Ali Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Ali script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Michael Mann movie starring Will Smith as Muhammed Ali.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Ali. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Ali Script

          Thank you very kindly.

          Ladies and gentlemen, right now we'd like to introduce...

          the star of our show, the young man you've all been waiting for.

           So let's all get together and welcome him to the stage with a great big hand.

            How about it for Sam Cooke?

            Before we do anything, we?d like to say how are you doing out there?

            - Is everyone feeling all right? - Yeah!

            How are you doing?

            - You doing okay? - Yeah!

            - You two doing okay? - Yeah!

            Well, I ask you one more time. How you doing?

            Oh, yeah

            I said oh, yeah

            Oh, yeah!

            Oh, yeah

            Oh, yeah!

            I believe we're gonna have a goodtime tonight

            It's good to have somebody you can twist the night away with

            Right now

            Oh, yes, it is

            I said it feels good when you got somebody

            To twist the night away with right now

            - Lord have mercy. - What you running from, son?

            We got a call.

            Don't fight the feelin' Don?t fight the feelin'

            Got to feel the feelin' now Got to feel the feelin'

            'Cause it make you groove right when you feel the feelin'

            Oh, make me want you now

            Got to feel the feelin'

            'Cause it make you groove right when you feel the feelin'

            Make me want ya when I got the feelin; baby

            So don't fight it

            No, don?t fight it

            Baby, just feel it

            I'm gonna bust you up.

            Beat your ass like I was your daddy.

            I said I'm beginning to feel allright now

            I feel can tell you about my baby right now

            I said I feel you're in the mood right now

            I said I feel you're in the mood

            Some times me and my baby we fuss and fight

            And my baby leave home 'cause things ain't right

            For those of you who think you came here today...

            to hear us tell you like these Negro leaders do...

            that your times will just get better...

            that we shall overcome someday...

            I say to you, you came to the wrong place.

            Because your times will never get better unless you make them better.

            Those of you who think you came here to hear us tell you...

            to turn the other cheek to the brutality of the white man...

            and this system of injustice that's in place right here in America...

            you think you're gonna come here and hear us tell you...

            to go out there and beg for a place at their lunch counter...

            again, I say you came to the wrong place.

            We don't teach you to turn the other cheek in the South.

            And we don't teach you to turn the other cheek in the North.

            The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches you to obey the law...

            to Cary yourselves in a respectable way...

            in a proud Afro-American way.

            But at the same time, we teach you...

            that anyone puts their hand on you...

            brother, you do your best to see they don't put their hand on anybody else...



            Just like that, Daddy.

            Never jump in one place. Bad for the heart.

            Forwards, backwards, sideways.

            That's the most important thing.

             I'm called Bundini.

              Rhymes with Houdini. He was a Jew too.

              Some people call me Fast Black. Some call me Daddy Mac.

              Gave Sugar Ray Robinson my power for seven years.

              My voodoo. My magic.

              Now Shorty done sent me here to work for you.

              - Who's Shorty? - I call him Shorty.

              Call him Shorty 'cause he like 'em circumcised.

              Original people. Like Moses. And I was a babe in a basket too.

              Born on a doorstep with a note across my chest that read...

              "You do the best you can for him, world. "

              I wanna be your inspiration.

              Your motivator in your corner.

              Can I be in your corner, young man?


              Got to tell you how I feel right now

              This song gonna tell you howl feel

              I know you been gone away for along time, but listen

              Baby, if you ever

              Change your mind

              Know that leaving

              Leaving me behind

              Bring it tome

              Bring that good lovin; baby

              Bring it on home to me

              Yeah, yeah

              Listen, I got to be a man to tell you this, honey, look

              I'll give you jewelry

              I'll give you some of that money too

              But listen That ain't all

              That ain't all Sam will do for you

              All you got to do is bring it tome

              Bring that good lovin baby

              Be the invisible man as soon as he swings.

              Get personal with him.

              This is important Listen tome

              Don't you know that I'll always

              I'll always be your slave

              Till I'm buried

              Buried in my grave

              While I'm livin'

              Bring it tome Bring that good lovin; baby

              Bring it on home to me

              One more thing I gotta tell you

              Listen to me right now

              You know that I try

              To treat you right What did you do

              You stayed up

              You stayed up late at night

              I don't care who you was with

              Bring it tome

              Bring all that good lovin; baby

              Bring it on Everybody's with me

              Everybody's with me tonight

              Listen, let me hear you say yeah

              Yeah, oh, yeah

              Sonny Liston, you ain't no champ! You a chump!

              Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

              Oh! Rumble, young man, rumble.

              Y'all wanna lose y' all money? Then you bet it on Sonny.

              He know I'm great. He will fall in eight.

              Come on, you big, ugly bear. I'll whup you right now.

              Two-ten and a half. Two-ten and a half!.

              The challenger, Cassius Clay, two hundred and ten and a half pounds.

              - Man, you sure that's right? - That's what the weight is.

              Old, ugly bear, come on. Let's go.

              You got these folks fooled. I ain't scared of ya! I ain't scared of ya!

              Two hundred and eighteen. Two hundred and eighteen.

              Sonny Liston, the champion of the world.

              Two hundred and eighteen pounds.

              - Pounds of what? - Pounds of ugly.

              That man's so ugly, when he sweat...

              the sweat run backwards off his forehand just to stay away from his face.

              Come on, you big, ugly bear! I'll turn you into a rug!

              Keep talkin'. I'm gonna fuck you up.

              If you whup me...

              I'll crawl out of the ring and take the first jet airplane out the country.

              - Is that a promise, Mr. Clay? - You'll eat his words first.

              - Cassius, you're a  -  underdog. - Liston says he talks with his fists.

              - What do you say? - You scared of him?

              I'm gonna give Sonny Liston talkin' lessons...

              boxin' lessons and fallin' down lessons.

              Cassius, are you a black Muslim? Pat Putnam says in the Miami Herald--

              A man's religion is his own business. What kind of question is that?

              - Angelo, tell me-- - Malcolm X was in town, then he left.

              Was that so he wouldn't embarrass you?

              - Yeah, Howard? - Liston doesn't like you.

              Really can't stand you. Says he wants to kill you.

              Howard Cosell, you ain't nothin' but an instigator.

              - Man, how you get that way? - Cassius, now you?re being truculent.

              If it's good, I'm that.

              You next. Soon as I'm done with Sonny Liston, I'm fightin' Howard Cosell.

              Y'all write that down right now.

              That's good?

              Wanna check that out?

              Hey, man, when you get back?

              I just got here. I'm front row, seat seven.

              I'll be sittin' with Mom and Dad.

              You should've stayed in the first place. Nobody gotta hide when they're with me.

              There's nothing wrong with being cool, my brother.

              He's right.

              - ...and challenger, Cassius Clay. - Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

              Brought to you by the City Service Oil Company...

              and its dealers in    states and Canada...

              known to millions of motorists for Big Gallon gasoline...

              and by new Wildroot, totally new Wildroot in a new tube...

              with a great formula that grooms hair to look neat and natural, never greasy.

              Another boxing milestone is at hand.

              In just a few minutes, Louisville's Cassius Marcellus Clay...

              will be facing the devastating punching power...

              of the heavyweight champion, Charles "Sonny" Liston.

              ...for the heavyweight championship of the world.

              Introducing, on my right--

              And now the time has come.

              Both challenger and champion are in the ring.

              The heavyweight championship of the world is on the line.

              I fit goes past the first round, there will be surprises already.

              Sonny Liston wrapped in that tery cloth towel of his...

              wrapped around his head swami fashion...

              Looking as malevolent and baleful as ever.

              But this man is a professional prizefighter.

              Make no mistake about it.

              I want a clean fight.

              When I say break, stop punching and step back.

              Do you have any questions, champ?

              Any questions, challenger?

              We're fine. Touch gloves, gentlemen. Good luck.

              Good evening, sports fans across the nation.

              Liston in the white trunks with the black stripes.

              Clay, an inch and a half taller, in the white trunks with the red stripes--

              And Cassius Clay is sidestepping.

              There it is, champ. Stay on your toes now.

              And we can see that the champion is the aggressor.

              There's a shot under the heart.

              Cassius Clay slips away. And now Clay pounds a left.

              Another left. A straight jab.

              It seems to have stunned him. And that's the bell.

              And they're fighting after the bell. And they're still fighting.

              This round is over.

              Break it up, ref.

              There is no love lost between the two contenders at this time.

              Cassius goes back to his corner. It's been an amazing round.

              You can beat this guy.

              I'm still here.

              And Sonny Liston is not taking the stool.

              He's anxious to get back into the challenger's face.

              Take it to the body. Kill the body, the head will follow.

              This is a totally different fight than Liston expected...

              and anyone in this arena will tell you.

              There's a long, looping left hand. Clay's eyes are wide open now.

              - Come on, Cass! Move! - Step back.

              - Come on, Cassius! - Come on, Chi-Chi!

              I'm not prognosticating anything...

              but merely his survival to this juncture--

              Cass, hit him!


              Let him go.

              Sonny Liston is hurt. He's bleeding from his eye.

              He's defying the experts early.

              We have to take a look at this man and say he is not in awe of the champion.

              He ain't nothin' to me. And he know it.

              This is it now.

              Let me have that, John.

              And now they're ready.

              You gonna knock the ugly off of him.

              That's gonna take a long time, but you can do it.

              There he is. Get him off. Do your job, ref.

              Shake him. Do your job, ref.

              There it is.

              Come on, ref.


              - There he is. - Clay slips around and out.

              Up against the ropes. Right above me now.

              Too tight. Get in there.

              My eyes. There's something in my eyes. I can't see nothin'.

              Come on.

              - What's going on? - Nothin'.

              The guy's punchin' on the breaks. Just take care of it. We're fine.

              I can't see nothin', man. Just go and cut 'em off, Angie.

              No, no. You can't fight with no gloves on.

              Just get up. Get up. Try and do it. Come on.

              I can't see, man.

              - Come on, Cass! - Dance!

              Liston crouching, hitting to the body.

              It's like he's blinking, like he doesn't see Liston.

              Ref, you gotta doy our job.

              Hold it.

              Stay away from him, Clay. Stay away from him.

              The champion, you can see, is the aggressor.

              - Get him, Cass! - Come on, Cass!

              - Knock him up! - Clay looks all done.

              Hold on to him!

              - Stop it. Stop. Break. - Knock him up.

              Get on him. Get on him, man.

              - You can see him now. - You go get him, man.

              Clay lands a left, but Liston ducked under it...

              and took it high on the forehead.

              It's Clay coming on.

              And Liston backs away.

              And all the predictions are going down the drain...

              as Liston is listless.

              And there's the bell.

              We're coming up to round seven.

              Wait a minute!

              Liston's not coming out.

              The winner and new heavyweight champion of the world is Cassius Clay.

              Eat your words! Eat your words!

              Les, I'm going up into the ring. Get back.

              I'm the greatest thing ever happened to boxing.

              Cassius. Cassius.

              I shook up the world!

              It's a scene of absolute bedlam in the ring!

              I am the greatest. I'm a bad man. I shook up the world!

              Did he ever hurt you?

              I'm only    years old. I ain't got a mark on my face.

              - I must be the greatest. - And you're pretty.

              I must be the greatest.

              Wait. Hold on. Hold on one second. That's Sam Cooke back there.

              - Come on, Sam Cooke. - Let Sam Cooke in here.

              The greatest rock-and-roll singer, and I'm the world's greatest boxer.

              Hello, Sam.

              That mummy's gonna get him, baby.

              - That mummy ain't gonna get him. - Yeah, he is.

              He ain't scared of that mummy. That mummy too slow to catch anybody.

              - What's going on, Sam? - How you doing, Cassius?

              Don't believe that stuff on TV. Don't listen to him.

              - Hey, congratulations, Clay. - Hey, thank you, Jim.

              - Hell of a fight. - You next, man. You next.

              - Go ahead and get some food, brother. - Cassius Clay versus Jim Brown.

              Biggest fight in history.

              - The mummy only has one eye. - One eye and a limp.

              That mummy's     years old.

              He can't catch nobody. Look at him.

              You gotta fall down 'cause that's the only way the mummy could catch you.

              Way to go, champ!

              - Yeah, you the greatest. - Thank you, brother. Thank you.

              - I'll see your next fight. - You'll see the next one?

              - Oh, yeah. - Well, you better get there very early.

              You better get there very early 'cause that man's going down.

              If he talk a little jive, he's going down in five.

              He talk a little more, I might drop him in four.

              If you wanna have more fun, do it in round one.

              Oh, yeah. Hold on. I'm doing the rhymin'.

              The people really look up to you. You plan on being a champ like Joe Louis?

              Well, yeah, I'm gonna be the people's champ.

              Not like Joe Louis. Well, you know, not exactly.

              My name is not Clay.

              Clay is the name of the people that owned my ancestors...

              and I no longer wanna be called by that slave name.

              - I am Cassius X. - Minister Malcolm.

              What about the divisions in the Nation of Islam?

              This is the champ's time. I'm here as a friend to support his victory...

              so I have nothing you want.

              I'm definitely gonna be the people's champion...

              but I just ain't gonna be the champ the way you want me to be the champ.

              I'm gonna be the champ the way I wanna be.

              ...for no home is immune to termites...

              no matter how well it is built or maintained.

              - Hey, brother. - I was leaving.

              I saw your light on. What you doing up at this hour, champ?

              Oh, man, I'm watching this program on termites.

              And them little itsy-bitsy things is eatin' these people's whole house down.

              Oh, man, look.

              I've been invited to speak at Ibadan University in Nigeria.

              - You wanna go with me? - Hey, look, man.

              You can have six million termites in your house and don't even know it...

              till you going to get something to eat and you bust through the floor.

              - What'd you say? Where? - Africa. You been?


              All right, come on. Let's go.

              What is it?

              You ever thought you'd lose it?

              I mean, really lose it?

              When I was little, I tore out this picture of Emmett Till.

              They put the barbed wire around his neck...

              and strapped him to that   -pound cotton gin fan.

              And they cut out one of his eyes 'cause he looked at some white lady.


              I couldn't take my eyes to it, couldn't throw it away.

              When I heard about those...

              four little girls who got bombed in that Birmingham church...

              the prohibitions of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad prevented me...

              from speaking my thoughts in action.

              Because Birmingham was part of the civil rights struggle.

              You know, begging for our place at the white man's table.

              But dead children are dead children.

              So the anger I felt I had to contain.

              I locked it up so tight...

              my muscles seized.

              I lost control over the right side of my body.

              My leg gave out.

              Right arm gave out. "I'm having a stroke," I thought.

              But I had to hold it in 'cause all I wanted--

              Brother, all I wanted to do was find something and break it.

              Break a part-- Break any part of this system...

              because you are so provoked in your heart...

              and your spirit as a human being...

              at dead children.

              And I could do...


              Everyone knows I can't do nothing...


              So Elijah Muhammad has suspended me as a minister in the Nation of Islam.


              you can fix that.

              I don't know.

              I'll try when we get back.

              You get some rest, champ.

              All right, brother.


              You know, only after long service and high merit...

              in the spiritual and physical rebirth of Afro-American people...

              is one granted an original name.

              But you are special.

              A world champion.

              So there is a gift I wish to give you.

              From this day forward...

              you will be known as Muhammad Ali.

              - What? - That's right.

              You what?

              Well, what's wrong with our name? My name?

              We-- We made you.

              Ain't nobody made me.

              No bow tie-wearin', Arab-talkin' nigger gonna change that.

              Ain't nobody in that ring but me. I made me.

              You don't know who you are.

              I know who I ain't. I ain't drinkin'.

              I ain't going back on my wife and for sure I ain't prayin'...

              to no blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus.

              Paintin' those blue-eyed, blond-haired Jesuses is what put food in you.

              - Steak and vegetables on the table. - It's dinner!

              Go ahead.

              Go ahead.


              Here you go, Daddy.

              Thank you, baby.

              - Yeah? - Brother Malcolm.

              The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has given the Muslim name of Muhammad Ali...

              to Cassius X.

              Herbert Muhammad has been put in charge of his training.

              He will not be traveling with you to Africa.

              He also asked me to inform you...

              that your suspension will be extended indefiinitely.

              Brother Cassius won't be coming to Africa.

              Not with me.

              Don't put it off.

              We'll be fine.

              I will.

              I got a little doll for Atallah.


              Yeah, it?s beautiful.

              I've got so much to show the girls when I get back.

              - I'm taking alot of pictures. - Yeah?

              Yeah, I got some good stuff I want to show you.

              Are you eating?

              Well, you're not cooking, so--

              - What's going on? Anything? - Nothing.

              He's on the phone, talking to his wife.

              She's having a hard time sleeping, the baby's kicking a lot...

              what are they gonna name the baby.

              I just wake up a couple of times in the night, but it?s okay.

              Would you like to take a seat?

              Sure, thank you.

              What y'all done did with the real pilot?

              I am the pilot. He's the copilot.

              Here. Sit down, Mr. Clay.

              Oh, man.

              In Louisville, where I growed up, they barely let black folks drive buses.


              Hey, brother. What's going on, man?

              - What you doing here? - I was just going to the airport.

              We just got here now. So where you going?


              Say hello to Maya Angelou right here and Ambassador Huang Hua.

              And that is Taher Kaid. He's the ambassador from Algeria.

              Oh, man. Where should I go? I wanna go all over this place.

              Go to Algeria. See Ben Bella.

              Then go to see Mecca and Medina. I just came from there.

              Made my seven circuits around the Kaaba.

              I prayed at sunrise. Two million people. Pilgrims from all over, man.

              Dressed the same. High and low, the same.

              Blond-haired, blue-eyed Muslims, Arabs, Africans, Indonesians.

              Seeing brothers just like us, praying together, it was beautiful.

              I drank water from the well of Zem Zem.

              I prayed in the ancient city of Mena. I prayed on Mount Arafat.

              You shouldn't have quarreled with Elijah Muhammad.

              Walking in their footsteps.

              All of us together.

              You shouldn't have quarreled with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.


              You shouldn't have quarreled with Elijah Muhammad.

              Hey, Brother Muhammad, look here.

              Brother Muhammad!

              Listen, I'm sorry to keep you waiting.

              Into each life...

              a little rain must fall.

              And, you know, every day cannot be sunny.

              Every smile is not a smile of happiness.

              And every tear that is shed--

              Sonji, Sonji, Sonji.

              - What you keep saying my name for? - 'Cause I love it, girl.

              -How long you been working with Herbert? -About a year.

              I sell Muhammad Speaks over the phone.

              - What kind of name is that? - My father named me after Sonja Henie.

              What's your father do?

              He was shot in a poker game when I was two, so he don't do nothing.

              And my mother died when I was eleven.

              - Who raised you? - My godparents.

              But I been off on my own for a long time.

              What you doing tomorrow? Go for a ride with me.

              - Oh, no, no. I gotta work. - I'm gonna square it with Herbert.

              - Herbert said you met the Beatles. - Oh, yeah, yeah.

              Only one of 'em is smart, though. The fella with the glasses.

              Oh, he is my favorite.

              Yeah, folks was screaming and fainting.

              I said, "Man, is this how they act when you get big?"

              - What did he say? - He said, "Champ...

              the more real you get, the more unreal it's gonna get."



              Precious love


              Means more tome

              More, more

              Than any love

              Can ever bring me

              Never came true

              Oh, and I

              I wanted you

              Let me tell ya I was so lonely

              So lonely, lonely So lonely and so blue

              Good God All mighty

              That's what love will do


              Let's go.


              Where you live?

              I'm gonna take you there.

              And you know I got a man somewhere out there that I don't mind crawling to.

              Sometimes I wake up in the midnight hour, tears rolling down my face.

              And if I look around for my man and I can't find him...

              I follow the Lord, look a little higher.

              Kind of pray to the Lord.

              Because I always believed that the Lord could help me if nobody else could.

              But sometime I think he don't even hear me.

              So I have to fall a little lower on my knees, look a little higher.

              Kind of raise my voice a little higher.

              And this is what I say when I call on my man.

              I especially want you ladies to listen to me 'cause maybe you can try this.

              It might help you every once in a while.

              This is what you say when you call on your man.

              Get in tune to--


              Darlin; don't you know

              That I love you so much, yeah

              Fall down on my knees

              Beg my baby, please

              I got to tell the man that I love him, yes, I will

              For your precious love

              For your precious love

              There?s nothing There?s nothing, nothing

              In this whole wide world I wouldn?t do for you, darling

              I'll walk all night out in the rain

              Lord, I got to see my baby again

              I got to tell the man that I love him

              One more time, yeah

              You ain't no Muslim, huh?

              Cover my hair, wear no makeup and wear those long dresses?

              Honey, please.

              Were you a virgin?

              A virgin? How you gonna-- What you saying?

              Well, you were just so gone, off on a little good time.

              Well, no, I ain't no virgin.

              But I may as well be.

              I ain't joking.

              I always know when I know.

              You see this face?

              You got a pretty face for a lady's face...

              but you ever seen anything as pretty as me?

              Who wouldn't want to be with me?

              What, you five foot three or something like that?

              That's too small for me, but I'm gonna make an exception.

              - Oh, well, thank you. - Because of your spirit.

              - My spirit? - Yeah, girl. You too much fun.

              - But you got to be a Muslim. - A Muslim?

              And how you do that? You jump over a broom and, shazam, you're a Muslim?

              I ain't never been with nobody like you.

              And, baby...

              baby, you ain't never gonna be with any other.

              - What? - That's right.

              I wanna marry her.

              True love.

              You don't marry that girl. She was a date.

              Have some fun.

              She's not your wife. You don't marry this girl.

              Here's some management papers. I need you to sign right there.

              My father would kill me.

              Watch what you're signing, Ali.

              This ain't got nothing to do with you.

              Anything's to do with me I say is to do with me, fat boy. I'm still a Christian.

              And get me a kosher cook. I want that lady over at Malcolm's temple.

              - Lana Shabazz. - And put my brother on payroll.

              Fifty G a year just for drivin' and jivin'.

              What do you say, Howard? Come on full-time as my photographer?

              I'm not gonna be on the payroll. I'm freelance. Emphasis on "free."

              Muhammad, she's not for you.

              When I met her, she worked in a cocktail lounge...

              with a bunny tail on her backside.

              What the hell was you doing in a bunny tail lounge anyway, Herbert?

              Sellin' Muhammad Peeks?

              - You been saving it up training, Ali. - Your ass.

              You should spread that stuff around a little bit before you settle down.

              No, man. Marriage is the cornerstone of Muslim life.

              - Yeah, well, Sonji Roi is not a Muslim. - Well, she's gonna be now.

              You just fix it up, Herbert.

              Yeah. Okay.

              So, why we meeting?

              I got Malcolm shoulder to shoulder with Martin Luther King.

              And we got Malcolm traveling all over the world, getting Ben Bella and Nasser.

              We were better off before with Malcolm inside the Nation.

              So we've decided we want you...

              to get Elijah Muhammad to take Malcolm back.

              That's a joke, Joe.

              When am I being reimbursed for my expenses?

              Dry-cleaning all these suits is not free.

              We gotta talk about this guy too.

              Get me receipts, I'll reimburse you for your dry cleaning.

              - What you drinking? - What I'm drinking?

              Come on, champ. This is water. You know I'm a natural man.

              You know.

              - What's going on? We're late. - I'm changing my damn clothes.

              You gave me that look, so I know you don't like what I had on.

              - What is this? - What you wanted, isn't it?

              - A water glass with vodka in it. - No, that was before.

              - Before what, sir? - Before you showed up. Get out of here.

              I'm fine running around here in these cute, short things for you.

              I am submissive to you.

              I ain't gonna be submissive to them Brother X's and Z's...

              about what they think.

              They ask me a bunch of questions all the time anyway.

              - What questions? - About you and us.

              - And I ain't telling them shit. - You tell it like it is, sugar.

              Took away my boy's name. What they give him back?

              Bad style.

              I think you drunk. Daddy Clay, you're something else.

              Now, that's a firecracker right there. We're gonna have to work with that.

              - A scale of one to ten. - That's right.

              I have one-- I had a ten-- Well, I didn't have a ten.

              I had a five-- five good twos.

              I don't drink. I don't smoke. I converted to Islam for you.

              Okay? l-- All except the dress.

              What you doing in my pockets, man? Get your hand out of my pocket!

              - Hold it, my brothers. - We got a thief in here!

              Just be cool.

              Be cool.

              Brother, you crazy?

              They killed Malcolm! They shot Malcolm! They shot Malcolm!

              They shot Malcolm!

              ...wash it seven times in the chest and body...

              and one in the lower right shin.

              Apparently, the unknown man...

              walked up to the speaker's platform...

              at the time Malcolm X was speaking...

              opened fire at him at very short range.

              The arena is surrounded by FBI.

              The stands are only half full.

              The promoter has taken out a million-dollar insurance policy...

              due to Cassius Clay's membership in the militant and radical black Muslims.

              And, oh, by the way, Sonny Liston is here too.

              Touch gloves and come out fighting.

              Come on, son.

              - Come on, Chi-Chi. - Put a whupping on him now.

              Ain't nothing changed.

              Whup on him now. Whup up on him.

              Way to go!

              - There it is! - Sock it to him, baby!


              Get up! Ain't nobody gonna believe this.

              Get up!


              Confused. We're confused.

              - Check his time. - Timekeeper's sounding it's over.

              Check his time!

              It is over!

              I think the champ was in a hurry.

              Are you okay?

              What's wrong?

              Why you all done up like that?

              I'm out there dying for you out of worry.

              - Worry? - Yes.

              And all you can think about is if I look dull enough?

              What if I straightened my hair and moved into some white suburb?

              How I am says something.

              You want me to go get her?

              Not now.

              - Not right now, fellas. - Not now.

              - What I got to do? - About Sonji?

              Have no contact with her for    days.

              Make a public statement of divorce at the mosque...

              and Islamic law will be satisfied.

              Satisfaction is not making it with the woman who send you to the moon?

              I'm the only normal person left around here.

              I'm a black Jew, I can't read and I'm half drunk.

              I need to talk to you.

              - No, you can stay, Brother Herbert. - Brother? He ain't your brother.

              Your brother's taking your wife back to Chicago. She's crying like a widow.

              - Well, I ain't dead. - Well, you may as well be.

              You don't remember your name or who you are.

              You gonna try for Germany?

              You gonna try to get stationed in Germany?

              - Everybody is trying to avoid Vietnam. - What you talkin' about, man?

              They changed your classification. It's in the paper.

              - What? - Champ. Eskridge.

              You're   A.

              They tryin' to draft me in the army? You know about this?

              Okay, here we go.

              All right, all right. Hey, I got to go.

              They started runnin'.

              You know, so I went down there, I did everything I was supposed to do...

              You know, so I went down there, I did everything I was supposed to do...

              and I flunked their draft board test.

              Then without testing me again, to see if I'm any wiser or worser...

              they decide I can go in the army?

              - Cassius, in my opinion-- - My name ain't Cassius Clay.

              That is a slave name, and I am a free man.

              I am Muhammad Ali.

              You know, I apologize. I apologize to you on the air.

              Your name is Muhammad Ali.

              You have a right to be called whatever you want.

              I apologize to you.

              You sure make a lot of mistakes for a so-called educated man.

              - You really went to law school? - Yes, Muhammad.

              And to think I gave up a lucrative practice for the likes of you.

              I'm the best thing ever happened to you, Cosell.

              Without me, you'd be a tall white man with a microphone in his mouth.

              And without me, you'd be a mouth.

              We'll be right back.

              - You want some food for that thing? - How could you do such a thing?

              - 'Cause it's funny. - To someone you revere.

              - That thing almost bit my finger off. - Mr. Bundini...

              I'm glad you were here to witness this-- this assault.

              Have a little coffee with your sugar.

              They're coming after you...

              because they're scared of black militancy in the inner cities.

              I ain't no H. Rap Brown. I ain't no Stokely Carmichael.

              All they are is political.

              You're the heavyweight champion of the world.

              Here's the deal the government offered. You do six weeks in basic.

              You go to the reserves. You don't go to Vietnam.

              Now, the messenger would not object if you joined under those terms.

              I stay out of jail and keep boxing.

              If you accept the induction, life goes on.

              Marvin Decker Anderson, US Army.

              Marvin Decker Anderson, US Army.

              Juan Raymondo Benitez, US Army.

              Pryce Marshall Benson, US Marines.

              Cassius Marcellus Clay, US Army.

              Mr. Clay, I'm required to inform you...

              that refusal to accept a lawful induction order...

              constitutes a felony...

              under the Universal Military Training and Service Act...

              punishable by five years imprisonment...

              and a $      fine.

              Do you understand?

              Yes, sir.

              Federal Bureau of Investigation.

              Mr. Clay, you're under arrest for refusing induction.


              Yeah, this is me.

              No, you got to ask Chauncey Eskridge. That's my lawyer. He's in Chicago.

              No, I'm out on bail.

              No, man, I ain't never shot nothin' in my life.

              No ducks, no geese, no deer, no nothin'.

              Yeah, I know where Vietnam is. It's on TV.

              Southeast Asia? What, it's there too?

              What do I think about who?

              The Vietcong?

              Man, I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong.

              Ain't no Vietcong ever called me nigger.

              Yeah, that's right.

              You know what you're doin', Ali?

              You know what you just said?

              Everyone, Europe to China, every home in America...

              everyone?s gonna know what the heavyweight champion of the world...

              said about the US war.

              So what? So what? I ain't got to be...

              what nobody else want me to be...

              and I ain't afraid to be what I wanna be...

              think how I wanna think.

              I got almost nowhere I can promote a fight for you.

              Plus I think they're gonna vacate you from the crown.

              - What? - Yeah, if you're convicted.

              Oh, so they're gonna take from me what no fighter in the world can.

              And New York may revoke your boxing license.

              You sure you wanna do this?

              The next three to four years are every heavyweight's prime.

              There are few of those years.

              - What about Terrell? - We'll know about that this afternoon.

              I gotta find us some venues fast. I'll call you later.

              You understand the issue is your license to fight Terrell in Illinois?


              Then are you prepared to apologize...

              about your unpatriotic remarks about the war?

              - You say you're the people's champion. - Yes, sir.

              Do you think you're acting like the people's champion?

              Yes, sir. I'm not gonna apologize to you.

              This is not a courtroom, and I do not have to answer your questions.

              - What about Terrell? - We'll fight in another state!

              - Are you gonna dodge the draft? - I ain't draft-dodgin'...

              I ain't burnin' no flag, and I ain't runnin' to Canada.

              I'm stayin' right here. You wanna send me to jail?

              Fine. You go right ahead. I've been in jail for     years.

              I can be there for four or five more.

              But I ain't going' no       miles...

              to help murder and kill other poor people.

              If I wanna die, I'll die right here right now, fightin' you, if I wanna die.

              You my enemy. Not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese.

              You my opposer when I want freedom.

              You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality.

              You want me to go somewhere and fight for you.

              You won't even stand up for me right here in America...

              for my rights and my religious beliefs.

              You won't even stand up for me right here at home.

              - Which guy you want to go first? - You, sir.

              Tell Clay he gettin' on after me. I'm the champ.

               - What? - I said you can get on after me.

                - No. What'd you call me? - I called you Clay.

                You will announce it from right here, from flat on your back.

                What's my name? What's my name?

                What's my name? Say my name! You gonna say my name!

                Your mama called you Clay! I'm gonna call you Clay!

                I want you all to tell all their aunts...

                and all their uncles and cousins and friends...

                get to your television set, get to your radio...

                'cause I never wanted to whup a man so bad!

                What's my name? What's my name?

                What's my name, motherfucker? What's my name?

                What's my name?

                The jury has found you guilty of refusing induction...

                into the United States Armed Forces.

                Does the defense have anything it wants to say?

                Yeah, I'd appreciate if the court would just give me my sentence right now...

                rather than waitin' and stallin'.

                Very well.

                I sentence you to the maximum sentence allowable:

                five years imprisonment and a fine of $     .

                Doubtless your lawyer will lodge an appeal...

                so while you're free on bond, I order that your passport be surrendered.

                I'll not have you benefiting yourself by fighting abroad.

                This court is adjourned.

                Hold on. Watch this. I've been working on this at home.

                Hold on. Watch this. I've been working on this at home.

                Just relax.

                See? 'Cause it's spooky and sometimes people get scared and run.

                Pay attention. This is very spooky.

                Go ahead. Blow on that for me.

                See, you don't need to fight no more.

                You don't remember me, do you?

                Yeah. I remember somethin'. What's your name?

                - You know my name. - I know your name.

                You came to my school right before you won the title.

                I interviewed you for my school paper.

                I was eleven.

                You had a long braid.


                - You called me "Little Indian Girl." - Wow.

                - Man, that was you. - That was me.

                And I loved you then, just like all them kids did.

                I never stopped. I still do.

                Hey, did you see that Ellis-Quary fight?


                We're gonna be in front of the US Court of Appeals next month.

                We're gonna lose.

                - We'll appeal to the Supreme Court. -Jimmy Ellis, the champ.

                Man, I've been whupping on that boy since I was    .

                All that's gonna happen, they gonna give Ellis to Frazier...

                Frazier's gonna kill him, then what?

                Where's the gate? Then they got to let me fight.

                Jimmy Ellis. Fight that boy in a phone booth.

                Fight him in the middle of Times Square. You think that'd draw a crowd?

                Champ, draw a crowd or not draw a crowd...

                it's not gonna make a difference with your boxing licenses.

                The ACLU's handling your case against the New York Boxing Commission.

                They've discovered that New York's got actual ex-murderers...

                and ex-rapists currently licensed to fight.

                But revoke yours?

                They don't want you to fight.

                - Tijuana. - No.

                State Department refuses permission for the one-hour visa.

                No fight in Tijuana. Look--

                Can't fight here. Can't fight outside the country.

                I know people in the restaurant business.

                They want to start a chain. Muhammad Ali Champ Burgers.

                Muhammad Malts, Fistful of Fries.

                All of that.

                Why do I wanna be in the restaurant business?

                'Cause you need the money.

                - How much all this gonna cost? - Too much.

                They do that to you too, you know.

                They bust you out.

                All right.

                Go get me some Champ Burgers.

                Did y'all see that? That man just hit me.

                Oh, you done messed up now, sucka. You done messed up--

                I don't wanna do nothin' in front of your daughters, though.

                I can't beat you up in front of your daughters.

                - Hey, champ, good to see you. - All right, ladies. Take care now.

                All right now. All right now.

                You called me "Little Indian Girl" 'cause I wore my hair in a braid.

                And then I said, "Man, you scribble.

                You can't even write.

                Need to go back to school till you learn how to do it better."

                Now, why you just havin' a fresh mouth talkin' to me.

                So you think that's funny, huh?

                Telling me I can't write, that I scribble.

                Now you wanna try to make up with me.

                - This will make everything better. - Shut up.

                Mommy and Daddy moved to Mexico!

                Come on, baby.

                Oh, sweetie, come on.

                We will give you five minutes to leave this area.

                Who is the heavyweight champion of the world?

                What's happenin'?

                - Hey, man. - We lost on the appellate level...

                in New Orleans.

                - We'reheading to the Supreme Court. - We already got turned down there.

                I'm petitioning on a conscientious objection basis. Religious belief.

                I believe that they'll hear that.

                Where the money gonna come from, Chauncey?

                Herbert say l'm runnin'on empty. Now, just put aside...

                "How did that happen?"

                License all revoked, passport gone, can't fight here, can't fight nowhere.

                Then what happen ifl lose at the Supreme Court?

                Then you go tojail for fiveyears.

                Oh, I saw Bundini when I was in Europe.

                - Yeah? How is he? - He's bad. He's in bad shape, man.

                You better get your belt back

                Look at this.

                Joe Frazier. He can't up no gate.

                Can't fill no arena. They got to let me fight.


                If that happens, promise me you'll put some new people around you.

                What you talkin' about?

                Where Herbert and them when we need 'em?

                Gene Kilroy's dropping off groceries like charity.

                We borrow money from my folks.

                They're all overyou when you got it, and then they just drop off you...

                when you don't.

          Norton, he's big and strong, but he ain't nothin'.

          Hold on a second, Joe. They're telling me we have a caller.

          - Go ahead, please. - Cosell, this is Muhammad Ali.

          It's Muhammad Ali.

          Everybody knows that I am the champ.

          The crown is a lie. I know it's a lie. Joe Frazier knows it's a lie.

          And it's time for everybody to stop lying and tell the truth.

          Let's tell it like it is. With your court and boxing problems...

          can you get a fight promoted?

          I would fight Joe Frazier for free in a phone booth...

          in the middle of Times Square if I wasn't broke.

          Did you say you were broke? How can you be broke?

           You made more money than all previous heavyweights champions combined.

            What about your management? Surely they have provided for you.

            All I'm trying to say is it's time for everybody to stop lyin'.

            Muhammad Ali is the champ.

            Get my son Herbert on the telephone.

            Muhammad, thank you for calling in. I'll relay that to Joe.

            And tell Joe I said he is very ugly.

            Muhammad says that he will fight you anywhere, anytime...

            and that the championship really is his until that battle ensues.

            Mr. Ali has sporting blood.

            Mr. Ali wants a place in this sports world.

            He loves it too much.

            I am therefore suspending Mr. Ali from the practice of Islam.

            He may no longer appear in temple, pray or teach...

            or have any conversation with any Muslim whatsoever.

            Why didn?t you call an ambulance or a doctor?

            Because he gave me your number when he checked in.

            Normally, he's up there making a lot of noise.

            But now he hasn't answered the door in three days.

            - What's that? - It's daylight.

            Get me that short dog.

            Give it to me.

            What's wrong with you?

            Ain't nothin' wrong with me. My head ain't bad.

            - Leave me alone. - Leave you alone. You called me!

            Yes, but that was a week ago.

            - Why are you shamin' yourself? - Let me go, man.

            Why you doin' that to yourself?

            - Why you shamin' yourself? - Ain't nobody shamed.

            Ain't nothin' wrong with me.

            I'm flyin'.

            The Sky Chief talk through me. I know the word.

            - You know low. - Yeah?

            I know low where the king is goin' back to his throne!

            - From the root to the fruit! - Them rhymes is old, Bundini.

            You need to get some new ones.

            God don't care about you. Don't care about me.

            In all of everything, we don't mean nothin'. He don't owe us.

            We be.

            And that's the onliest thing He did.

            But that's good. That's why we free.

            But free ain't easy. Free is real and real is a motherfucker.

            It eats raw meat.

            It walk in its own shoes.

            It don't ever waiver.


            I-- I sold your belt.

            I sold your belt to a barber for $    on Lenox Avenue.

            That's how low I did you. I couldn't help it. I got a crazy mind.

            That belt say you the heavyweight boxing champion of the world...

            and I took that $   ...

            and I put it in my arm.

            That's what I called to tell you.

            I heard about the Nation stuff, the courtroom.

            What you gonna do?

            Take me back.

            I could go down there and get the belt. I can go get the belt.

            Hey, champ.

            $  ,    to the man that bring me Howard Cosell's toupee dead or alive!

            Don't bother me. I'm a world-famous sportscaster...

            and you're an ex-champion with diminished skills.

            I can't be seen with you.

            - How's it goin', champ? - Pretty good, man.

            Muhammad, I'd do anything for you. You know that.

            But I've got bosses who only give a damn about Nielsen ratings.

            I guarantee...

            it will be a historical and a momentous night.

            If they came to me tomorrow and say, "We want you to fight Joe Frazier.

            Madison Square Garden. Millions and millions of dollars.

            Here's your license back." I will tell them...

            "I will never fight again."

            Frankly, Muhammad, I'm surprised, because unless you--

            or until you fight Frazier--

            Cosell, are you losin' your hearing along with your hair?

             Don't put no question to it, man. I done told you, I'm through fightin'.

              I got a much bigger contender, a much heavier opponent.

              I'm fightin' the entire US government.

              Do you think you're going to jail?

              I don't know. I don't know.

              Joe Frazier told me on this show that he could knock you out.

              See, there you go agitatin'.

              You should've asked Smokin' Joe what have he been smokin'?

              That boy even dream he whupped me, he better wake up and apologize.

              If I was to get in the ring with Joe...

              here's what you might see.

              Ali comes out to meet Frazier, but Frazier starts to retreat.

              If Joe goes back an inch farther, he'll wind up in a ringside seat.

              Ali swings with his left, Ali swings with his right.

              Just look at the kid carry the fight.

              Frazier keeps backin', but there's not enough room.

              It's only a matter of time before Ali lowers the boom.

              Ali swings with his right. What a beautiful swing.

              But the punch lifts Frazier clean out of the ring.

              Frazier's still risin', and the referee wears a frown...

              'cause he can't start countin' till Frazier comes down.

              Frazier's disappeared from view. The crowd is getting frantic.

              But our radar stations picked him up. He's somewhere over the Atlantic.

              Now, who would've thought when they came to the fight...

              they was gonna witness the launchin' of a black satellite.

              But don't wait for that fight.

              It ain't never gonna happen.

              Only thing you could do...

              is wonder and imagine.

              This has been another sports exclusive from ABC.

              - Two. Go two. - Over to Jim McKay...

              in Bern, Switzerland.

              - How you gonna go from me to Jim McKay? - Listen, uh--

              - Did your wife leave you yet? - No, she hasn't left me yet.

              She's going to, 'cause I told your wife when I seen her...

              I said, "Listen, why you doin' this to yourself?"

              Oh, man, Joe. Who dresses you?

              You look like the heavyweight champion of pimps.

              Hey, shut up and get in.

              That jacket?s a mess, man.

              What you in Philly for? Philly's my town.

              Well, I just wanted to get a little closer to you, honey.

              Man, fuck you.

              There'll be two undefeated heavyweight champions, and they ain't fightin'.

              - What about your license? - I can fight in Atlanta.

              There ain't no state boxing commission in Georgia.

              It's all set. I do a prelim in Atlanta against Jerry Quary...

              but we got to get this steamroller movin' right now.

              So what do I have to do?

              All you got to do is announce that after I whup Jerry Quary...

              you gonna give me a title shot.

              Come on, man. Say it! Say it!

              What I got and all I got, I got with these right here.

              Hell, man, I already got the title.

              So I ain't got nothin' to win, but I got eveythin' to lose.

              Yeah, but you know you ain't the real champ yet.

              You beat Quary...

              I'm gonna get you in the ring. I'm gonna kick your ass.

              By the way...

              you need any money or anything to tide you by?

              No, I'm fine.


              What you want?

              Take me back, boss.

              I'm clean.

              This is a resurrection. This is God's act.

              And the prophet is goin' home.

              Take me with you, boss.

              I'll do anything.

              Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see.

              Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

              Rumble, young man, rumble.

              God ain't watching'! Ain't nobody but us!

              God ain't watching'! Ain't nobody but us!

              There it is! Stay in his face!

              Go, Muhammad!

              There it is!

              Now for the right. Boom!

              Prophet is goin' home to the throne.

              That's how you do it, Ali.

              That's how you do it.

              You okay? You're a goddamn Superman.

              Ain't no kryptonite in this ring tonight.

              - We want Joe Frazier! - We want him!

              - We want Joe Frazier! - And you deserve it. You deserve it.

              This prophet is comin' home, goin' from the darkness to the light.

              Soak it in this for about    minutes.

              We don't need their management.

              Hey, Herbert, we did good. Doin' good tonight.

              All praise to Allah.

              The messenger has lifted your suspension.


              So you?re sayin' I can be a Muslim again.

              - Yes. - I ain't never stopped.

              Just like I ain't never stopped bein' the champ.

              I begged my father to reinstate you.

              When? When you do that, Herbert?

              After I promoted this Quary fight or after I won it?

              - We can get Frazier. - Man, I done already got Frazier.

              We can get $  million for Frazier.

              We talkin' management, talkin' money or talkin' religion?

              When I got leery and talked up why I'm broke...

              then come the suspension.

              Now you explain that one to me, my brother.

              That was my father.

              Your father.

              I love your father, Herbert. I swear, man. I love the Nation.

              But it don't own me.

              You go on out there and you make that Frazier deal.

              My brother. Yeah, your brother Herbert.

              Go on somewhere, make that deal.

              And he accepts me. I?m Jewish, but yet he's Muslim...

              and we still get along.

              He understands me. He understands me and he still allows me to hang with him.

              He knows I like pork and white women, but still allows me to be here with him.

              Now, I can give up pork...

              but them white women, goddamn it!

              How you deal with it, boy?

              Hello? Muhammad, it's for you.

              Thank you, Lana.

              - Yeah? - Muhammad? Howard Cosell.

              - You TKO'd them. - Hey, what you talkin' about, Howard?

              - With Quary? - No.

              The Supreme Court ruled today...

              in the case of The United States vs. Cassius Clay...

              aka Muhammad Ali.

              You won an eight-to-zero unanimous decision.

              You're free.


              I'm free.

              The Supreme Court just set me free.

              What are you talkin' about?

              Eight-to-oh, unanimous decision.

              The Supreme Court just overturned my conviction.

              - Yes! - All right. All right.

              - Did we get 'em, Ali? - We got 'em, man.

              Hey, man.

              - Did we do it? - We did it, man.

              They wanna be on your side now because the truth has shown itself to the power.

              Now the power's comin' to the truth. That's what it is.

              And the truth tastes good when there's a belly full of lies.

              - What you talkin' about? - It don't matter. It don't matter.

              Ladies and gentlemen,     rounds of boxing...

              for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.

              In this corner, the contender and former heavyweight champion of the world...

              weighing in at      pounds...

              with a record of   and   with    knockouts...

              Muhammad Ali!

              His opponent, weighing in at     /  pounds...

              with a record of   and   with    knockouts...

              the current heavyweight champion of the world...

              Smokin? Joe Frazier!

              I want a good, clean fight. Protect your self at all times.

              Gentlemen, touch gloves. Good luck to both of you.

              Come on!

              Stick him! Come on!

              That's okay, champ. Don't stop fightin'.

              What's comin'?

              Lean back, man. Move back. Work, legs.

              Ain't nobody hurt.

              That's all right. Ain't no--

              Keep puttin' out. Come on.

              - Move, Ali! - Back, back, back!

              Muhammad, you said you were gonna win the fight.

              How do you account for the beating you've taken?

              - Did he hurt you? -Joe said you don't wanna fight again.

              Oh, how wrong he is.

              - Why would it be different? - Muhammad, wait!

              - But I wanna ask him something! - We all wanna ask him something.

              - Sons of bitches! Get outta here! - When are you gonna get a hairpiece?

              Don't worry about it. You lost all of yours.

              You cue ball head motherfucker. Get outta here!

              -Just one more question. - Let me talk to him.

              We're close to the start of round one.

              Now that Smokin? Joe done run outta tomato cans...

              I got Yank to commit to a rematch with you in about six months.

              Frazier said he'd be happy with three mil.

              I'll fly to Jamaica, get Yank to sign right after Joe beats this big stiff.

              I think he hurt Joe Frazier.

              I think Joe is hurt.

              Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!

              - Down goes Frazier! - Get up, Joe.

              The heavy weight champion is taking the mandatory eightcount...

              and Foreman i spoised as can be.

              Foreman is all over Frazier.

              And Frazier is down again!

              He maybe-- No, he's rising.

              It's over! It is over!

              It'd be easy to get a fight with Frazier now.

              Only thing he's champion of is gettin' knocked down.

              George Foreman is the heavyweight champion of the world.

              The Rumble in the Jungle. That is the name that I've given it.

              Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire.

              - Don, Zaire? - Yeah, Don.

              I mean, why not Antarctica, somethin' like that?

              What's wrong with New York City?

              Because you miss the significance.

              See, I dream of overcoming     years of racial depression...

              to the dawn of a new day of liberation, financial and otherwise.

              It will raise up the spirits of our inner cities.

              It will rise up and fill with hope, the souls...

              the unrequited needs of the black proletariat.

              That is, the discouraged, dispirited, denigrated denizens...

              of the demimonde that is called the ghetto.

              Man, Don, you crazy.

              You must've studied the whole "D" section of the dictionary.

              Good morning, sister.

              Hi, brother.

              How you doin', champ?

              Why they saying that? What they sayin'?

              What that mean? I don't understand.

              - It means-- - What?

              It mean, "Ali, kill him. Ali, kill him."

              The champ is here!

              Ladies and gentlemen, the heavyweight champion of the world has arrived!

              The champ is here!

              Hey, man.

              He's quite younger than you. How you feeling about that?

              He's quite younger than me? Well, we quite younger than you.

              What you talkin' about? Thirty-two years old. Best shape of my life.

              Hey, stop! All right, back up.

              Did you see Muhammad Ali?

              - Here's your water. - Oh, thank you, hon.

              Bottled water. Frozen steaks.

              Brought all that stuffin like Africa's ain't got no steaks.

              - You could pick up parasites. - Mobutu eats it.

              Mobutu's takin' care of Mobutu.

              He steals all the wealth and sends it to Switzerland.

              What that got to do with any of why we here?

              We are here 'cause Don King got Mobutu to put up $    million.

              Don King don't care about Africa. He's worse than Herbert.

              Here come Herbert.

              And Don King fit right in too.

              Now he's a dashiki-wearin' rip-off.

              Don King delivered the first-ever...

              black-promoted championship fight in Africa.

              Don King talks black, lives white and thinks green.

              And you're defending him and Brother Herbert?

              'Cause clean-cut Muslims in a parade on the South Side of Chicago...

              ain't gonna get this done!

              I got to put honkies with connections and bad-ass niggas to it.

              And now they matched you up against George Foreman.

              Do you think they give a damn if you get killed?

              So that's what you think?

              I just wanna know why my Muslim husband...

              is allowing himself to get strung up on a cross.

              Just tell me why.

              Mayum's sick.

              Maybe I ought to go back to Chicago and look after her?


              Well, then I guess I'll be back before the fight.

              If that?s all right, my husband.

              This fight is no contest!

              He is entirely too slow to fight me.

              I say that George Foreman is a mummy.

              He's too slow. You know I name all my fighters.

              I'm gonna call George Foreman "The Mummy."

              He fight like a mummy.

              And when I see George throwin' punches, this is what I hear:

              Here come the left.

              Here come the right.

              But the mummy can't hit what the mummy can't see...

              'cause I'm too fast for him.

              I'm too fast.

              I'm too fast. I'm too fast. I move too good for him.

              I'll hit George Foreman so many times, he'll think he's surrounded.

              He gonna say, "Call the police! It's five of 'em in here!"

              I'm bad, man. I'm bad!

              Muhammad, I'm sorry. I have to ask.

              Are you really fast enough anymore...

              to beat George Foreman?

              If he gets you against the ropes, he can knock you out with either hand.

              Many people believe you?re not the man you used to be ten years ago.

              See, now, Howard...

              I didn't even want to talk about this, man.

              Especially not out here in front of all these people.

              But I talked to your wife...

              and she said you not the man you used to be two years ago!


              - Champ, George had an accident. - He-- He had what?

              - What are you talking about? - He got cut right above his right eye.

              His sparring partner's elbow split it open.

              - Can he fight? - Not for six weeks.

              This is not a humorous situation, my champ.

              This postponement could be long, especially if George leaves.

              You tying to pull something here, Don?

              If George leaves, he ain't comin' back. George don't like it here.

              How right you are, my suspicious and short Italian brother.

              Look here, man, my fiduciary responsibility...

              to this first all-black promotion...

              is analogous to a garden in the African sun-- it must grow, it must bloom.

              Cannot flower in the gloom and shade of postponement to the Astrodome...

              or any dome out of Zaire where it be deprivileged of light and bled of water.

              'Cause what gonna be bleedin' out of there is money-- a hemorrhage of cash.

              I'm talkin' about blood on the floor.

              Double hotel costs, airplane, travel costs, food and beverage.

              - So what do you want us to do? - Muhammad Ali. The people's champion.

              My black brother.

              I need you. I need your strength.

              I need you to find a way to get George to stay.

              Be Moses in reverse.

              Do not let my people go. Keep them the fuck right here in Egypt.

              - If you?ll pardon my Swahili. - Lingala.

              - Say what? - They speak Lingala.

              Ali wants his title, and he wants it in Zaire.

              Okay, all right, okay. Let's take it back.

              George go, George go. Hell, I can get you Joe Frazier.

              Ali-Frazier  . That's the fight everybody want to see.

              - We don't want Frazier, we want George. - Hell, I don't control George Foreman.

              There's been an accidental injury to George Foreman in training.

              The truth is...

              George knocked his self out.

              That's right.

              He did three rounds, realized he was gonna lose to Muhammad Ali...

              and knocked his self out.

              I predict that when the fight is set, he might not show.

              Oh, you bad.

              - That's right, I'm a bad man. - Ain't no doubt about that.

              Yeah, but you tell George the same thing.

              I heard you. I been watching you.

              I know he's your man, I know you got him picked, but the man is in trouble.

              The whole world was gonna know, but now he ain't gonna show.

              In order to ensure that George is ready, we are thinking of postponing...

              from September    to October   .

              What about the concert?

              The concert will go on as planned. Those dates are September       --

              I want all the helicopters guarded, all the private planes, private boats.

              I'm serious. I want the airports--

              I want President Mobutu and all his paratroopers--

              All you Zaireans, y'all be on guard too.

              Any strange boats creeping away, they might be taking him out.

              Bus stations.

              And bus stations!

              Right. Watch the bus stations.

              The elephant caravans-- They might be tying to take him out on an elephant.

              - What'd you say? - Hell, I ain't talking to you.

              Hey. Hey, man.

              Don?t you never talk to Angelo like that.

              Don?t you never talk to Angie like that again.

              Something wrong with you, man?

              Think you callin' some shots here? You ain't callin' nothin'.

              They all know.

              All them ladies out there, they know I'm ready.

              I see fear in the eyes of his followers.

              This was supposed to be the fight that Muhammad Ali was ended.

              Supposed to be Muhammad was gonna fall. Supposed to be my destruction.

              Well, they miscalculated. They misjudged.

              They got it wrong.

              Hold on a second.

              What's your name?

              Veronica Porche.

              Porche. Like the sports car.

              - Yes. - With just a little something extra.

              Hey, you with Don?

              Don brought me here, but I'm not with anybody, no.

              - Where you come from? - LA.

              - LA? - But my people are from Louisiana.


              What, you Creole?

              We're Creole, so I'm African, French and Spanish.

              My mother's grandfather was Jewish.

              Well, they mixed all that stuff up in there real nice.

              I'm the only witch doctor here. Bundini Brown.

              Bundini Brown is an authentic witch doctor.

              - You tell 'em. - The only one in the United States.

              I'm real glad you said what you did.

              You made sure the fight stays here.

              You know all them reporters and writers in there...

              they say George is gonna kill me.

              What you think?

              Mr. Ali? Mr. Ali?

              - We want thank you. - Hey, fella.

              Y'all wanna thank me?

              Y'all gonna thank me? What I did?

              They thanking me for something.

              Hey, you ever been down to Hong Kong? Thailand? Taiwan?

              - No. - No? I can't go there.

              - Hi, Ruthie. How are you? - Hi, champ.

              What's going on? I'm great. How you feeling?

              When I go to sleep, this closes up.

              That's what happens. When I go to sleep, all this rests together.

              During the day, I got to think.

              Get me out of this county. All the women so pretty.

              All of ?em, they got hair come all the way down to the back of their knees.

              All of ?em-- All of ?em about Veronica's complexion.

              Every single one of ?em. Bad, man.

              But ain't nothing like the sisters.

              Ain't nothing like the sisters.

              Come on. Why don't we go take a ride or something?

              Wanna come with me?

              Ruth, tell us the truth. Is this your kind of guy?

              More cushion for the pushin'.

              What'd he say?

              So why you so glad we still here?

              Making the fight stay here in Africa--

              Anybody can fight in Vegas.

              Well, that's one job. I got two.

              Got to whup George.

              Islamic faith help you do that?

              Listen, girl, as a Muslim I am failed in the eyes of God.

              I should've discovered Islam at    'cause I'm weak on women.

              First they take my eyes.

              My heart follow.

              Making me the lovingest husband in the world...

              and the most terriblest husband at the same time.

              Look at you.

              Green eyes.

              Cocoa skin.

              Okay, rest of me, let's go.

              Rumble, Ali.

              - Mrs. Ali. - Hello, Muhammad, Mr. Cosell.

              - Hey, when you get in? - Today.

              And I learned we now have this suite at the intercontinental Hotel.

              Muhammad, may I have a word with you, please?


              What's goin' on?

              What do you mean, what's goin' on?

              Do you have to throw it in my face?

              Do I have to read about it? Do people have to call me on the phone to tell me?

              I didn't mean for that to come out.

              And I live with the casual ones. I live with 'em.

              So why do you disrespect me like this?

              I respect you. I will always respect you.

              Do you love her?

              I don't know.

              So what is supposed to happen now?

              I fight George.

              I didn't come all this far to lose.

              Neither did l.


              What, Bingham?

              There it is.

              Hey, Zack, where's George?

              What's he pulling?

              Where's George? Where'd he go?

              I just wanna make sure you're gonna control the evening.

              George is jerking us off, making us wait.

              It's all over for you, man. You don't have a chance.

              You don't have no chance.

              The rumble in the jungle!

              You don't have no chance, man.

              Okay, let's go.

              You guys know the rules. I want a good, clean fight.

              Ali, be quiet and listen to the instructions.

              You been hearing about me ever since you was a boy.

              Ali, be quiet. Listen to the instructions.

              - Now you got to face me. - No hitting low.

              - When I tell you to break-- - You got to face me now.

              Be quiet, or I'll disqualify you.

              When I tell you to break, I want a clean break. Understand?

              - You shoulda never came to Africa. - All right, shake hands.

              Take your corners.

              Okay. All right. No problem.


              All right, break. Step back.

              Take it to him! That's what we came to do, Daddy!

              The heavyweight championship fight...

              - That's all you got? - ive via satellite...

              direct from Zaire, Africa.

              - There we go. - That's it, Daddy.

              You just keep dancing around him, okay?

              Just keep moving.

              Legs hurting.

              Air heavy...

              ike I'm in water.

              Get away from the rope!

              Get off the rope! Get off there! Move it!

              Get off there! Get off there!

              Get off the rope!

              Get off them ropes!

              Come on now, Ali, get off the ropes!

              Come on, baby!

              Come on, Ali!

              That's it? That's all you got? That's it?

              Move him out to the center!

              There he goes!

              Get away from the ropes! Get off the ropes!

              Been here before.

              Little greenroom.

              Open that door. Gonna get out this place.

              Come on, man, get up and get out.

              They said you could punch, George.

              You ain't hittin'. You hittin' like a sissy, George.

              You can't lay up on the ropes like that.

              You're letting him beat on you. You can't do that, champ. Come on, now.

              -You wanna explain that to me? -Jab, then go to the middle of the ring.

              - You had your fight going, then-- - You gotta dance, baby.

              Shut up! Just be quiet! You let me take care of this!

              Got to dance. You can't come out there like that.

              - You can't back up. - You got to respect the man.

              What is with the ropes? Something going on you wanna talk to me about?

              Tell me what's going on with you. What are you doing?

              Put the jab on him. You got to let him go and dance.

              Don't let him get in your corner. He's tying to cut the ring off you.

              He's tying to cut you off the ring. You can't let that happen.

              Just take care of it!

              And there's the bell. The fighters meet in mid-ring.

              Get off the ropes!

              Stay off the ropes!

              Foreman again pushing him against the ropes.

              And Ali laying back, fighting those blows against the sides of his body.

              Get back in the middle of the ring, Ali!

              Muhammad, get off the ropes!

              You're punching like a sissy, George. Punching like a sissy.

              What the hell's going on? Come on.

              George, get him back. What the hell's going on? Come on.

              You got to get off the ropes!

              Get off the ropes!

              Eight rounds to go. Running out of gas, big fella?

              Let him go.

              Can't let you get that second wind which you don't even know is there for you.

              You want the title? Want to wear the heavyweight crown?

              Nose broke, jaw smashed, face busted in.

              You ready for that? Is that you?

              'Cause you facing a man who will die before he lets you win.

              Ali, don't let him beat on you on the inside.

              Don't let him beat on you on the inside.

              Come on, Ali.

              Let's go, Ali.

              Let's go, baby! Stay off the ropes!

              Get off the ropes!

              There it is. Keep 'em in his face.


              Oh, you missed him, George!

              You gotta go to work on him, Ali!

              I thought you could punch, George. They said you could punch.

              Come on, Ali!

              Get away from the rope! Get off the rope!

              He got him!

              Move him around! Take him!

              Come on, Ali!

              Get off the ropes! Get off the ropes!

              Get off the ropes!

              George Foreman is hit by a combination of punches...

              and down he goes!

              George Foreman is down!

              He's fallen like a tree in the forest!

              He is felled by a combination of blows from Muhammad Ali!

              Okay, this fight's over! This fight's over!

              I told you! I told you!

              Referee Zack Clayton is counting. Seven, eight!

              And he's on his knee. It is over!

              It is over! It is over!

              It is over!

              George Foreman has been knocked out by Muhammad Ali!

              Muhammad Ali has done the impossible!

              He has regained the heavyweight crown...

              that was taken unjustly from him in      .

              What a moment of history in this arena...

              in Zaire, Africa!

              A tremendous, tremendous moment.

Special help by SergeiK