Location: Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo)
What happened: Sixty thousand fans in Africa, plus another billion worldwide via television, watched underdog Muhammad Ali beat undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman in an eighth-round knockout victory.
Why it’s significant: Seven years before this international boxing match, Muhammed Ali was stripped of his title, sentenced to prison, and suspended from boxing for refusing to comply with the Vietnam War draft.
Martin Luther King Jr. later quoted Ali in support of his position: "As Muhammad Ali puts it, we are all — black and brown and poor — victims of the same system of oppression."
A year later, the "Thrilla in Manilla" became the most-hyped rubber match of all time, pitting Muhammad Ali against Joe Frazier. Ali also won this international event and both matches cemented his famous "rope-a-dope" strategy in history.
It’s no wonder that Muhammed Ali became the face of American boxing around the world. Later, a famous boxer from the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao, became a senator there.