(Ed Kolenovsky/Associated Press)

Like Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier before him, George Foreman had no choice but to play the part. Here was Muhammad Ali at the peak of his rhetorical powers casting Foreman as the ugly American, a sell-out, a big, dumb ox to be dispatched by the greatest of all time.

On October 29, 1974, Foreman played the heavy. The fight was called “The Rumble in the Jungle,” and it was bigger than Don King’s hair. Ali, 32, knocked out the 25-year-old Foreman in the eighth round to reclaim the heavyweight championship title in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali’s strategy of absorbing Foreman’s blows until the young champion was spent has become legend.

Washington Post obituary writer Matt Schudel, who co-authored "Muhammad Ali: The Birth of a Legend, Miami, 1961-1964," discusses the boxing legend's legacy outside of the ring. (Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

After a career in which he was perhaps the most formidable of Ali’s foes, Foreman shared his thoughts on Ali with KRIV Sports Director Mark Berman late Friday night after reports confirmed the icon’s death.

“As far as George Foreman is concerned Muhammad Ali may have passed but his spirit will live forever,” Berman wrote.

Here are video highlights from that night in Zaire.

More coverage of Muhammad Ali’s death:

Obituary: Goodwill ambassador, boxing icon, dies at 74

Beautiful, controversial, transcendent: Muhammad Ali dies at 74

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‘Wait till you see Muhammad Ali’: A look back at the boxing great’s way with words