No one took much
notice. It was perhaps quieter, the hum of the fans turning, and then Ali
shrugged and went over and sat on the edge of the training table. In a low
singsong voice he began a soft litany of verses and musings, some of which
stretched back exactly 10 years to the night in Miami when he had won the
championship from Sonny Liston: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a
bee...you can't hit what you can't see...I been broke...I been down...but not
knocked out...it's strange getting stopped..." He concluded the little
review of his boxing career with a cry (very much discouraged by Zaïrian
officials but one he cannot resist) which brought him clear up to the present:
"Now! Let's rumble in the jungle!"
He hopped off the
table and set about making Bundini feel better about the incident over the
gonna dance?" he called. Silence.
gonna dance, Bundini? You know I can't dance without you."
down my robe," Bundini said moodily.
Ali shrugged his
shoulders. He said a champion ought to be able to make some decisions on his
own—what to eat, when to sleep, what to wear—and he did it so beguilingly that
finally Bundini had a smile working at his lips.
"Are we going
long," replied Bundini, back in form at last, and drawing it out like a
response at a prayer meeting.
out, "Ten minutes."
began to tape Ali's hands. Doc Broadus, Foreman's representative, stood by to
watch. Ali looked at him. "Tell your man to be ready for the dance," he