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RETURN OF THE BIG BOPPER
George Plimpton
December 23, 1974
Down but determined to fight his way back to the top, Muhammad Ali turned 1974 into a year of great triumph
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December 23, 1974

Return Of The Big Bopper

Down but determined to fight his way back to the top, Muhammad Ali turned 1974 into a year of great triumph

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W: An exception.

S: Tell me, do you happen to know what was in Ali's mind after he won?

W: He told me. He talked about leaving the stadium in Kinshasa as the dawn was beginning to break. Hundreds of fans were still in the stands and the ring had all these people in it, squaring off and acting out how Foreman had gone down. Ali and his wife went out and sat in the back seat of their Citro�n. On the drive to the training camp on the banks of the Za�re River he said they had begun talking about how odd it seemed to be coming out of a fight into the light of day. Invariably, fighters arrive at the arenas in the late afternoon or in the early evening, leaving daylight, and after the night's activity they come into darkness. In the car Ali kept remarking on it. It seemed so symbolically appropriate that on this occasion he should be coming out of darkness into light.

S: Well, O.K. I might give him the benefit of the doubt. Might even look into this issue with him on the cover.

W: You might find out some things about him.

S: But why his rascally look on the cover?

W: I don't know. I suppose it tells you in there somewhere.

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