The Greatest of All Times! Muhammad Ali may or may not have been the greatest heavyweight of all time but he was the most charismatic and controversial and the biggest sports star of the second half of the 20th century.
I was talking the other day to a younger boxing fan who missed out on Ali. My suggestion was he look up the Ali-Frazier fights and watch them. One of the greatest rivalries in sports history. I always wonder about that third fight- going into the Thrilla In Manila- Frazier had won the first match between them and Ali took the second. The third fight was for the World Championship but maybe even more importantly the championship of them- The Thrilla In Manila- was a brutal fight. I watch it at least once a year and am still amazed by it, and saddened. Neither man was ever the same again- as a fighter or as a person. After this fight they both started having health issues that never got better. Ali would later say that near the end of the fight it was the closest he ever felt to dying. Frazier who had fought for years blind in one eye- [he kept it to himself} had his good eye pretty much closed when his corner threw in the towel on the fight. Frazier deserves a lot more love than he has gotten over the years. He was a World Champion and a great fighter who didn’t know the meaning of ‘quit.” He was furious when his corner threw in the towel. Have to wonder- would history be changed if Frazier had won the third fight? He would have beaten Ali 2 of 3 times. One thing for sure both men should have retired after that fight.
Muhammad Ali is my all time #1 sports hero. I am looking forward to Jonathan Eig’s biography of Ali which comes out this fall. I’ve read his books on Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson- both were excellent so expectations are high.
I bought the t-shirt above at a mall outside of Memphis back in the early 90’s. Of course it was Ali- so I had to buy two of the t-shirts. Don’t see many Ali t-shirts out there.