When We Were Kings

'would pass this large hall
where the training took place

'and he never looked at Foreman
hitting the heavy bag.

'He just walked right by
as if Foreman didn't exist.

'If you were gonna fight the man
'you didn't want to see him
hitting that heavy bag.'

I'm a speed demon!
I'm a brain fighter!

I'm scientific! I'm artistic!
I plan my strategy!
He's the bull, I'm the matador!
He's scared to death.
He's scared to death!
He wish he could
get out of the whole thing!

He wish he could get out of the whole
thing! The man is frightened!

He's meetin' his master,
his teacher, his idol!

- Time!
- Is that all?

When I talk and work I'm in shape,
it's all I do.

(Mailer) 'Ali announced
he was gonna dance.

'He spoke about it all the time.
'Every interview
in that period he'd say

'"How is Foreman going to get
near to me? I'm going to dance!

'"I'm going to dance and dance! He'll
look foolish trying to find me.'

"And as he gropes his way forward
"in this storm of blindness
at the speed of my dancing

"I will strike him with my jab!
"Poo! Poo! Poo!"
he would go and so forth.

We heard this over and over
and Foreman heard it too.

'Foreman was working now on
what's called cutting off the ring.

'This essentially just means
'cornering your opponent
against the ropes or in a corner.

'It's an art, a balletic art,
you have to have very good footwork.

'Foreman's footwork,
he was a big man,

'but his footwork was better
than anyone had expected.

'He worked with very fast fighters,
'smaller than himself,
who certainly could dance

'and he worked on cornering them.
'And the combination
of watching the heavy bag

'and watching Foreman
cut off the ring