The Thrilla in Manila was the third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier….which was contested in 1975 for the heavyweight championship of the world at the Philippine Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines, on Wednesday, October 1. The venue was renamed from Araneta Coliseum specifically for the match….as Ali won by technical knockout (TKO) after Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, conceded the fight prior to the 15th round. The contest’s name is derived from Ali’s rhyming boast that the fight would be a “killa and a thrilla and a chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila.”
Both legendary fighters were admitted to the hospital after this awesome fight…..as Ali was quoted as saying….“I have never been closer to death in my life.”….and although this was the final fight in one of the most grueling “grudge fights” in boxing history….Ali and Smokin Joe were lifelong friends….who truly loved each other.
The bout is consistently ranked as one of the best in the sport’s history….and was the culmination of a three-bout rivalry between the two fighters that Ali won, 2–1. The fight was watched by a record global television audience of 1billion viewers….including 100million viewers watching the fight pay-per-view on closed-circuit theatre television….with another 500,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO home cable television…..and we at ImaSportsphile are simply overwhelmed that we have these highlights of this historic heavyweight title fight….as it is a “rare diamond” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.