A Photograph, A Story: "Ali Shows Off"

Ali Shows Off
"Ali sends in the ring" Jan w Faul

Interview Jan Faul

Photograph Ali Shows Off - Jan Faul

A photo shoot organized for Time magazine

 This picture of Mohamed Ali is taken during a fight at his training camp in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania in the 1970s. The duel is organized for Time magazine receives usable images to publish a story of cover on Ali. For him, this game is essential, Time is a popular magazine read by millions of people: Ali plays his reputation in the ring. A few minutes from the fight, the atmosphere in the camp is at its height. The audience is impatient and calls Ali and Ernie Bossman Jones, the champion's opponent. Behind the scenes, mind games have already started for the two rivals. Ali's strategy is to destabilize his opponent with the help of psychological attacks and power struggles. His fighting partner Ernie isn’t the favorite or the one the audience has come to see. Nevertheless, he hopes to show his power and tonicity to the audience by taking advantage of Ali's fatigue. Indeed, this last suffers from the take-off following the 20 hours of flight that he has just made when returning from a fight in Indonesia.

It’s quite a challenge to shoot during a boxing fight

Jan, the photographer, makes his way next to Ali's coach, Angelo, who advises him to be vigilant in taking his photos; punches often escape from the ring. This is the first time Jan has been shooting a boxing match. It is very difficult to photograph a fight, the pictures must be representative of the fight itself. All angles must be immortalized. Times readers view boxers as artists, they expect entertainment, great show and twists. Ali is aware, he sets a suspense and knows how to play with the tension of the public and with the camera. Ali tries to give the photographer the easy task by posing and cutting his movements as much as possible during the battle. His mind is focused on the lens. The serie of photos taken that day is also given to boxing students to study the tactics and movements of Ali during these fights. At the end of the fighting session, Ali wanders through the ring with a nonchalant and provocative air, as usual. Jan takes the opportunity to immortalize this moment, hence the picture of the day.

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