Rope-a-dope was a tactic created by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, where he would literally allow his opponent to beat him to a pulp.
Commentators and audience members alike sat and watched in confusion, unable to comprehend what was happening inside the ring and Ali’s head.
The collective sigh of relief and light bulb flickering on did not come until the championship rounds when Ali would lift the veil of deceit off the eyes of the arena.
Turned out, Ali handcrafted the façade. It was all a big, devious, and extremely skillful ploy employed as a way to break down his opponent’s stamina, and go in for the knockout. This seemingly dangerous and risky maneuver was executed during the 1974 bout dubbed the “Rumble in the Jungle,” against George Foreman.
In less than two days a similar trick is appearing to be in the works. The 71-year-old has had Parkinson’s disease for almost 20 years, and started the weekend from being on his death bed to being well enough to physically watch the Super Bowl.
The Guardian and The Sun reported that had Rahman Ali, the champ's brother, stated the boxing legend was so ill, he only had a few more days to live and could not even recognize him.
“My brother can’t speak, he doesn’t recognize me. He’s in a bad way. He’s very sick. It could be months, it could be days. I don’t know if he’ll last the summer. He’s in God’s hands. We hope he gently passes away.”
The initial tragedy caused quite a stir and the article was shared rampantly via Facebook and Twitter.
However, multiple news outlets including the L.A. Times and Associated Press have different accounts.
May May Ali, Muhammad Ali's daughter, told the AP her father is in fact doing quite well, and both her and her father, who was sporting a Raven’s jersey, watched the game from Arizona.
“He's fine; in fact, he was talking well this morning," she said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press on Sunday…These rumors pop up every once in a while but there's nothing to them."
The L.A. Times also reports Rahman has had no sort of contact with Ali since last summer.