In the year of our Lord October the 1st 1975, to be exact. Two legends of the boxing ring squared off for the third and final time in their careers. In a fight which became known as the THRILLA IN MANILA, Muhammad Ali faced Joe Frazier in their now classic boxing match.
The event took place at the Philippine Coliseum, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines. In what was going to be the rubber match for to finally seal the deal for both fighters who were in the twilight of their careers.
Both men verbally jousted throughout the pre fight builld up, with Muhammad Ali winning most encounters. It was his now classic line;
“It will be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the Gorilla in Manila,”
Which would forever stay with Joe Frazier till his dying days.
Philippines at the time was under martial law, by the ruling Presdient Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda. In what was to be a signature event to show the rest of the world that the country was open for business.
Chaotic Scenes in Manilla
In a chaotic setting, with several unsettling events taking place before the fight itself. Inlcuding Ali introducing his mistresss, as his wife on National television. Something his actual wife, who was sitting back home is the US saw. Then flew to Manilla to confront her husband in a very well documented argument inside their hotel suite.
This along with throng of fans who were eager to catch a glimpse of the two fighters. Led Joe Frazier’s team to take their fighter out of the melee to a more reclusive stop in the city’s foothills to complete the camp.
In a tug of war as to who would referee the bout. The camp of Joe Frazier moved to block the choice of the Ali camp. Citing his involvement in Ali’s infamous win over George Foreman. Where they felt the referee allowed muitiple illegal fouls to take place.
Enlisting the help of Philippino officials, who became besotted with the idea of one of their countrymen refereeing the bout. Carlos Padilla Jnr was chosen to avoid a repeat of the previous infractions which had occurred.
Ali’s camp did however win out on two major points, including the size of the ring being 21 feet. And as a result, allowing Muhammad Ali to move around alot more, avoiding many of Frazier’s power shots.
And also in the size of glove, choosing the 8oz smaller gloves. Ali wanted to make the most of Frazier’s reputation for making a slow start. By landing as many punches ot the head early in the fight, in the hope of scoring an early knockout.
Ali vs Frazier Tale of The tape
- Muhammad Ali 224½ lbs
- Joe Frazier 215½ lbs
- RTD at 3:00 in round 14 of 15
- Araneta Coliseum, Barangay Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
- Referee: Carlos Padilla 66-60
- Judge: Larry Nadayag 66-62
- Judge: Alfredo Quiazon 67-62
- Unofficial AP scorecard: 63-63
- World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (4th defense by Ali)
- World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (4th defense by Ali)