The "Rumble in the Jungle" was the subject of director Leon Gast's 1996 documentary, "When We Were Kings," and was the subject of a report by the late CBS News correspondent Harold Dow.
MUHAMMAD ALI: We're going to get it on because we don't get along!"
"When We Were Kings" is a trip back in time to the famed Ali- Foreman championship fight ... an event that would dramatically change both fighters' lives.
ALI: We're gonna rumble in the jungle!"
ALI: And you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned? Wait until I kick Foreman's behind.
No one gave Ali much hope of winning.
LEON GAST: Didn't think he had a chance.
He was 32 years old. He had slowed down considerably. More importantly, he was facing George Foreman ... a young, mean fighting machine.
ALI: This chump has got everybody scared.
GAST: He was -- I guess the one word that would describe him best is he was sullen.
GEORGE FOREMAN: Beg your pardon?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You will continue boxing even if you would lose over there?
FOREMAN: I beg your pardon?
GAST: I mean, people were frightened of George.
Announcer #1: Look at the stare on George Foreman. Look at Ali...
FOREMAN: That's the face of a killer.
Even Foreman himself would agree.
FOREMAN: I wasn't putting on an act. I was a bad man. And I wanted to hit those guys and hurt them, and not only win but I wanted to hurt them.
So how did George go from killer to the kind, lovable guy we all know today? It all began with the fight in Zaire.
FOREMAN: I was going to kill this guy.
HAROLD DOW: You hated him in the ring? You wanted to kill him. You wanted to beat him so bad.
FOREMAN: I hated him. I wanted to kill him.
But Ali figured out a way to turn Foreman's rage to his advantage with the now-famous rope-a-dope.
DOW: You were pounding away and pounding away.
Mr. FOREMAN: Well, I was the dope. He just laid on the rope.
DOW: He laid on the rope so...
FOREMAN: I'm the dope because I just wasted my energy.
Announcer #1: Ali, a sneaky right hand...
FOREMAN: He was cagey. He was smart.
Announcer: Foreman takes a right!
Announcer #1: Three! Four! Five! Six!
Announcer #1: Foreman gets up to his knees. Eight! That's it!
FOREMAN: Oh, after I lost that fight, I was frustrated for a long time. This man devastated my life.
Fact is, after the loss to Ali, Foreman's life fell apart. He quit boxing and turned to preaching.
FOREMAN: If I'd go on the street corners -- and people would walk past me and they'd really start to offend me. They didn't know who I was. And one day, I said, "Yes. This is George Foreman. I fought Muhammad Ali. Sure, I lost to him, but" -- and they stopped.
And they started to listen to his sermons.
FOREMAN: The Lord is not a name.
FOREMAN: He's like been my gift to the ministry. Just the association of his name with mine pretty much made me outside of the ring.
Outside the ring, Foreman is now a celebrity.
DAVID LETTERMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, George Foreman.
And, of course, he's gone back inside the ring.
Unidentified Announcer #2: And Rodriguez goes down.
And how does Foreman feel about Ali today, the man he once wanted to kill?
FOREMAN: And I'll show you something that is more precious to me than anything.
Right here. He signed this picture "To George Foreman. Love, Muhammad Ali."
DOW: Now isn't that something?
FOREMAN: This guy has integrity. He stood for something. This is a man.
Leon Gast hopes his film will spread the Ali legacy ... to a whole new generation.
ALI: I'm going to fight so I can let my little brothers, who are sleeping on concrete floors, stay in America. All I got to do is whip George Foreman.
FOREMAN: This man was more than your ordinary boxer. He was the greatest.
ALI: I have a lot of things to do when I start fighting in the black neighborhoods. We have a lot of problems.
GAST: I mean, this guy really made a difference. ...A real hero.