Muhammad Ali has been honored in his hometown of Louisville for the epic and titanic third and final encounter with ferocious ‘Smokin Joe Frazier,’ dubbed The Thrilla in Manila.
At the latest honor offered to the three times heavyweight Champion, he was proclaimed as “The best of all time.” Former heavyweight Champions Larry Holmes and George Foreman, two amazing rivals and firm friends came to pay respects and honor The Greatest.
Friends, Colleagues and several dignitaries also attended the ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the great fight between Ali and Frazier in the Philippines. An epic battle that lasted 14 rounds and that was named “Thrilla in Manila”.
Ali obtained his second victory over Frazier when the former world champion was kept in his corner by his trainer Eddie Futch. A terrible disappointment to Joe, who’d given everything, but also a wise decision as both of his eyes were almost swelled shut.
Ali who briefly fainted in the stifling heat, later said he was on the point of quitting himself, describing the ordeal as a near death experience.
The great champion, aged 73, was at the main table along with his wife Lonnie. Behind him, there were a series of iconic photos of his life and times. His attendance represents his annual visits to his home State of Kentucky
Ali had a lot of important moments inside and outside the ring during his career, including conquering an Olympic gold medal, as well as struggling against social, sports and humanitarian injustices.
Now the circle closes as he’s come back home for this special event.