Arguably the most famous rivalry in this sport was the one between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. The rivalry not only gave us 3 legendary fights but also gave us the most famous bout in Asian boxing history, the "Thrilla in Manila".
The bout was the third, and final, bout between the two men who first met in 1971 then against in 1974, was a tremendous war that we expect every single fight fan to have heard about, if not seen multiple times. It's one of the most iconic bouts the sport has given us and a testament to the punishment two men can take.
Today we look at some of the little known details of the "Thrilla in Manila" in our latest "Did you know" article.
-In the build up Ali introduced his then mistress, Veronica Porche, to President Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos as his wife. This wouldn't have been an issue had Ali's actual wife Khalilah Ali, not seen the introduction on TV. OOPS! Muhammad Ali and Khalilah Ali would divorce less than 2 years later and Ali would later marry Veronica Porche.
-Zach Clayton was unable to referee the bout as Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo refused to let Clayton out of his duties as a civil service employee. This was part of a smart game plan by Eddie Futch who managed to the get Carlos Padilla Jr the role of referee.
-Larry Holmes was on the under-card, beating Rodney Bobick in 6 rounds. Holmes would, of course, later beat Ali in one of Ali's final career bouts.
-Also on the under-card was another future world champion, Rolando Navarrete, who lost to Fernando Cabanela. The two would rematch in 1978 with Navarrete avenging his loss, before later claiming the WBC Super Featherweight world title in 1981.
-Although the bout took place in Metro Manila it didn't take place in Manila City. Instead it was the neighbouring city of Quezon.
-The bout took place on a Wednesday! In fact it took place on a Wednesday morning to accommodate a US closed circuit audience.
-Frazier would never win a bout after this. He suffered his second stoppage loss to George Foreman 8 months later before a comeback in 1981 that saw him fight to a draw with Floyd Cummings.
-Despite all 3 scorecards having Ali in a comfortable lead at the end of the 14th round the Associated Press had the bout even, 63-63.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).