On October 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire, at the virtual center of Africa, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to confront each other in an epic match. One was Muhammad Ali
, who vowed to reclaim the championship he had lost. The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble and who kept his hands in his pockets “the way a hunter lays his rifle back into its velvet case.”
Observing them both was New Journalism heavyweight Norman Mailer
, whose grasp of the titanic battle’s feints and stratagems—and sensitivity to their deeper symbolism—made his 1975 book The Fight a sportswriting classic.
Now, 40 years after its first publication, TASCHEN presents the first illustrated edition of Mailer’s masterpiece
with a wealth of color and black-and-white photographs by the two men who captured Ali in the ring and in private like no one else: Neil Leifer
and Howard L. Bingham.
This Art Edition of 125 copies
presents the book with a pigment print by Neil Leifer, Ali vs Foreman – Ali Glaring at Foreman
. Considered by many to be the greatest living sports photographer, Neil Leifer’s technical mastery and tenacious spirit opened the door to nearly any assignment, from the sidelines of Super Bowls to the Olympics. But his favorite subject was and always will be Muhammad Ali.
“Foreman was throwing these prodigious punches and Ali swung like a man in the rigging,” Mailer wrote. “Occasionally he’d get hit and he’d say, ‘George, you disappoint me. You don’t hit as hard as I thought you would. You’re not breaking popcorn, George.’ And Foreman was insane with rage.” The turning point of the fight was round five, when Ali stunned Foreman with a devastating cluster of punches as the round ended. As shown in this image, he knew then that victory would be his.Marking the year of the match, The Fight is limited to 1,974 numbered copies signed by the photographers. Copies No. 1–125 come with a pigment print signed by Neil Leifer, Ali vs Foreman – Ali Glaring at Foreman.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the original Howard L. Bingham print that accompanied Art Edition A could not be made available at the time of publication.Also available as:
Art Edition (No. 126–250) with an alternative print signed by Neil Leifer
Collector’s Edition (No. 251–1,974) signed by Neil Leifer and Howard L. Bingham