The Rumble in the Jungle was the boxing match which took place on 30 October 1974 at the May 20 Stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), between the current world heavyweight champion George Forman and former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.
Don King, in his first outing as a professional boxing promoter, raised a match purse, to be shared equally by the contestants, of $10 million. President Joseph Désiré Mobutu (actually he had renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko in '72) of Zaire thought it a good investment - international publicity for Mobutu and Zaire. Don King had promised both Forman and Ali a prize purse of $5 million to take part.
World Heavyweight champion George Forman was a phenomena, he had never lost, and had knocked out 37 of his 40 opponents. His previous eight fights had all lasted less than six minutes. Muhammad Ali, on the other hand was considered past his prime. But Ali was a commensurate performer, and soon had the whole of Africa behind him. The fight had to be postponed for five weeks after Forman's sparring partner accidentally injured his eye. Ali used the time to build up a compulsive propaganda campaign against Forman.
When the match came, Ali taunted Forman, "Is that all you got? My grandma punches harder than you do." Forman was also suffering from the heat and humidity. In round eight, with a flurry of well timed blows, Ali achieved the unthinkable - a knockout.
Michela Wong notes in her book In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz that "that the organizers of the world heavyweight boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Forman chose Kinshasa as venue for a 'Rumble in the Jungle' in 1974 ... was as much a celebration of budding black pride as a sporting event."