Boxer Muhammad Ali’s demise rekindles memories of the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ fighthttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/muhammad-alis-death-rekindles-memories-of-thrilla-in-manila-fight-2834308/

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

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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.”