In October 1975, two of the world's greatest fighters, Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier, battled it out for the title of Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World. The fight was one of the most extraordinary fighting bouts of all time and capped off a long rivalry between the two boxers. The heavyweight title was up for grabs because Muhammed Ali was stripped of his title and right to fight after refusing to enlist in the army during the Vietnam War. Ali got his boxing privileges restored only after President Nixon gave into the repeated prodding of none other than Joe Frazier. This set the stage for a series of epic fights between the two champs culminating in the third and final meet up of the two, the Thrilla in Manila. And Frazier was ready to rumble because Ali used his sharp tongue to take harsh racially-charged pot shots at his rival. The fight was close and the legacy is large.
Former heavyweight champion of the world Joe Frazier joins The Takeaway with a look back at one of the most brutal fights in boxing history. On Saturday, HBO will air the documentary "Thrilla in Manila" an analysis of the fight and the racial politics that surrounded it. John Dower, the director of the film, will also be a guest.