Thrilla in Manila

The Thrilla in Manila was the third and final famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World, fought at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on October 1, 1975. The contest got its name from the frequent Ali rhymed boast that it would be a "Killa and a Thrilla and a Chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila".

The bout is often ranked as one of the greatest fights of 20th century boxing, and is the climax to the bitter rivalry between Ali and Frazier. When Ali was stripped of the title in 1967 over his refusal to join the armed forces when drafted during the Vietnam War, Frazier had petitioned President Nixon to restore Ali's right to box and even lent Ali money. When Ali finally got his license back, they met in the bout promoters called The Fight of the Century, marking the first time that two undisputed heavyweight champions had met in the ring. The mutual enmity emerged in the build up to the fight, when Ali turned on Frazier, describing him as an "Uncle Tom", and a "white man's champion". Frazier in turn riled Ali by referring to him by his birth name, Clay.

Afterwards the pair continued to trade insults, but by the time they met in a rematch, neither was a champion; Frazier had lost his title to George Foreman and Ali had recently been beaten by Ken Norton. In a promotional appearance before their second fight, the two had an infamous brawl in a TV studio while being interviewed by Howard Cosell. The rematch itself was a boring, poorly refereed affair. In the 2nd round, Ali stung Frazier with a hard right hand, which backed him up. Referee Tony Peres inexplicably stepped in between the fighters, signifying the end of the round, even though there was almost a whole minute left, giving Frazier precious time to regain his bearings and continue fighting. Peres also failed utterly to contain Ali's tactic of illegally holding and pulling down his opponent's neck in the clinches - which helped Ali to smother Frazier, and gain him the decision. This became a major issue in selecting the referee for the Manila bout.

In September 1975, Muhammad Ali, having regained his title with a stunning Knockout of George Foreman, thought a third fight with Frazier at this stage would represent an easy payday against a big-name challenger who would be unable to live up to his billing in the ring. It instead proved to be a brutal, give and take affair, with each man absorbing a great deal of punishment. The fight finally ended when Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch refused to let Frazier come out for the 15th round, resulting in a TKO for Ali.

Read more about Thrilla In Manila:  Pre-fight Promotions and Training, Fight, Aftermath

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