Saturday, March 23, 2019

Back to the Thrilla

When it comes to rivalries, forget the Iron Bowl.  Forget the Celtics-Lakers.  Forget Connors-McEnroe.  Few rivalries came close to the white-hot hatred of Ali-Frazier.  Those were two guys who hated each other so much they literally wanted to kill each other in the ring.  An outstanding HBO documentary about the Thrilla in Manila popped up on Youtube a few years ago. It covers not just the fight but the entire Frazier-Ali rivalry.  One little nugget reported: Ali was going to quit after the fourteenth round but Frazier's trainer beat him to it.

Some observations:

* Would Frazier have won the fight if he simply walked to the center of the ring for the last round?  Ali told his corner after the fourteenth round to cut off his gloves.
*What changed the dynamic of the fight was the referee.  One thing Dictator Ferdinand Marcos did right was insist on a Filipino referee.  The Don King American referees allowed Ali to hold down the heads of Foreman and Frazier. This tactic effectively kept them from punching and took away their mobility.  The ref stopped the Ali wrestling.  Completely changed the fight.
* The Rope-a-dope didn't work.  Frazier was no boxing dummy.  Every time Ali went to the ropes, Frazier said go ahead, I'll just punch your hips, your arms, and your hips some more.
* Frazier had been fighting blind in one eye since 1964.


Anonymous said...

Ali was a master thinker in the ring who won his toughest fights by making up strategy as he fought. He was not a great puncher. His greatest and most underestimated asset was his ability to take a punch and to remain sober after being shaken. If he had a true knockout punch he would have been unbeatable.
Frazier was a puncher but was so limited in stature that he would have to take a lot of punches to launch his offense. This was a good match with Ali since Joe could take a lot of punches from Ali and still get his own shots in. They were a perfect competitive match. Frazier would have no chance against a bigger powerful puncher, like Foreman. No human but Ali could stand those Foreman haymakers. Ali-Frazier Great! The golden age of boxing.

Kingfish said...

Foreman got few haymakers in on Ali. Watch the fight. Most of those punches slipped off or Foreman was tied up by Ali, which the Don King refs allowed to happen over and over. That ref warning Ali in Thrilla probably contributed more to the fight becoming a classic more than anything else.

Few boxers could take a punch as well as Ali could. Hell, Norton broke his jaw and he still kept going. Frazier laid some serious licks on him in the Fight of the Century that would have knocked out most fighters.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

You guys know what you are talking about!

When people try to tell me Mike Tyson could beat Ali - they just do not get the depths of Ali's greatness.

Like anything in sports there will probably eventually be someone that will match his greatness. But you look at the quality of boxers Ali faced, how he handled them, and how he defeated them, he still holds the crown as the greatest in my opinion.

The man is truly a legend.

Kingfish said...

There are several fighters who could've beaten Tyson. Prime Foreman would've destroyed him. Frazier would beat him. Holmes with his jab? Definitely.

Ron Lyle and Tyson would be a great fight. Marciano, Moore, and Louis would be a challenge for him as well.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS