Ali-Frazier III: "The Thrilla in Manila"

The epic battle
Photo: Neil Leifer/SI

The epic battle

Remarked Ali of the fight, "It was like death. Closest thing to dyin' that I know of." Neither fighter was ever the same again. Futch analyzed the showdown thusly: "Ali fought a smart fight. He conserved his energy, turning it off when he had to. He can afford to do it because of his style. It was mainly a question of anatomy, that is all that separates these two men. Ali is now too big, and when you add those long arms, well ... Joe has to use constant pressure, and that takes its toll on a man's body and soul."

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