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Joe Frazier

Ghosts Of Manila

In the thirteenth, Frazier began to flinch and wince from Ali's one-note slugging. Joe's punches seemed to have a gravity drag, and when they did land they brushed lazily against Ali. The champ sent Frazier's bloody mouthpiece flying seven rows into the audience, and nearly pulled the light switch on him with one chopping shot….

The fourteenth was the most savage round of the forty-one Ali and Frazier fought…. Nine straight right hands smashed into Joe's left eye, thirty or so in all during the round. When Joe's left side capsized to the right from the barrage, Ali moved it back into range for his eviscerating right with crisp left hooks, and at the round's end the referee guided Joe back to his corner….

"Sit down, son," Eddie [Futch, Frazier's coach] said. "It's over. No one will forget what you did here today."

With the only strength they had left, both fighters stumbled toward their dressing rooms to a continuous roar.

Source: Mark Kram, Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, HarperCollins, 2001.

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Famous Sports StarsBoxingJoe Frazier Biography - South Carolina Childhood, Chronology, Olympic Gold Medalist, Monumental Fights Against Ali And Foreman, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY FRAZIER: