Mohammed Ali on Monday (6 January) demanded a guarantee purse of $8,000,000 (GBP3.8 million sterling) to defend his world heavyweight boxing title against George Foreman -- the fighter he took the title from last October.
AERIAL VIEW New York
CU Ali speaking
TRANSCRIPT: ALI & DAVID KLEIN: ALI: "The rumour is we've decided to fight Foreman in Jamaica ... is not true, right? No, that's not true."
REPORTER: "When are you going to fight Foreman?"
ALI: "I don't know. The promoters have to come up with the proper guarantee for that night."
REPORTER: "What's the proper guarantee?"
ALI: "About eight million. And we've got up to six and a half, and some up to seven, but they'd have to pay me eight million that night. What they pay him is their business, but they have to pay me eight."
REPORTER: "Supposedly, you'd have to fight out of the country, just because of some legal problems ... not young but Foreman's. Which country do you think you might be fighting in?"
ALI: "Well, there wouldn't be no legal problem. The reason we go out of the country is because they're the ones who meet the guarantee. Countries like Iran. Countries like Lebanon (sic). Countries like China ... and Russia, and Abu Dhabi.
Initials CL/1732 CL/1736
This film includes an interview with Ali by TVN reporter David Klein.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Mohammed Ali on Monday (6 January) demanded a guarantee purse of $8,000,000 (GBP3.8 million sterling) to defend his world heavyweight boxing title against George Foreman -- the fighter he took the title from last October.
In an interview at an Associated Press luncheon in New York, Ali denied rumours that he already has agreed to fight Foreman in Jamaica. He said the promoters of any such rematch would have to come up first with his demanded guarantee. And he suggested that, because of the size of his demand, the fight be held in Iran, Lebanon, China, the Soviet Union or Abu Dhabi.
The champion made no reference to his recently and frequently expressed challenge to Foreman and George Frazier -- from whom Foreman won the crown -- to fight them both on the same night in a double-header.
Ali dethroned Foreman and regained his title with an eight-round knockout last October 30 in Kinshasa, Zaire.