On April 28, 1967, Ali was charged with draft evasion, stripped of his titles as well as his license to box. He was just 25. Ali took this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971. But by then, he’d lost four of the best years of his boxing career.
He attempted a comeback that same year, but was brutally defeated by Joe Frazier. It was the first loss of Ali's professional career. Many believed the rebellious heavyweight was finished.
However, Ali was a fighter in more ways than one. He spent the next three years training and in January 1975, earned a match against the new World Champion, George Foreman. Organized by boxing promoter Don King and nicknamed "The Rumble in the Jungle," the event took place in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
Foreman was seven years younger and clearly stronger than Ali. What’s more, he had never lost a fight. Ali knew he could not out-punch the younger man. So, he invented a new strategy, which he later named "rope-a-dope." Protecting his head, he let Foreman deliver hundreds of furious blows to his arms and body while taunting him with such jibes as, "Is that all you got, George?" Foreman kept trying to knock Ali out, but gradually he became too exhausted to go on. In Round 8, Foreman collapsed on the mat, defeated.