A brilliant account of the dual lives of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier and the long-running feud between them.
Set against the backdrop of the ‘Thrilla in Manila’, the epic 1975 battle which many aficionados consider the greatest heavyweight fight ever, Ghosts of Manila offers a dramatic insight into the 30-year feud between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Celebrated American sports journalist Mark Kram has spent nearly the same amount of time preparing to write this book – and the result is a hugely impressive piece of research and social history.
When Ali and Frazier met in Manila for the third act of their trilogy of fights, their rivalry had spun out of control. More than a clash of personalities and fighting styles, the rivalry, inflamed by the media, took on overtones of politics and race. But in the aftermath of Manila the hype no longer mattered: one man was left with a ruin of a life; the other was battered to his soul. Frazier is now in an advanced state of blindness, still consumed by hate; Ali's once agile and powerful body is withered by the grip of Parkinson's disease.
Kram's book begins with the boxers themselves – who they are and were. They began as friends, with a genuine, if grudging, respect for each other. They were turned into enemies as much by pride as forces over which they had no control. Weaving together past and present, Kram explodes the hagiography surrounding both fighters, particularly Ali, and presents the reader with the rarest of literary achievements: a psychologically riveting study of two heroes, many myths, and the reality behind it all.
No one who reads Ghosts of Manila will ever think of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier the same way again…
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“Boxing, for all its lies, is about the truth. Let us all thank Mark Kram for Ghosts of Manila, and for reminding us of the dark side of our Sweet Prince [Ali], a side that most would rather dismiss or forget altogether.”
- F.X. Toole, author of Rope Burns
Mark Kram was senior boxing writer for Sports Illustrated for eleven years and covered all the major prizefights during that period. His articles on boxing have been widely anthologized. Kram has waited 25 years to write this book – his coverage of the Ali/Frazier fight in Manila was recently voted the best piece of deadline reporting in Sports Illustrated’s history.
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Book Description Willow, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11000712645X