“…This Is Another Thrilla In Manila, Another Rumble In The Jungle”
Quite literally, when heavyweight titans Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman fought their epic super-fights in the 1970s, the world stopped. These massive promotions, put together in exotic and faraway locations: Manila having it’s “Thrilla,” the African jungle having it’s “Rumble,” truly were can’t-miss events.
The sport of boxing has changed a whole lot since then of course; back then, these once in a lifetime bouts between the biggest and the best carried with them nothing like the $60 to $100 pay-per-view price-tags the big fights do these days. But Eddie Hearn, in speaking with IFL TV, says the now confirmed (by everyone; Andy Ruiz included) return match between Ruiz and Anthony Joshua will be “one of the biggest heavyweight fights of all time.”
“The world will stop to watch this fight,” Hearn boldly stated. “And I know people think I’m crazy. I’m telling you, this is another Thrilla in Manila, this is another Rumble in the Jungle, in an obscure place where the world will be watching on the back of the sand dunes in Saudi Arabia.”
There is no doubting the enormous interest this fight has surrounding it. The questions fans are asking make it a hugely intriguing affair: was Ruiz’ shock win in June a fluke? Can Joshua calm his nerves ahead of this, a must-win fight? Will it be a GREAT fight?
In all likelihood we will never, ever get another Thrilla in Manila. The action Ali and Frazier gave us was utterly mesmerizing, brutal and plentiful, almost too much to take – for the two fighters themselves and for any people who cared about them and their well-being. But in terms of T.V numbers, who knows, maybe Ruiz-Joshua II will be right up there with the epic in the Philippines (which went out on HBO). After all, this is a fight that nobody is moaning it being a PPV offering.
The world might not quite stop on December 7, but it sure could slow down so as to catch the action.