Thrilla in Manila
|Date||October 1, 1975|
|Location||Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Philippines|
|Title(s) on the line||WBC/WBA Heavyweight Championship
Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship
|Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier|
|The Greatest||Smokin' Joe|
|Tale of the tape|
|Louisville, KY, U.S.||From||Philadelphia, PA, U.S.|
|48–2 (35 KO)||Pre-fight record||32–2 (27 KO)|
|WBC/WBA Heavyweight Champion
Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion
|Result||Ali won via 14th round TKO|
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's name is derived 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.
Pre-fight promotions and training 
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos offered to hold the bout in Metro Manila and sponsor it to divert attention from the social turmoil that the country was experiencing, having declared martial law three years earlier (1972).[dead link]
In the lead-up to the Manila fight as well as each of their other two encounters, Joe Frazier was made to withstand a withering barrage of verbal abuse from Muhammad Ali. Ali's theme this fight was to hang a nickname on Frazier as he had done to many of his opponents throughout the years. The name he chose was "The Gorilla", and he rhymed out the singsong chant "It will be a Killa and a Thrilla and a Chilla when I get The Gorilla in Manila." while punching an action-figure sized gorilla doll. Ali explained to reporter Dick Schaap that it was part of a longstanding pre-fight strategy of his: "I like to get a man mad, because when a man's mad, he wants ya so bad, he can't think, so I like to get a man mad." This strategy worked in Ali's favor in his defeat of George Foreman, who seemed to explode with rage every round until he had exhausted himself. But Frazier was different, for he had not only skill, but confidence, stamina and the character to persevere in the most difficult of circumstances. As Dave Wolf (who was a member of the Frazier team in Manila) explained "With all of the residue of anger that Joe had from what had happened before the first fight, what had happened before and during the second fight and after these fights, Joe was ready to lay his life on the line, and... he did."
Outside of the camp, however, Ali's fight preparations were badly distracted in the days leading up to the fight. It began when Ali introduced his mistress, Veronica Porsche, to Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos as his wife at a public event, angering his real wife, Belinda, when she saw this on television back in the States, whereupon, she flew to Manila, and engaged the champion in a prolonged shouting match in his hotel suite.
In the Frazier camp, trainer Eddie Futch made the decision that the hordes of people and the tension in the steaming hot city were a poor environment to prepare in. Thus, Frazier completed his training for what was to be his final shot at the championship in a lush, quiet setting in the mountainous outskirts of the city of Manila. There he led a spartan existence often sitting for hours in a contemplative state in preparation for the bout.
The pace of the fight and brutality of the blows was unprecedented for a heavyweight match. According to Ed Schuyler of Associated Press, who was present at ringside, during the sixth round, Frazier hit Ali with a left hook that Schuyler characterized as the hardest punch he had ever seen. According to Schuyler, Ali's reacted to this punch by saying to Frazier, "They told me Joe Frazier was washed up", to which Frazier retorted, "They lied."
Seeing the results of round 14, Eddie Futch decided to stop the fight between rounds rather than risk a similar or worse fate for Frazier in the 15th. Frazier protested stopping the fight, shouting "I want him boss," and trying to get Futch to change his mind. Futch replied, "It's all over. No one will forget what you did here today", and signaled to referee Carlos Padilla, Jr. to end the bout. Unknown to Frazier's corner, Ali had walked back to his own corner after the 14th and instructed Dundee to cut his gloves off. Ali later said that "Frazier quit just before I did. I didn't think I could fight any more." Ali's biographer, Thomas Hauser, later revealed that a member of Ali's corner had told him that Ali was telling them to "cut (my gloves) off, cut 'em off", indicating Ali's desire to not continue the fight. Ali's surprise is quite visible on the video of the fight once Futch threw in the towel for Frazier. Ali would later claim that this was the closest to dying he had ever been.[dead link]
The Philippines' first multi-level commercial shopping mall was named after Muhammad Ali as a tribute to his victory. The mall is named "Ali Mall" and is located in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City right beside the Araneta Coliseum in which the "Thrilla in Manila" took place.
- "Thriller in Manila". Oregon sigs. Retrieved on 31 March 2007.[dead link]
- "Thriller in Manila". BBC Films. 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Hauser, Thomas (3 September 2005). "The Unforgiven". The Guardian.
- "Thriller in Manila". BBC Films. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Thrilla In Manilla. Channel 4.
- Schouw, Glenn (October 6, 2005). "Greatest heavyweight fight!". The Daily News (Natal).[dead link]
- "Coliseum History". Corporate - Smart Araneta Coliseum. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
- "Ali-Frazier fight extracts dreadful price" Reuters UK via redOrbit
- "CENTURY'S BEST: 'Lawdy, Lawdy, He's Great'" Sports Illustrated