- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: BOXING - Laila Ali prepares for her big fight in South Africa
- Date: 27th January 2007
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, (JANUARY 26, 2007) (REUTERS) POSTER ADVERTISING THE FIGHT PHOTO OF GWENDOLIN O'NEAL ON POSTER
- Embargoed: 11th February 2007 12:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA8UA0BYRGBV3F3VK0ODPMQ37UU
- Story Text: Boxing fans packed the Emperors Palace on Friday (January 26) to watch their Laila Ali practicing for her fight against Gwendolin O'Neil -- the first ever women's bout to be staged in South Africa.
The fight, taking place at Emperors Palace on February 3, should rekindle memories of the "Rumble in the Jungle" between Laila's father, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa.
The historical contest in 1974, the first major boxing event in Africa, was promoted by the legendary Don King at the Stade du 20 Mai in the then Zaire.
Ali stopped Foreman in eight rounds in a fight that still lingers in people's minds. Now, almost 33 years after his demolition of Foreman, Ali's daughter returns to Africa to rewrite boxing history.
This will be promoter Rodney Berman's second biggest international boxing tournament. He staged "Thunder in Africa" between Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman in South Africa on April 22, 2001. Rahman ended Lewis' reign as the WBC and IBF heavyweight champion with a fifth-round knockout.
Laila Ali will defend her WBC and Wiba super middleweight belts. O'Neil, the WIBC light heavyweight champ, is expected to arrive in South Africa at the weekend.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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