Thrilla in Manila: We recap those 14 magnificent, punishing rounds
Last Updated: 01/10/15 1:48pm
The Thrilla in Manila was arguably the greatest and most brutal world heavyweight title fight of all time.
Here, we review the round-by-round action as boxing titans Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier went toe-to-toe for 42 unforgettable minutes...
Frazier stalks low, pursuing the champion around the ring. Ali grins and piles in the shots towards the end of the round, claiming the advantage.
Frazier continues to chase the back-pedalling Ali, lunging in with body shots. But Ali's more accurate responses catch the judges' eyes.
Ali slings in a couple of sharp left upper-cuts but Frazier enjoys success of his own, bulling Ali into the ropes where he covers up rope-a-dope style.
It was an unbelievable era of heavyweight boxing, the late 1960s and 1970s. They were just pure epics and bigger than boxing. It was the greatest at his greatest!
Frazier is still puffing away in the centre of the ring but Ali looks sharper and is beating him to the punch as Frazier is warned for a low blow.
Frazier lands a pair of big hooks forcing Ali to once again retreat to the ropes. Ali is beginning to look frustrated by his opponent's refusal to fold.
Frazier is more aggressive, landing two more vicious left hands. Frazier's punches are getting more effective as he begins to make his mark on the fight.
People may say they were friends towards the end but they were the fiercest, fiercest rivals and I don't think that ever left them
Ali opts to stay at distance, spearing Frazier with single shots. But Frazier's aggression once again pays dividends and arguably shades him another round.
Any pretence at tactics appears to go out the window as both men go toe-to-toe in the centre of the ring. Frazier appears to be positively enjoying it.
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Ali seeks to turn the tide by resorting once again to fighting from distance with some success. Frazier manages to bull in close at the end but it is Ali's round.
Again, neither man is willing to concede ground in the centre of the ring but for the first time there are clear signs of strength beginning to sap on both sides.
Ali-Foreman was the better story but the Thrilla in Manilla was the best and toughest fight of them all. Ali admitted he thought he was going to die, that's how hard it was
Frazier looks to wrest control with a thunderous hook to Ali's head but Ali responds with a tremendously accurate assault which brings the crowd to its feet.
Both men are visibly wilting but it appears to be Ali who is able to draw on some extra reserves of energy as he edges another tough round.
We've got Ali to thank for the direction our sport has taken since then. A lot of it is down to what he did
Somehow maintaining his renewed momentum, Ali begins to tee off on Frazier who is clearly suffering due to the virtual closure of his left eye.
Another brutal round sees Ali tee off on Frazier almost at will. At the end of the round Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch tells him he will not let him sustain any more punishment and the fight is over.
In those closing stages, your speed goes and your reflexes go and you end up taking the full power of punches. The last thing Joe Frazier needed - he wanted to continue, of course - was another three minutes