Muhammad Ali’s best poem? Brilliant Joe Frazier message in 1971 remembered

Muhammad Ali Joe Frazier Poem

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fought out one of the most exciting trilogies in boxing history, culminating in the Thrilla in Manila.

The first bout, Fight of the Century, saw Frazier take the victory after 15 rounds via unanimous decision, inflicting the first defeat on Ali in his career.

Super Fight II was the second fight between the two, with Ali extracting his revenge on Smokin’ Joe. Ali won via unanimous decision himself this time round, making it 1-1 between the two.

Finally came the famous Thrilla in Manila, which saw Ali win via technical knockout when Frazier’s chief second, Eddie Futch, asked the referee if he could stop the bout at the conclusion of round 14.

Ironically, Ali had asked to have his gloves cut off as he thought he couldn’t continue, but Fraziers team conceded the fight first.

The fight was branded the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ after Ali’s rhyming ability saw him claim the bout would be ‘a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get that gorilla in Manila.’  

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Muhammad Ali came back from the brink of defeat to beat Ron Lyle back in 1975

He’s always been a more than capable wordsmith, with his poem about Frazier still incredibly iconic still today.

When talking about Frazier, Ali rattled this off: “What happens when you meet Smokin’ Joe? And I said Joe’s gonna come out smoking and I ain’t gonna be joking.

“I’ll be pecking and a poking, pouring water on his smoking, then this might shock and amaze ya, but I will destroy Joe Frazier.

“Some people say you better watch Joe Frazier, he’s awful strong, I said tell em to try bad roll on, that’s deodorant.”

Also around the third fight, Ali retored: “I saw your wife. You’re not as dumb as you look.” Whilst talking about Frazier.

It isn’t the only example of a famous bit of poetry from Ali who also said: “last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”

Who could forget the iconic: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee – his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”

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Muhammad Ali

Undoubtedly, Ali goes down as one of the greatest boxers of all time and is still one of the most famous names in the sport today.

However, his ability with words was just as good and something he was just as renowned for. He could easily get inside people’s heads with his poetic trash talking.

Although his nickname was ‘The Greatest,’ he was also branded the ‘Louisville Lip’ which is no surprise after reading some of the things he could come up with.

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