Steven's Reviews > Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier

Ghosts of Manila by Mark Kram
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's review
Feb 15, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: race, the-sweet-science
Read in November, 2001

Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali fought three epic battles in the ring, the most remembered of which was the “Thrilla in Manila.” If you have ever seen replays of the “Thrilla in Manila,” you know a little bit of how violent and viscous the fight was and how much it took out of both fighters both physically and mentally.

This book did an excellent job of chronicling the enmity between the two and how the fight affect them both in life and afterwards. Although this was before my time, I never really fully understood just how much both Ali and Frazier genuinely disliked one another. Frazier I believe is quoted as saying that he wanted to push Ali into the fire when Ali lit the flame at the 1996 Olympics.

The other interesting element of this book is that it is not nearly as reverential to Ali as most of the information out there. Ali wasn’t all good and Frazier all bad. Interesting read that I enjoyed.

Revisiting this review after the death of Ali I am reminded of a quote, I believe from this book, where Frazier said "Man, I hit him with punches that'd bring down the walls of a city. Lawdy, Lawdy, he's a great champion." Doesn't get better than that.

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01/02 marked as: read

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