Individually, heavyweight legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier gave the boxing world some of the greatest fights ever seen.
Together, these two men, who dueled over the right to call themselves the best fighter in the world three times, might have given us THE two greatest heavyweight fights ever.
It was 50 years ago when Ali and Frazier first collided, and then, in the brutal – no two heavyweights of today could even match it, third encounter, “The Thrilla in Manila” – the two best of all time pushed themselves further than any other heavyweights ever have. Or ever will.
“The closest thing to dying,” Ali famously said of the 14 brutal, draining rounds he and Frazier fought through in Manila, and no-one should ever try to downgrade the superhuman effort these two true champions went through.
There is no denying it, the two (out of three) battles Ali and Frazier gave us are without compare.
With the 29 rounds, they combined to give us through two fights – 15 in March of 1971 and 14 in October of 1975 – Ali and Frazier made boxing the sport it is today. Never can we demean the combo of skill, guts, heart, and brains Ali and Frazier showed.
But what of Ali and Frazier’s other great fights? If we list their three fights together as their best three fights, then what other special nights/fights/amazing performances from Ali and Joe should be ranked up high?
Here are Ali’s five greatest fights, and here are Frazier’s five greatest fights:
Joe Frazier III
Sonny Liston I
Joe Frazier I
Muhammad Ali I
Muhammad Ali III
Jimmy Ellis I
Between them, these two titans tackled all manner of styles and fighting men. Together they brought out the best in each other the way no other fighter could.