Boxer Muhammad Ali’s demise rekindles memories of the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ fight

Boxer Muhammad Ali’s demise rekindles memories of the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ fight

Muhammad Ali, former world heavyweight champion, died at the age of 74 suffering from respiratory issues.

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It was a seesaw battle, with Joe Frazier dominating the middle rounds. But as the fight continued, Muhammad Ali began to take control.

Filipinos in this boxing-crazy nation are grieving the passing of Muhammad Ali, which brought fond memories of the 1975 epic “Thrilla in Manila” fight between Ali and Joe Frazier.

READ: Boxing icon Ali: A furious and loud fighter whose influence was felt far beyond the ring

Sports commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz, who was assigned by then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos to act as government liaison to Ali for the bout, said Saturday, “We lost a hero, a peacemaker and a truly charismatic human being.”

READ: I may not talk perfect white talk-type English but I give you wisdom: Ali’s top 13 quotes


Nathanielsz likened Ali to Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao, saying both were icons who were close to and inspired common folk.

READ: Mary Kom, Vijender Singh lead Indian tributes to ‘immortal legend’ Muhammad Ali

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Roel Velasco, who won the bronze medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, thanked Ali for helping inspire him to become a boxer, saying “it’s sad to see one of the world’s greatest boxers go.”