My phone rang a
few days later, and it was Promoter Bob Arum, who was then handling the
paymaster chores. He was laughing. "Guess what?" he said. "You
can't figure boxing people. Herbert saw your bill and said it wasn't enough. He
is authorizing me to add some more on."
The case of the
sore hands came up only one more time. We were in Zaire for the Foreman fight,
and Ali suggested a sort of compromise. What if I only deadened his left hand;
after all, he planned to use it more than the right. I proposed an even better
plan. His hands were getting better, I said, particularly since he had stopped
using the heavy bag in training. The only problem left, I felt, was the main
knuckle on his right hand and, if he liked, I could deaden only that one. We
quietly considered it, Ali and I alone, and finally he decided to go without
any shots at all. What he was really wistful about, it turned out, was that I
hadn't let him eat the big apple cobbler.
Since that fight
in Africa, I have been paid for my ministrations to Ali, although I have never
submitted another bill. I leave it up to Herbert Muhammad. Let's face it, I
would have been perfectly glad to pay him for the honor of working with the
greatest fighter who ever lived.