Thrilla in Manila is so overrated

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Jay1990, Jun 3, 2019.


  1. Jay1990

    Jay1990 Active Member Full Member

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    Now don't get me wrong, It's a good fight and all, But not what they make it out to be. Personally I prefer Bowe/Holyfield 3 over Thrilla in Manila. I just think the personal fued between Ali & Frazier kinda overshadows the fight a bit. After watching the fight some days ago, Ali was clearly beating Joe Frazier. Before Frazier's corner stoped the fight, I had it 9-4-1even for Ali. Ali only got battered when he was on the ropes. Ali kinda made the fight harder than what it had to be. All ali had to do was keep him in the middle of the ring, keep peppering him with the jab and right cross and stay away from Joe's left hook and it would have been easier. But at the same time, Both guys were way past peak (with all due respect to both fighters). But all in all, I think Bowe/Holyfield 3 is the funner/better fight
     
  2. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft Youngest Ezzard Charles Fan Ever Full Member

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    Bowe vs Holyfield 1 > FOTC as well
     
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  3. young griffo

    young griffo Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I disagree.

    Both classic fights but Bowe- Holyfield 1 was a pretty one sided fight and is remembered more for Holyfields great will in brawling with a guy who was much larger and heavier. Bowe won 9-3 and scored a knock down so despite the action and drama it wasn't that close. Holyfield fought far better in the second fight and it was very, very close (of course Bowe wasn't as good in this fight either).

    The FOTC was equally as competitive, just as action packed and was closer on the cards until Joe clinched it in the championship rounds over the championship distance. That's why I rate it the better fight.

    Still this is just my opinion and it comes down to personal preference and I love watching both fights and won't try to dissuade you from your opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  4. ecto55

    ecto55 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I think if born after the Ali-Frazier era, and so not around to feel and experience the enormity of their rivalry at a time when boxing was still a huge global sport, it can be hard to really get a feel for the event.

    Ali was, at that time, as recognizable a figure as John Lennon or Richard Nixon...possibly even more given his third world adoration.

    Frazier was the perfect foil to Ali.

    Divorced of that context...yeah, maybe round for round Holyfield vs Bowe might seem more exciting...and sure, the footage is also clearer.

    Another factor worth considering is the immense physical toll the fight took on both fighters....having a read of Thomas Hauser's chapter (with excerpts from literally all the key people involved) can really assist younger people in understanding what a truly inhuman and dramatic fight Manila was.
     
  5. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I have always felt Manila was more dramatic and historic than an all time "great" fight purely on inside the ring action.
     
  6. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    FOTC
    Manila
    Bowe Holy 1
    In that order for me
     
  7. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Active Member Full Member

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    Thrilla was the best fight of the trilogy and one of my favorite fights...so have to disagree. Both fighters should have retired after that because neither was the same.
     
  8. Hookandjab

    Hookandjab Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Fotc was much more significant than Manila. Both men were under 30 and undefeated. By the time Manila came around Foreman had destroyed Frazier and Norton had beaten Ali and they were over 30. Damaged goods in manila, prime fighters in FOTC.
     
  9. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Active Member Full Member

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    FOTC was more significant but thrilla was more entertaining. Not sure I can think of a better HW fight where they both fought for everything despite not being at their best they left it all out rhere
     
  10. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Ridin' the rails Full Member

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    No way!
     
  11. Grapefruit

    Grapefruit Active Member Full Member

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    What made the Ali Frazier 3 great was that both men gave it their absolute all because they both knew that would be their last fight and determine who the greater fighter would be
     
  12. Jel

    Jel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Ali-Frazier 1 and 3 were both great fights imo.

    If you think they were the best fights in boxing history, you'd probably be overrating them somewhat. But if you just think they are two of the best fights in heavyweight history, I'd say you'd be on the money.

    So, overrated? Depends what you're judging them against, I suppose.
     
  13. Longhhorn71

    Longhhorn71 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Manilla:

    Ali: "Joe, they told me you were old and through".
    Frazier: "Somebody lied to you".

    Ali postfight": "It was as close to death that you can get".
     
  14. Eddie Ezzard

    Eddie Ezzard Active Member Full Member

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    Depends how you define great. If you see great as a continuation of good then there might be many greater fights, in which both men are at the peak of their abilities.

    We have used Bowe-Holy as a benchmark so I'll use Bowe to illustrate my point. Bowe's best performance was Holyfield 1 by popular consent but his greatest, for me, where he showed all the intangible qualities that separate top boxers from ordinary men, was Golota 2. With nothing much but heart left, he stood up to a fearful beating, dished a fair bit out in return and answered the one question mark about himself that remained through his career, even after the initial Holyfield win, ie did he have the heart of a true champion? Sadly for Bowe, it was proven beyond a shadow of doubt that he did, thus the state he finds himself in now.

    Nobody could claim either Ali or Frazier was anywhere near their best in Manila. Joe had multiple health issues, not least of all his failing vision. Ali was in a better physical state but hadn't prepared well, taking Joe lightly and using the fight as a chance to get away from wife Belinda and have some quality time with Veronica Porche. All of this played out in front of a global audience still captivated by the Ali magic a year after Zaire.

    So to the fight. The two men faced horrendous humidity despite their own diminished physical prowess and fought their absolute hearts out for 14 rounds. Ali absorbing a terrible beating for much of hit as he was too ill-prepared to keep out of Frazier's way. One poster said Ali should have stayed in the centre of the ring and potshotted Joe. That was impossible. Joe managed to summon up enough force to impose himself on Ali and made him dig down deep. Probably as deep as Evander was digging in the first Bowe fight.

    I can still find myself cringing when I watch the Thrilla, particularly knowing what we know now. Yes, Ali was miles better against Williams, and yes Joe was miles better when he fought, say, Jimmy Ellis. But that morning, both showed the kind of greatness to stay in there that you just don't see very often. I honestly think we haven't seen courage like it before or since.

    If you judge a fight by the quality of the fighters then a near 34 year old who has spent the last few weeks in bed with his mistress and a near 32 year old pressure fighter with health problems won't provide the quality you seek. But for a human drama where the men involved show the kind of will that few others could even dream of, I honestly feel the Thrilla is without peer as a great, great fight.
     
  15. Flash24

    Flash24 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    That's your opnion, and its valid. BUT! Ali didn't put his back on the ropes because he choose to. The pressure that Frazier applied was the main cause of Ali being on the ropes. Getting hit on the arms and hips can be as devastating over a long grinding fight as getting nailed on the chin or ribs... To say that Ali could've made the fight easier is a disservice to Frazier . As it is With Duran in the Leonard vs Duran fight in Montreal.
     


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