Like a way, way friendlier Rumble in the Jungle, Olympic distance champion Mo Farah and Usain Bolt – the fastest person, ever – are set to run head-to-head in maybe the greatest athletics event this century.
The distance of the potential race is still undecided, but is likely to be around 600 meters. Experts widely tip Farah to win any race over 400m, owing to the huge surge of lactic build-up Bolt would experience after exceeding his usual distance.
Unlike Foreman and Ali, Bolt and Farah are pals whose trash talk is more pub banter than psychological warfare. The pair share a manager too – a man undoubtedly salivating at the potential PR win on his hands.
The race will be competed for charity, most likely at the Olympic stadium (and certainly not in the former Republic of Zaire). As thrilling as the prospect is, somehow, we don’t think Norman Mailer would have dedicated a book to this one.
Three other battles of the greats we’d (sort of) love to see:
Competitors: Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic
Format: An epic, non-stop triathlon of badminton, table tennis and squash.
Competitors: Lewis Hamilton vs Cal Crutchlow
Format: Across 25 laps of Silverstone, the F1 great goes head-to-head with the rising British MotoGP star.
Handicap: Hamilton to race on three wheels. Because fair is fair.
Competitors: Mark Selby vs Stephen Bunting
Format: In a pub battle for the ages, British world number ones in both snooker and darts face-off. Screened on BBC4 to a global audience of 230, the pair will compete in a round-robin format, which, if tied, will be won by whomever can down a pint of Guinness faster. If, remarkably, the two men are still not separated, pub trivia will be held on successive Sundays until a champion is crowned.