Smokin’ Joe – Thrilla in Manila

By Heather C Thomson

The date was 1st October 1975.  The place Araneta Coliseum in Queson City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

It was the setting for the third, and final, boxing match between Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World.

The culmination of a bitter rivalry between the two fighters, it was ranked as one of the greatest boxing fights of the 20th century.

Ali had been stripped of the title after rejecting the US military draft during the Vietnam War.  Later Frazier petitioned then US President Nixon to restore Ali’s right to box, resulting in The Thrilla in Manila.

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