The Rumble in the Jungle’s Welsh connection

Muhammad Ali’s epic victory over the seemingly invincible George Foreman in Zaire is up there for many as the greatest sports moment of all time.

Much of Welsh sport journalism is taken up with trying to find spurious connections to such world-shaking events… and here’s the best I can do with this one!

Have a read of George Foreman and Joel Engel, By George: The Autobiography of George Foreman(New York, 2000).

It’s a decent boxing biography by the current grill king, detailing plenty of his failings amongst his triumphs. What struck me most, though, was this passage, describing the immediate aftermath of his loss to Ali, as he tried to get through the pits of despair with a visit to Paris:

pp. 117-8 – “I called an old girlfriend who lived in Wales and asked her to come over to France. She did. But the more she tried to console me, the worse I talked to her. If she tried to get playful, I’d throw something at her, like an egg off the breakfast tray.

‘You’re being horrible’, she said. ‘I flew here to help you out.’

‘Well, don’t,’ I yelled. ‘What’re you trying to help me for? I don’t need you, you need me.’

She was an emotional wreck when she left Paris.”

Well, that’s all I’ve got! Anyone have any more information on George’s unfortunate Welsh girlfriend?

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