Back in 1990, NBC had lost Major League Baseball and had some major holes to fill in their sports programming. One of the things they decided to do was look back at some of history's greatest fights, with feature programs covering classic bouts and showing the fights, with present day discussion to go along with them.
The first fight they chose? "The Rumble in the Jungle," Ali vs Foreman from 1974 -- maybe Muhammad Ali's most iconic performance ever.
This goes along with what I said earlier about there not being a Muhammad Ali in today's fight game, or hell, in today's sports world. When we have these "super fights" today, the proof that they were relevant is entirely about gate figures, about pay-per-view numbers. I don't mean to do the whole "good old days" bit, but we don't really measure a Floyd Mayweather fight in terms of cultural impact, you know? Ali's biggest fights were true events, truly relevant.
They meant something bigger than just the result of a boxing match and how many people paid to see it and how much money everyone made. Obviously all of those things mattered then, too, but they weren't what mattered most. That's why it's almost 40 years later and we're talking about this fight. Will Mayweather vs De La Hoya live on like this?