Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali showed he was truly the king of the mind games against George Foreman

The boxing legend used the art of mental warfare to great effect against the likes of Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson respectively.

And now a video has resurfaced of an old interview with Ali talking about the lengths he went to get inside the head of George Foreman.

On October 30, 1974, Ali, then 32, fought the undefeated Foreman, then 25, in Zaire, Africa – in a fight that would go down in history as ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’.

And he seized every opportunity he had to try and get the mental edge over his opponent.

Foreman at the time was undefeated with a record of 40 wins and 37 knockouts.

But it mattered very little as Ali used his famous ‘rope-a-dope’ tactic to tire him out before eventually knocking him out in the eighth round.

Muhammad Ali

Ali led on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage (68–66, 70–67 and 69-66).

During an interview with Playboy a year later, which was shared by Twitter user @7thletterja, Ali explained how he was able to wear down Foreman mentally and physically during the fight itself.

He said: “Just before the fight I’m looking at him.

“I said, ‘Sucker, you’re in trouble tonight. You’re fighting the greatest fighter of all times. You heard I was the greatest like you heard this now you see it.

“‘You said I was the greatest but you’re gonna see I’m fast sucker. I’m gonna burn you up. You’re fighting your idol.’

“I talked through the whole fight.

“I said, ‘Come on sucker!’ I said, ‘Show me something! They told me you can hit hard.

“‘You’re just a sissy. Come on sucker! Show me something.’

“Oh I grabbed his head sometimes and I said, ‘Look at you, round seven and you’re tired. You have eight more rounds to go.’

“And he’s just throwing them, he’s breathing and I say, ‘Oh you finished boy. You are in trouble.’

“I say, ‘You don’t have but two chances, slim and none.’”

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