Originally Posted by Stonehands89
I have always believed that Ali got lucky against Foreman in Zaire. He was lucky that Foreman played the dope on the rope and failed to pick his punches. He was lucky that the ropes were loose. He was lucky that George's training regiment was disrupted and faulty.
Superstition, circumstances, and luck made Ali what he always was: Destiny's child.
Ali's strategy of sticking and moving was abandoned after the early rounds because George was too aggressive and overwhelming. Ali went to the ropes, talked trash, and gave Dundee fits. But it worked.
Foreman had good reason to regret that fight and it haunted him for 20 years...
Ali did in fact hand Foreman psychological distress as much as a defeat and Foreman was not the same fighter after Zaire ever again. Forget the Lyle fight. The Foreman that rammed through Norton and Frazier was buried. He didn't believe in himself any longer because Ali -by word and deed- got into his head and exploited the self-doubt that is in every Ghetto child.
A rematch circa 1975? If Foreman approached it as a redemption and had a trainer who understood what he needed between the ears, he could have won. Smart strategy would be only the beginning. I would have had Foreman in secret isolation for 3 months to prepare him inside and out. No TV, no radio, and no roads where Ali could drive down in a van and get into George's head. The beast in Foreman would be found again and Ali would have to be dehumanized.
In sum, I believe that Foreman should have beaten Ali and could have. I'm probably alone in the world, but that's okay.
Great post Stonehands. While I've already offered my differing viewpoint about a rematch, let me ask you this about a different trainer for Foreman. Who should it have been? The first thing Gil Clancy did was instruct George to shorten up on his punches. While Gil has been widely criticized for altering George's attack in this way, it could also be argued that it was a short. sharp, Clancy type punch which ultimately regained the title for Foreman. Before the match with Jimmy Young, Gil admonished George to spend at least three weeks in Puerto Rico to get acclimated to the heat and humidity. Foreman disregarded Clancy's recommendation, and paid dearly for it. ?
(Later, Mike Dokes made the some mistake before his outdoor match with Ocasio, and recieved a gift draw, as Gil, now providing color commentary on CBS, almost immediately made note of revealing bad signs, like excessive perspiration early in the bout. Afterwards, during his post match interview, Clancy ribbed Dokes about it, who humbly and good naturedly replied, "Believe me, Mr. Clancy, I will never make that mistake again!" For the rematch, Dokes indeed spent three weeks training in Puerto Rico, and got Ocasio in an air conditioned indoor facility. Three quick first round knockdowns later, Dokes had easily avenged his draw.The dramatic contrast between their first and second matches does make me wonder what impact an air conditioned environment might have had on the performances of both Ali and Foreman.)
If Gil Clancy was the wrong trainer to guide Ali after Foreman, who might have been better suited to do the job?