Did George Foreman Beat Muhammad Ali? The Rumble In The Jungle Outcome Explained
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Did George Foreman Beat Muhammad Ali? The Rumble In The Jungle Outcome Explained


  • Ali beat Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974, using his famous rope-a-dope tactic to secure a knockout victory.
  • The iconic match was a highlight in the careers of both boxers, drawing in a massive audience and turning into a significant sporting event.
  • Despite demand for a rematch, Foreman and Ali never fought again after Ali demanded Foreman rehire his trainer, leading to a close friendship between the two legends.



The boxing biopic Big George Foreman depicts the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” match between Foreman and fellow icon Muhammad Ali — and many wonder if George Foreman beat Ali in real life. The 2023 film covers Foreman’s (Khris Davis) entire life story, from his impoverished childhood to the near-death experience that inspired him to hang up the boxing gloves to the impending bankruptcy that forced him to get back in the ring and become the oldest-ever heavyweight champion.

The “Rumble in the Jungle” scene in Big George Foreman portrays Ali (Sullivan Jones) as the confident young athlete talking trash in Foreman’s ear during each round. While this angle captures the George Foreman vs Ali dynamic at that time — Foreman as the defending champion and Ali as the new blood rising through the ranks to steal his glory — it doesn’t present Ali in a flattering light. Foreman was expected to win the “Rumble in the Jungle,” since he’d beaten Joe Frazier, but the outcome ensured the bout became one of the most infamous in boxing history.


Big George Foreman’s 7 Biggest Changes From The Real Boxer’s Notable Career

The sports biopic Big George Foreman is remarkably accurate to the real athlete’s boxing career, but the movie still makes some notable changes.

Muhammad Ali Beat George Foreman In The Rumble In The Jungle

The Match Was A Highlight Of Both Boxer’s Careers

Foreman and Ali fought each other on October 30, 1974, at the 20th of May Stadium (now known as the Stade Tata Raphaël) in Kinshasa, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Foreman was the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion and Ali was a promising up-and-comer. The odds were in Foreman’s favor to win. It was during this fight that Ali introduced his signature rope-a-dope tactic and used it to defeat Foreman. Ali won by knockout in the eighth round.

Ali won by knockout in the eighth round.

The “Rumble in the Jungle” is one of the most iconic boxing matches of all time and is often referred to as the most significant sporting event of the 20th century. It was attended by 60,000 live spectators. Millions of viewers around the world made it one of the most-watched events in TV history. All in all, the fight raked in around $100 million in revenue (according to the book New Times, Volume 3) and became the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary film When We Were Kings.

Why George Foreman & Muhammad Ali Never Had A Rematch After The Rumble In The Jungle

Despite Demand, There Was No Rumble In The Jungle Rematch

Muhammad Ali punching George Foreman in the ring

After the success of the “Rumble in the Jungle” fight (depicted in Big George Foreman), a George Foreman vs Ali rematch seemed inevitable. Fans were clamoring for it, Foreman was open to it, and Ali had fought high-profile rematches with such fighters as Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, and Joe Frazier. But Foreman and Ali never shared the ring again.

Ali called Foreman and told him he would only agree to a rematch if he rehired Dick Sadler, the trainer who cost him the fight in Zaire in the first place, and Foreman refused. Ali hung up the phone and the rematch never happened (via RingTV).

George Foreman and Muhammad Ali became friends in later life, with Foreman even helping Ali up the stairs to receive his 1996 Oscar for documentary
When We Were Kings.
At this point in his life Ali was suffering from the impact of Parkinson’s syndrome, and now-lifelong friend Foreman ensured the legendary athlete could maintain his dignity.

Big George Foreman

George Tillman Jr.

Release Date
April 28, 2023

George Tillman Jr. , Frank Baldwin , Dan Gordon

Sonja Sohn , Forest Whitaker , John Magaro , Sam Trammell , Matthew Glave , Lawrence Gilliard Jr.

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