As Steven Spielberg once demonstrated so successfully in his movie franchise ‘Jaws’, an extended anticipation often makes the real thing so much better.
In 1974 Zaire, the undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman was pitted against challenger former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. An unusually large purse of $5 million promised to both fighters even though the promotor Don King did not actually have that much money. He must have foreseen the potential in the fight, which eventually was taken to dictator of the then Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) who promised the enormous purse in exchange for the fight to be staged in his country.
Due to logistical challenges of the location, the preparation for that fight took months. Many entertainment celebrities were recruited to help promote the show enhancing the viewership of the show. Not long before the fight was finally due to occur late September, Foreman cut his right eye during sparring training causing the fight to be delayed a further 6 weeks. When the fight finally came to fruition, Foreman, being younger, stronger and undefeated was the betting favourite. Ali had the people’s heart and like a boxing fairy tale, Ali took Foreman out in the 8th round and was forever the hero of boxing fans then and now.