A couple of months ago I read an online article suggesting the Ali-Foreman fight was fixed.
Not fixed in the sense that Foreman took a dive, but that he was sabotaged by his own trainer: **** Sadler.
Here are some claims that Foreman made in his book; By George:
1. Sadler had dehydrated Foreman for a couple of days before the fight. He told him it would "toughen him".
Immediately prior to the ring walk, Sadler had given Foreman water that tasted like it had medicine in it. Foreman had remarked on the odd taste to Sadler
2. Foreman said that after three rounds he felt like he had gone fifteen rounds.
3. During the fight, Sadler kept instructing Foreman to keep up the attack.
This was out of character with Sadler. He had always told Foreman to take his time and not hurry things.
4. Herbert Muhammad, Ali's manager, told Foreman that if he re-signed with Sadler, he'd get a rematch. Foreman said he refused.
5. Foreman said Sadler worked Ali's corner in the third Norton fight.
My feelings on this are mixed. I don't know whether to believe it or not.
We have a mix of Ali (who was not above benefiting from a fixed fight), Don King, a corrupt sport and a championship fight in a corrupt nation.
I'll file it away as likely but not proven.