How did Ali beat Foreman in ’74?

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in Leaders & Managers

It looked like Muhammad Ali was about to meet his match in October 1974 against colossal fighter George Foreman. But he didn’t; Ali took the world heavyweight title away from the heavily favored Foreman—whose thunderous punches, some feared,would permanently injure or even kill Ali—and went on to defend it successfully 10 times.

Part of the credit for Ali’s victory over Foreman goes to Angelo Dundee, the ringside genius who served as Ali’s manager. After observing Foreman closely, Dundee gave Ali detailed intelligence that translated into victory. Some examples:
  • When Foreman pinned a fighter against the ropes, he could move effectively to his left. But if required to move to his right, his trunk-like legs would cross, leaving Foreman at a disadvantage.
  • Foreman did not fall for shoulder feints, but was susceptible to hand feints.
  • Foreman tended to keep his feet too close together, which could upset his balance.The lesson: The more closely you study your competition’s behavior in real-world situations, the more you empower your organization to win.

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