Muhammad Ali was facing one of the toughest challenges of his career in October 1980 when he prepared to fight for an unprecedented fourth heavyweight title against his friend and former sparring partner, Larry Holmes. Despite the bravado he showed and the undying confidence of his fans, friends, and scribes, most considered Ali to be delusional due to his age and declining skills. This is why Albert and David Maysles took the opportunity to document Ali’s journey leading up to this historic fight in a documentary aptly titled “When We Were Kings”.
In their documentary, we catch a glimpse into Ali’s determination as he desperately tries to prove that he is still “The Greatest” despite what some may think. At the same time, we also get to see how undervalued champion Holmes confidently prepares to put an end to the career of someone for whom he had deep respect and admiration. The result of the fight came as no surprise but its effects on sports history were far-reaching. With just one punch, “The Greatest” was humbled as a man before our eyes – proving that even legends have their limits.
Flash forward nearly four decades later and we are still feeling the impact that this fight left on us all. Albert and David Maysles’ footage has become legendary in its own right – a reminder of how significant this moment in history truly was. While it sadly never received a public screening or airing back then due to unforeseen circumstances, it is now available for all who wish to appreciate its value.
If you are a fan of Muhammad Ali or simply looking for an inspiring story about an underdog rising above all odds, then “When We Were Kings” is definitely worth checking out. Not only will you get an up close look at one of boxing history’s greatest fighters as he strives towards greatness once again; but you will also see what can happen when two men come together in pursuit of something greater than themselves – something that transcends even sport itself.