DIPLOMACY: Ali's Whipping

Trouble on a Mission Implausible

It had to be the most bizarre diplomatic mission in recent U.S. history. Two weeks ago, Jimmy Carter asked former Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali to undertake a five-nation African tour (Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Liberia and Senegal) as his special representative to seek support for a boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games. Ali, who was traveling in India, accepted the assignment. By the time he had spent an hour on African soil, however, he was floundering like a Golden Gloves novice against a ring-wise pro.

Arriving in Dar es...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!