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Muhammad Ali tribute: Remembering the 'Thrilla in Manila'

Round-by-round action of arguably the greatest and most brutal world heavyweight title fight of all time between Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975

London: The Thrilla in Manila was arguably the greatest and most brutal world heavyweight title fight of all time.

Muhammad Ali lands a punch on Joe Frazier during their title fight in Manila, Philippines in 1975. Pic/AP
Muhammad Ali lands a punch on Joe Frazier during their title fight in Manila, Philippines in 1975. Pic/AP

Press Association Sport reviews the round-by-round action as two boxing titans went toe-to-toe for 42 unforgettable minutes in 1975:

> Joe Frazier stalks low after Muhammad Ali, pursuing the favourite around the ring. Ali grins and piles in the shots towards the end of the round, claiming the advantage.

> Frazier continues to pursue the back-pedalling Ali, lunging in with body shots. But Ali's more accurate responses catch the judges' eyes.

> Ali slings in a couple of sharp left upper-cuts but Frazier enjoys success of his own, bulling Ali into the ropes where Ali covers up rope-a-dope style.

> Frazier is still puffing away in the centre of the ring but Ali looks sharper and is beating him to the punch as Frazier is warned for a low blow.

> Frazier lands a pair of big hooks forcing Ali to once again retreat to the ropes. Ali is beginning to look frustrated by his opponent's refusal to fold.

> Frazier is more aggressive, landing two more vicious left hands. Frazier's punches are getting more effective as he begins to make his mark on the fight.

> Ali opts to stay at a distance, spearing Frazier with single shots. But Frazier's aggression once again pays dividends and arguably shades him another round.

> Any pretence at tactics appears to go out of the window as both men go toe-to-toe in the centre of the ring. Frazier appears to be positively enjoying it.

> Ali seeks to turn the tide by resorting once again to fighting from distance with some success. Frazier manages to bull in close at the end but it is Ali's round.

> Again, neither man is willing to concede ground in the centre of the ring but for the first time there are clear signs of strength beginning to sap on both sides.

> Frazier looks to wrest control with a thunderous hook to Ali's head but Ali responds with a tremendously accurate assault which brings the crowd to their feet.

> Both men are visibly wilting but it appears to be Ali who is able to draw on some extra reserves of energy as he edges another tough round.

> Somehow maintaining his renewed momentum, Ali begins to tee off on Frazier who is clearly suffering due to the virtual closure of his left eye.

> Another brutal round sees Ali tee off on Frazier almost at will. At the end of the round Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch tells him he will not let him sustain any more punishment.

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