World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali told in an interview on Tuesday (18 March) of the "psychology" he'll employ against Chuck Wepner when they meet in their title match next Monday (24 March) in Cleveland, Ohio.
SV Ali (in the corner) sparring with partner (mute)
SV Ali speaking
TRANSCRIPT: ALI: "Psychology is not really picking pockets... it's making myself what you might call a mirage. Make the fella see something he thinks he doesn't see. Make him punch, looking for openings. I think it;s a fight, and I'm going to chase the man. I'll corner him ... and they all think I'm going to dance and run. Foremen thought that. What happened was, I led him round the loops, and they punch the holes looking for openings, and they're whamming at the jaws and the sides and the arms, and with my experience I know how to fend of all that ... What will happen is, this man's gonna charge me. This is why I use the psychological thing ... just to lay in the corner and let the man just blast away. And after three rounds, it's all easy going for me because he's tried."
AMUNDSON: "Are you going to let him fall down or are you going to hit him?"
ALI: "I'm gonna tag him. This is a title shot for him, he's gonna come out looking to hit, man. Now all I can do is to hit the man. And what happens is the fella walks in and says, you know, 'Take you shot'? He's gonna take 'em. He's gonna be tired -- every punch is gonna tire him. And after three or four rounds of that with fifteen to go? No contest."
Initials CL/1716 CL/1721
EDITORS NOTE: This film contains extracts from the above-mentioned interview.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali told in an interview on Tuesday (18 March) of the "psychology" he'll employ against Chuck Wepner when they meet in their title match next Monday (24 March) in Cleveland, Ohio.
The trick, Ali told TVN sports reporter Charles Amundson, is to "make the fella see something he thinks he doesn't see. Make him punch, looking for openings." That way, according to the champion, Wepner will tire himself out after three or four rounds -- at which point, Ali added, it will be strictly "no contest".
The champion had no comment during the interview on reports circulating in the United States that, if he defeats Wepner -- which he is heavily favoured to do -- he'll next put his title on the line against Britain's Joe Bugner.