Ali reminds me of the fable of the dog that had
everything—the Top Dog. Ali had skill, the swiftest feet in his sport and a
thinking man's brain. The dog in the fable had everything, too. Then he looked
down in the water and saw a bigger dog with a bigger bone. He dropped his own
bone and leapt into the water. For Ali, the bigger dog isn't just a reflection.
It's George Foreman.
For Ali, this leap isn't going to just cripple his
future. It's going to cripple his ego. I think the big thing that is going to
beat Ali is Foreman's total concentration. George has concentrated totally to
get in proper condition for the fight and Ali has been distracted because he's
a gullible young man. I feel Ali is being lured away from the subject, which is
the fight of the century.
Dick Sadler and his assistant trainer, Sandy Saddler,
who retired as featherweight champion, have thought about the fight. Sandy has
the role of Minister of Strategy on Foreman's staff, working out techniques for
cornering the fleet-footed Ali. The combined minds of Sadler, Moore and Saddler
are devising new approaches to force, to coerce, fool and browbeat the
sensitive Ali into a close confrontation with Foreman, who not only has TNT in
his mitts, but nuclearology as well. Even if Foreman misses with a punch, the
whoosh of air will lower the 90� temperature in Za�re very considerably.
My logic is that the quiet cunning and deadly patience
of the spider family, in this case the tarantula, whose game is really the big
bananas, will settle this time for a mouthy, noisy bee.
Foreman is the most improved heavyweight since Joe
Louis. In contrast, the loquacious Ali has performed outlandishly, laboring and
bombarding the champion with threats. Much of this Ali prose is timeworn, an
act now as thin as a Baltimore pimp's patent leather shoes.
Ali, George will half kill you. Why did you threaten
him? I write this direct to you so that you can remember me as the kind old man
who helped you cut your wisdom teeth. You added a few more tricks to the ones I
showed you. You lifted the bolo punch from Kid Gavilan and converted the
half-step "Watson Shuffle" into the widely advertised Ali Shuffle. With
those meager tricks in your bag, you claim you did it all. Here is my poem to
Really, your poetry is nothing by rhyme/ and 15 rounds
is a long time./Joseph Frazier couldn't even make two;/ Ken Norton was a victim
of George's coup. /Foreman's left will make you dance Turkey in the Straw.
/When his right connects with your lower mandible:/Goodby, jaw.
This time you are in real trouble, I must publicly
warn you. After the fight, you can even hide out a few years in the jungle,
slide into Louisville about midnight, and nobody would ever know. The reason I
am writing this to you is that I don't want your blood on my hands.