1 What Is a Concussion? On October 30, 1974, the world heavyweight champion, George Foreman, fought Muhammad Ali in a bout that will forever be remembered as “the rum- ble in the jungle.” Many readers my age or older will remember watching this fight on television or seeing the countless replays of it over the last 43 years. The fight was memorable for many reasons. It was only the second time in heavyweight history a former champion reclaimed the title. It introduced Don King to the world as a professional boxing promoter. The fight took place in Zaire, in central Africa, a country now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. It ended with controversy as some argue that Foreman was counted out despite being on his feet by the count of nine. But perhaps the “rumble in the jungle” is most remembered for the strategy Ali used during the fight, which has come to be known as “rope a dope.” Early in the fight, Ali began lying against the ropes, allowing George Foreman to deliver multiple blows. He mounted few attacks against the reigning champion. He dodged many of Foreman’s thrusts. He blocked many aside. He allowed several of the less powerful blows to land on relatively harmless areas of the body. He tangled Foreman up, and wrestled with him. He taunted Foreman, challenging him to throw harder, more vicious blows. Foreman, who was recognized as the more powerful fighter, seemed only too happy to oblige. As the fight went on, however, the amount of energy Foreman spent trying to land these powerful blows, and trying to disentangle himself from Ali, took its toll. He was visibly tired at the start of the eighth round. In fact, the beginning, if not most, of the eighth round seemed little different from the prior rounds. Ali allowed Foreman to punch away, only occasionally offering a quick straight jab to Foreman’s face. But as the round neared its end, with only 18 seconds remaining, Ali unleashed a flurry of blows. In the final combination, Ali stood Foreman nearly upright with a left hook to the face. Foreman’s left hand dropped to his side, exposing his chin to a punishing right cross that Ali landed squarely on Foreman’s jaw. With only 12 seconds remaining in the round, Foreman, staggered, fell, and was counted out, ending the fight.
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