Zurich, 1971: Muhammed Ali beats German underdog Jürgen Blin. Photographer Eric Bachmann accompanied the global superstar as he prepared for the fight, creating a collection of images that reveal unique glimpses of Ali as an athlete and a person.
This content was published on January 31, 2015 - 11:00
Studied history and politics at University of Bern. Worked at Reuters, the newspapers Der Bund and Berner Zeitung, and the Förderband radio station. I am concerned with the Swiss practice of modern direct democracy in all its aspects and at all levels, my constant focus being the citizen.
Ali’s fight in Zurich’s Hallenstadion on December 26, 1971 against the unknown Blin doesn’t compare to classics like the “Thrilla in Manila” or the “Rumble in the Jungle”. But in contrast to those made-for-television events, Bachmann’s black and white photos show Ali in another world - whether he's running in wintry woods of Zurich’s Uetliberg, buying hiking boots “made in Switzerland”, signing autographs in a crowd and greeting the locals, or sweating through open training sessions in preparation for the fight.