' I almost feel sorry for him."

  33. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Muhammad Ali is breathing heavily here, he is not going to be able to take much more of this.

    "This is unknown territory for George - he has had so many knockouts so early on, he probably doesn't know any better. But I would give that round to Foreman, his pressure and work-rate were good."

  34. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "From the outside it looks like a suicide mission but in that ring, in the heat of the battle, Ali knows what he is doing. He looks cool, he looks calm, because Foreman is emptying the tank.

    "If Ali is feeling that he can land his punches cleaner now than he could do in the first round it's going the right way for him. The quality punches were landed by Ali so I will go with Ali in that round."

  35. Round four

    Muhammad Ali fends off George Foreman

    Foreman is in scary territory now, he hasn't been beyond the fourth round for three years. Let's see how that stamina stands up in this wilting heat. Ali starts at Foreman before putting on the breaks and moving back to the ropes again. Foreman staggered! Foreman staggered! Spearing right-hand lead by Ali and Foreman's right eye is puffing up. Foreman marching forward but all the clever work is coming from Ali, who is tying the champion up and scoring with razor-sharp combinations. It's looking grim now for Foreman, he looks like he might be spent already and there's a long way to the top of the mountain...

  36. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "All Ali is doing is trying to stop Foreman landing clean. That's it. He was on the ropes, not worrying too much about what he was throwing, using the loose ropes to sway away from the punches.

    "No-one practices missing punches, you are not conditioned to miss with punches. You are conditioned to land. So when someone makes you miss, you are running out of steam and you are getting disheartened.

    "Everyone has told George that all he has got to do is land and the fight is over. He is the biggest punching heavyweight in history so why should he have to pick his punches? Just keep punching."

  37. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Those top ropes do look a little bit loose. But it doesn't seem to be putting Foreman off. He's probably thinking: 'I'll get him, I'll get him, he can't stand much more of this.'

    "George's punches are landing so they are scoring - but are they doing any damage? Probably not."

  38. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali is landing and looks like he is taking control. You've got to score that round to Ali. But it's an even match, it could go either way."

  39. Round three

    George Foreman

    Ali lands with a combination to Foreman's chops but immediately backs onto the ropes... big right from Foreman but many of the champion's punches are little more than paws... fast hands from Ali before Foreman lands with a horrible left to the body... left from Foreman, followed by a right, this is suicidal stuff from Ali... but still Ali talks to Foreman after crashing down on top of the champion... spearing left from Ali but Foreman stuns Ali with a savage left, perhaps the biggest punch of the fight so far... right-hand lead again from Ali towards the end of the round.

    It's Foreman's body punches against Ali's speed, and at the moment Ali's speed is winning...

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    Graham Bell: Great start by Ali, showing he won't be bullied. His hand speed is phenomenal.

  41. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali's getting hit with far too many shots, body and head, the writing is on the wall. If Foreman can sustain that for another round, you'd expect Ali to fall apart."

  42. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali's pulling away, taking the sting out of the punches. George is getting a lot of solid punches through but also hitting a lot of fresh air or Muhammad's getting half a shoulder or a glove in the way.

    "George is thinking: 'Ultimately I'll get him, I'm too strong, I'm too powerful, too young.' But there will be a few doubts creeping in. I'd probably give that round to Foreman, just, on work-rate."

  43. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Going to the ropes like that and absorbing some vicious body and head assaults, that will be doing some serious internal damage.

    "But although Ali was on the ropes, under fire, he landed the cleaner, quality shots."

  44. Round Two

    George Foreman lands a jab on Muhammad Ali

    Foreman lands with a good left hand as Ali retreats to the corner... Ali blocking Foreman's punches with his elbows and gloves before backing into the opposite corner and landing with two razor sharp lefts... Ali leaning right back now as Foreman flails away at his body, head down, not much thought, like a navvy tamping down cement with a length of four by two... left-right from Ali, but strange tactics from the challenger, crazy in fact...

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    Andrew Priestley: You can see Ali chirping away in Foreman's ear. Always talking, all the time wearing him out psychologically.

  46. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali started the round well and finished it well, I think he took it…"

  47. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali is using raiding tactics, staying out of range, bouncing around, and when Foreman picks his legs up to chase him he lands a couple of shots, ties him up and steps to the side.

    "It's a dangerous strategy to throw a right hand first because you leave yourself vulnerable to a counter-attack, but Ali makes the rules up.

    "George just wants to get Ali out of there, he's not pacing himself. But he didn't land any clean shots, that first round went to Ali."

  48. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali threw the first punch and that was the nerves gone. Some of the best fighters down the years have been able to throw right-hand leads and that's because they've got the speed. Foreman will not be happy with that first round… "

  49. Round One

    Muhammad Ali prepares to knock out George Foreman

    ... Ali comes skating across the ring and lands with a lead right hand, that must have hurt Foreman, he wouldn't have been expecting that. Ali tying his man up, messing Foreman up, blocking Foreman's shots. Ali on his bike, making Foreman lumber forward like the mummy the challenger said he is... Wild left hand from Foreman but he lands with a vicious left under the heart. But Ali stands up to it... Ali pinned in the corner now, looking tired. What a first round...

  50. Seconds away

    And we're under way... Foreman v Ali start trading blows...

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    Robbo7: Can't see how Ali can win - it would take a genius to beat a puncher like Foreman.

  52. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "It's occasions like this where legacies are built."

  53. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Non-stop talking from Ali, non-stop getting under Foreman's skin."

  54. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Foreman will be really riled up and that's exactly what Ali will want.

    "This is the time now. Do or die. Fight or flight."

  55. Post update

    Eight minutes after Ali's entrance, Foreman comes running into the ring like a man who wants out of Africa, and fast. A few boos rippling around the stadium and here's Ali ramping up the crowd and he's assailed with cries of "Ali bomaye!", which translates as "Ali kill him!". Not likely, I'm afraid, unless he's got a bazooka secreted under that magnificent gown...

  56. Post update

    Roy Foreman, George's younger brother: "At 13 years old, George was about 6ft 2in, 200lb and the terrorist in the neighbourhood. And when you're bigger and stronger and think you're better than everyone else, you take things.

    "He might take your bicycle, not because he liked riding but because he could; he might take your cigarettes; the only reason he wouldn't take your clothes was because he was so big. He carried that fierceness all the way to the ring. He always said he wanted to kill somebody in the ring. And I believed him."

  57. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ali has got his fans but there will be a lot of people wanting him to have his mouth closed. He looks like someone who knows he's going to do the business, though."

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    Marvin Edgar Ochieng: I'm risking heavy punches by declaring heavyweight purists like me have never been wowed by Ali.

    Perhaps the next hour will change your view...

  59. Post update

    Muhammad Ali v George Foreman
  60. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "George looks a lot bigger - wider, thicker, bigger head - but the stats don't reflect that. It's one thing having a great knockout ratio fighting bums, but Foreman's knocked out some of the all-time great fighters, smashed them to smithereens. If you're in Ali's corner you'll be thinking: 'Do not get hit, under any circumstances.'"

  61. Post update

    David Haye

    Former world heavyweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "It doesn't look like Ali's got a problem in the world - he's going to turn the world upside down. Foreman wants to keep Ali in the ring for as long as possible, it's psychological warfare. But Ali loves Africa and its people, he'll stay there all night if he needs to."

  62. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Look at Ali walking to the ring, he's smiling, looking relaxed because all the work's done. What a formidable man he is to keep his mind strong and that composure together…"

  63. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Radio 5 live are on air and here comes the challenger, Muhammad Ali. Ali wearing a white robe with African print and he gets on his toes after climbing through the ropes, bouncing around, throwing out jabs, but he might have to wait a while, the champion won't be in any hurry...

  64. Post update

    Carl Froch

    World super-middleweight champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Foreman is a massive puncher, a big, heavy, strong guy, he looks like someone who could punch down brick walls. I'm a bit nervous for Ali already…"

  65. Post update

    George Foreman at the Kinshasa Stadium

    Despite the early hour and the very real threat of rain, an estimated 80,000 people are crammed into the Stade du 20 Mai for the first heavyweight world title fight to be staged in Africa. Many millions more will be watching on TV and closed circuit broadcasts around the world. The third man in the ring tonight is Philadelphia's Zach Clayton, who was the first black man to referee a world heavyweight championship fight, when Jersey Joe Walcott retained his title in controversial fashion against Ezzard Charles in 1952. Almost time to rumble...

  66. Post update

    Muhammad Ali

    Muhammad Ali: "I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale, I done handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail. That's bad! Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick. I'm so mean I make medicine sick!"

  67. Post update

    James Brown
  68. Post update

    As well as the cream of the sportswriting fraternity, this event has attracted some of the mightiest men of 20th Century letters. Norman Mailer, author of The Naked and the Dead, is ringside and rumoured to be penning a novel about the fight, although he's not letting on what he'll call it. George Plimpton, founder of The Paris Review, will also be laying down the fight in his elegant prose, no doubt placing his adjectives like sneaky right hands...

  69. Post update

    Muhammad Ali and George Foreman with President Seko

    Jerry Izenberg, American boxing journalist: "I went out to Deer Lake [Ali's training camp in Pennsylvania] shortly before Ali left for Africa. I walked in the gym and couldn't believe what I was seeing - Ali was hitting the heavy bag, and he hadn't hit the heavy bag for about a year-and-a-half.

    "Gene Kilroy [Ali's business manager] had taken him to a doctor in Philadelphia, who'd told him to forget injections for arthritis and to bathe both hands in hot paraffin three times a day instead. And as he was banging this bag, he looked over his shoulder and said: 'I'm gonna knock the sucker out!'"

  70. Post update

    Muhammad Ali: "It is befitting that I go out of boxing like I came in, meeting a big, strong bully who knocks out everybody and everybody's afraid of. Like when little Cassius Clay from Louisville, Kentucky came up to stop Sonny Liston. HE WAS GONNA KILL ME! But he hit harder than George. His reach is longer than George's. He's a better boxer than George. And I'm better now than I was when you saw that kid running from Sonny Liston."

  71. Post update

    David Haye pre-fight
  72. Post update

    Earlier we spoke to Larry Merchant of the New York Post, who said he expects Ali to fall in 13. Of the corps of intrepid journalists over from the UK, only The Sun's Colin Hart has picked Ali to win this. Hart expects Ali to dance and dance and wear Foreman down in the African heat. It's 80 degrees in Kinshasa, despite it being 4 o'clock in the morning...

    Muhammad Ali and promoter Don King
  73. Post update

    Ricky Hatton

    Former two-weight world champion on BBC Radio 5 live

    "This fight is supposed to be Muhammad Ali's funeral, they've given him absolutely no chance. Foreman has blasted everyone away, walked through Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, who have both beaten Ali.

    "Muhammad Ali is probably the only man who thinks he's going to do it. But when people doubt you, you wouldn't believe what that can do to you. But he'll still be terrified."

    Ricky Hatton pre-fight
  74. Post update

    Jim Brown, NFL legend and US TV fight co-commentator: "Before the fight, I was supposed to do a news piece with George, where I would put some gloves on and get in the ring with him. But I saw George hitting the heavy bag and said: 'Nope, I'm not getting in the ring with that.'

    "When I got to Ali's camp, I said: 'Hey, you're my friend and I love you but I don't think you can beat that guy.' Ali and Angelo Dundee [Ali's trainer] looked at me and said: 'You're crazy, we're gonna knock him out!'"

  75. Post update

    ... after being stripped of his title in 1967, for refusing to be inducted into the US Army, Ali spent more than three years in the wilderness before returning to the ring in 1970. Despite victories over the tough Jerry Quarry and the even tougher Oscar Bonavena, it was clear Ali wasn't the butterfly he used to be. In 'The Fight of the Century' against Frazier in 1971, the new champion prevailed after 15 barbaric rounds of boxing and Ali didn't look too pretty at the end of it...

  76. Post update

    George Foreman with his children

    Gene Kilroy, Muhammad Ali's business manager: "President Mobutu [of Zaire] came up with the idea of staging the fight to show off his country and promote tourism. He put up a big amount of money and promoter Don King went to Seattle, met George and told him how easy a fight it was going to be. And Foreman went for it."

  77. Post update

    Carl Froch pre-fight
  78. Post update

    The bookmakers have the fearsome Foreman as a heavy favourite, with one reportedly offering odds of 40-1 on an Ali victory. And why not? Foreman has won all 40 of his professional contests and 37 inside the distance. He won the crown with a savage mauling of Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica in 1973, knocking the champion down six times en route to a second-round stoppage. In his first defence he saw off Jose Roman in one, before bludgeoning Ken Norton in two. Both Frazier and Norton, remember, have beaten Ali...

    George Foreman in training
  79. Boxing

    Good evening and welcome to our coverage of The Rumble in the Jungle, the world heavyweight championship battle between champion George Foreman and challenger Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire. This is a simulcast with our BBC colleagues on Radio 5 live, where from 19:30 you can hear BBC boxing correspondent Mike Costello talk through the fight with British boxing greats Carl Froch, Ricky Hatton and David Haye. Their comments will also be appearing on this page. Nobody ever said The Rumble in the Jungle wouldn't be surreal... We're expecting the fight to commence in about 30 minutes... here's a short clip to get you in the mood...