Remembering a classic: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 3 ‘Thrilla in Manila’ – Boxing

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Remembering a classic:  Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 3 ‘Thrilla in Manila’ – Boxing
Only a few can forget the third fight and final boxing match between The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, and late Smokin’ Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World.
This trilogy bout, which is widely considered as one of the most famous and brutal bouts in the boxing history, was promoted by Don King as ‘Thrilla in Manila’. This historic fight which is still often ranked as one of the greatest fights of the 20th century
boxing was fought on October 1, 1975 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila in Philippines.
The rivalry between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier was so much that it is still considered as the mother of all rivalries by many boxing analysts and after what happened in their previous two fights, their trilogy bout had an enormous hype and excitement ahead
of it.
Late Joe Frazier was the first man ever who defeated Ali in the ring when the two undefeated heavyweight greats took on each other for the first time in March 1971 at the Madison Square Garden in New York. This fight, which was won by Frazier via unanimous
point’s decision, was dubbed as ‘Fight of the Century’.
However, Ali avenged his defeat in their much-anticipated second meeting which came three years later in January 1974 at the same venue. Ali also won the bout via unanimous decision. Therefore, their concluding fight became one of the most eagerly awaited
fights in the history of the sports.  
Nevertheless, both fighters met for the third and final time with The Ring, WBC & WBA World Heavyweight titles on the line.
Ali, who regarding the fight Ali famously remarked, “It will be a killa... and a chilla... and a thrilla... when I get the gorilla in Manila,” dominated the fight in the earlier rounds before Frazier staged a classy comeback in the middle rounds. That forced
Ali to lay down on the ropes for most of the time but Ali reasserted the control by late rounds and finally the fight was stopped in the 14th round, as Frazier couldn’t answer the 15th round bell due to a lot of swelling on his eyes.
Both boxers fought toe-to-toe all the way and took terrible beating in a temperature which nearly approached 100 degree Fahrenheit (38 Degree Celsius). Frazier wanted to come out and fight the last round but his trainer, Eddie Futch, didn’t allow him to
continue and later on Futch revealed he was pretty much sure that if he had allowed Frazier to fight the 15th round, Ali would have killed him.
Ali on the same note said, “Frazier quit just before I did. I didn't think I could fight any more.” He also admired Frazier by saying, “He is the greatest fighter of all times, next to me.” Ali late on passed a flattering statement in which he said ‘Thrilla
in Manila’ was the “Closest thing to dying that I know of.”
Smokin’ Joe Frazier is now at rest at Philadelphia, as he recently died at the age of 67 due to his advanced liver cancer but he will always be remembered along with Muhammad Ali for their great boxing matches especially ‘Thrilla in Manila’ which will remain
a must-watch for all of the upcoming boxers and fans.



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