The best punch trackers on the market
12th January 2021
By: Noah Abrahams
On what would have been former undisputed heavyweight world champion Joe Frazier’s 77th birthday, why not relive ‘Smokin Joe’s’ most iconic fight!
Perhaps the most famous boxing bout of all time, the third and final meeting between Frazier and Muhammad Ali was legendary.
The two had met twice before in New York. In 1971, Frazier beat Ali by unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time that two undefeated boxers had fought for the heavyweight crown and the event was dubbed ‘The Fight of The Century’.
Frazier successfully defended his WBA and WBC world heavyweight titles against Ali. ‘Billy Boy’ dropped ‘The People’s Champion’ in the 15th round – Only the third time Ali had hit the canvas in his career. The first time that Ali had been beaten.
The re-match was crowned as ‘Super Fight II’ and the winner was Ali. With only pride on the line, the non-title bout resulted in Frazier losing by a unanimous decision.
With the scores equal, the deciding fight needs no introduction. ‘The Thrilla In Manila’ will even to this day, have your hairs stood on end. One of the most brutal fights in history, Ali’s 4th defense was unbelievable.
Taking place in the Philippines, the country’s President wanted the eyes of the world on Manila. Promoted by Don King, the fight was watched by a record global television audience of over one billion viewers.
In the build-up to the bout, Ali verbally abused Frazier. Causing the Frazier family a great deal of pain, Ali later claimed that he was only trying to promote the fight and increase the gate.
Ali rhymed that the fight would be “A killa and a thrilla and a chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila.”
Frazier responded: “It’s real hatred. I want to hurt him. I don’t want to knock him out. I want to take his heart out.”
Defending his WBA & WBC belts (taken from George Foreman 12 months earlier in the Rumble in the Jungle), Ali forced Frazier into a corner retirement. Eddie Futch (Frazier’s trainer) stopped the fight between the 14th and 15th rounds. It was the closing chapter to a historical trilogy.