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23 May 2007 08:58
Former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman claims his water was drugged before he lost to Muhammad Ali in their 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire in his new book.
Foreman told ESPN on Tuesday that he was certain he was drugged because his water had a medicine-like taste, as if someone had spiked it to weaken him before the epic fight, which he lost to Ali by eighth-round knockout.
“I said, ‘This water tastes like it has medicine in it,’” Foreman said he told trainer Dick Sadler before the fight. Sadler assured him it was fine, Foreman claimed.
“I know there was medicine in that water.
I’ll never forget that.
Foreman pounded Ali in early rounds but tired and was vulnerable when Ali counterattacked using the “Rope A Dope” strategy.
Foreman said he has made the drugging claim before but his promotion of his book has pushed the topic into the limelight once more even as he tries to uphold the glory of Ali’s victory while adding to the drama of his own tale.
“It wasn’t a fixed fight. I got beat fair and square,” Foreman said.
But Foreman also said it took him years to recover from the fight and that he was lucky not to have died.
“It was years before I got my health back together after that fight,” said Foreman. “It wasn’t doctors who put something in my water. They didn’t have PhDs. I’m lucky I’m still alive.”
Foreman returned from retirement to reclaim the heavyweight throne in 1994, becoming at age 45 the oldest man to hold the coveted crown. - Sapa-AFP
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