Happy 40th Anniversary to the Thrilla In Manila.
Duan and I had a back and forth e-mail conversation about the John Dower documentary on one of the most famous fights of all time. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier went to the Philippines to settle their grudge in their third and most savage battle. It was dubbed the “Thrilla in Manila”.
GG: Duan, after watching the documentary, Thrilla In Manilla, I was left with mixed feelings. On one hand, I felt bad for Joe Frazier, but also felt put off by the grudge he continually holds against Muhammad Ali. Did you have similar thoughts, and also, is that the feeling you think the director was looking for?
Duan: I don’t necessarily feel that the director set out to present Frazier in that way. I think he set out to compare two great warriors of the ring, and examine how history remembers them. In one corner you had Ali, the most celebrated athlete in not just boxing, but all of sport. And in the other you have Frazier, a man who went to war with him for 41 rounds, and who quite possibly is the second best heavyweight in history. Frazier never got the same recognition or acclaim though. I believe that’s what the movie was trying to emphasize. It was just about telling Frazierâ€™s side of the story. Continue reading