Ali- had GREAT BIG heart,and he needed to be "there"(i.e. in the fight) He never backed down.
I remember a story about Ali In Africa before the Foreman Fight.One of Foreman's sparring partners was going home,and he somehow(don't remember the story) came over to Ali's camp(training camp) and Ali and his trainers were interviewing this guy.Ali asked him STRAIGHT OUT-"If foreman and I were to fight,now who do you think would win?"
And the guy was being evasive,but finally said that he would bet on George.
Ali said that he was in the best shape of his life and that he was doing EVERYTHING-including running 5 MILES every day.
This guy repled:So is George-but he runs UP HILL 5 miles..."
And Ali kept hammering this guy about why he was a better bet than Foreman.
Finally(he must have been frustrated)the guy said:
"Look,I ;ve been in the ring with people who can hurt you(generic); I have been in the ring with people who can Knock you out; But GEORGE...He can KILL you"
I think that would have been an oportune moment for Ali to "call in Sick".But Ali Stuck it out.
As for the "rope a dope".There was a story that Ali's cornerman (Bundini Brown) was CRYING(!!) and begging Ali to not let Foreman beat him like that.But Ali replied.."I see something"(he seemed to believe/know that Foreman would punch himself out).
I admire Ali,Foreman and Frazier immensely-I can't believe that there will ever be fighters like tha again....and Norton,Shavers, and yes even Quarry-had he believed and trained-instead of playing poker and drinking the night before his fight with Frazier-well we might have seen more of Quarry(laugh if you want,but many don't know that Quarry Destroyed Shavers in ONE round)
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