The Thrilla in Manila between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali on October 1, 1975 has been called the greatest fight of modern times.
Ali entered the ring out of condition.
Joe Frazier had lost three fights; two to George Foreman and one to Ali.
HIs career was thought to be over.
The heat the morning of the match was stultifying hot.
Both heavyweights fought for their lives.
After the bell sounded the 7th Round legend has it that Ali whispered to Frazier, "Joe, they told me you was all washed up."
"They told you wrong, pretty boy."
It was a fight to the finish of the 14th Round.
Neither fighter could go on.
Ali was near death.
Joe Frazier was blind, but told his corner, "I been blind the last three rounds, but my hearing still good."
Eddie Futch threw in the towel.
Ali went to the hospital.
The bitterness had a history.
Ali's boxing license was pulled for his opposition to the Vietnam War and Joe supported every effort to reinstate his rival. Ali never said thank you in public, but after the fight the Champ announced to the Media, "Joe Frazier, I'll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I'm gonna tell ya, that's one helluva man."
And ain't that the truth.