Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Greatest?

One of the greatest fights of all-time was the third match between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Dubbed the "Thrilla in Manila" it was the rubber match between two of the best fighters to ever step into the ring. Ali won the battle, but at a great cost. The fight took such a toil on them that both Frazier and Ali never wanted to watch it again.

Now, thirty plus years later, film maker John Dower uses that epic battle as the framework for his documentary "Thriller in Manila." Not only does Dower take a close look at the fight, he takes the controversial stance that Ali's dark side has been glossed over by time and that Joe Frazier was slighted due to the charisma of Ali. Dower uses new interviews with Frazier [who watches the Manila fight for the first time] interspliced with old newsreel footage and interviews to paint a picture of Ali that isn't pretty.

You can read more about the documentary here.



12 comments:

Rowen said...

I think the documentary maker just wants to ruffle feathers to make some money, nothing new here. Ali is Ali becase he's a great orator and personality, Frazier doesn't have that magnetic aspect

Craig Zablo said...

It may not be new, but it's definitely an under-looked-at perspective. Ali continues to be the Greatest though!

Maritze said...

Great blog, Craig.

After my Bronson caricature, want to do another tough guy... Stallone perhaps. Time permitting!

Craig Zablo said...

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave such a nice comment, Maritze. I look forward to whatever art you post!

Michael Cho said...

I love and am a fan of both Ali and Frazier. I haven't seen the documentary yet, but its true that Joe got a raw deal from history. Ali is an icon, but Frazier wasn't the villain that he's been painted as in the past. His own story is one of triumph over immense adversity.

As has been stated before, a fighters greatness is measured by the quality of their opponents. In that regard, both men were titans of the sport.

Craig Zablo said...

Well said, Michael!

Anonymous said...

Cool. MUHAMMAD ALI WILL ALWAYS BE ONE OF THE GREATEST

SlyStalloneFan

Anonymous said...

MUHAMMAD ALI WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED ONE OF THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL FIGURES IN THE WORLD. iM A BIG FAN OF THE GUY I SAW HIS MOVIE ALI PLAYED BY WILL SMITH.
makaVeLi

Anonymous said...

That documentary sounds interesting. While Ali won the fight he was never the same after the third Frazier bout. I've heard stories that while Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch stopped the fight Ali was considering not coming out for the fifteenth round. So I'm sure that story would anger Frazier. But if you see the fight the stoppage on Futch's part wasn't a bad call. Frazier was in bad shape being that he could barely see.

I like Ali but he did have a dark side to him and was probably at his cruelest when it came to taunting Joe Frazier. This really made Frazier mad since he had helped Ali out during the period where he was banned from boxing.

JSL

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite fights of all-time. And it was largely due the the amazing lead up to the fight with all the hype surrounding it. Ali and Frazier gave us some memorable press conferences and sound bites in the months leading up to this EPIC finale to their rivalry.

I'll love to see this documentary but it's only going to be the same rehash of everything I already know. I'm such a fan of the sport, there's nothing really new to know here. However, I'll see it for some great entertainment.

SheriffFreddyHeflin

Craig Zablo said...

THAT fight was brutal. It was a testament to both men that it went as long as it did.

Anonymous said...

Brutle is the word to describe this fight. I agree with you Craig. They left a part of themselves in the right that night. They spent quite a long time in the hospital in the passing days after the battle.


SheriffFreddyHeflin