And then I'd go
back to my own voice, maybe drop it a little bit lower, like this, and I'd say,
"This here is George, man. And me and you are gonna fight, man."
The thing is he'd
do it, too, if we could just set it up that way. That's how we set up the fight
in Za�re. Me and him talked on the phone one day and we said we were gonna
fight, and we turned everybody else loose on it and they set it up.
getting more ready every day.
I get up about
seven o'clock, go out and pet my lion and my tiger, play with my dogs and run
five miles or so in the hills around Livermore. ( Texas is home to me, always
will be, but the climate in Houston is no good for training. You get up at four
a.m. to run and it's already 80�.) Then I have some beef broth, maybe some
boiled eggs, relax until about 1:45 p.m., then head for workouts in my gym.
Back home about six p.m. Eat a good dinner—like a whole baked chicken—always
with three different vegetables. Watch TV. Force myself to go to bed about
Instead of just
waiting for Ali, I'm going to go right on fighting, and maybe the fans will
force him to meet me. Who else could they really accept? I don't know when I'll
get another shot at him, but I hope it will be soon, before somebody else
knocks him off. I really come as close to disliking Ali as I care to get,
considering that I don't believe in hating anyone. There was one offer of $5.5
million for him and $4.5 million for me. The money was deposited in a Muslim
bank in Chicago. Ali wouldn't touch it. He wanted to go on fighting weaker
contenders. That fight they called the "thrilla in Manila"—Ali could
have had it with me for more money than he got against Frazier.
People who know
boxing know something strange happened in Za�re. A lot of people saw it, and
don't believe it. I lived through it, and put it together in my mind. The next
time, I'm going to have my own new team in my corner that is scrapping for our
own good instead of everybody for himself. I've learned that much.
I liked being the champion. Loved it. That's sports, and it's great to be known
as the best. I've learned a lot of things that will help me. They'll help me to
be the heavyweight champion for a long time.
Someday I would
like to retire and take it easy with my family all around me. I'd like to be a
good American. But I want to do that by being a fighter. I sure don't want no