Considered one of the greatest fights of 20th century boxing, the Thrilla in Manila between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavy Weight Boxing Championship of the World, was fought in Quezon City, Philippines on October 1, 1975.
The bout was considered the climax to a acrimonious rivalry between Ali and Frazier over who was the legimate Heavyweight Champion. That situation came about after Ali refused to join the armed forces when drafted during the Vietnam War and was stripped of his title. Frazier petitioned then President Nixon to restore Ali's right to box, ultimately bringing about the so-called Fight of the Century between Smokin' Joe Frazier and Ali.
During the period leading up to the fight in Manila, Ali peppered Frazier with verbal pot shots which became intensely controversial and at times ugly. Frazier, who was not amused by this verbal battery, chose to save his punishment of Ali until after the bell rang to start the fight.
And now, almost exactly 36 years from the Thrilla in Manila, we again have two black contenders fighting for the right to be crowned the Heavy Weight Champion of the World in a fight pundits have pegged as "The Thrilla With No Vanilla."
Last Wednesday, at a press conference before a national audience, Barack Obama told gathered reporters that he was going to "put a whuppin" on his "Uncle Tom" rival.
The mood in the opposing camp was poles apart from Obama's. In Cain's camp the mood was jovial and lighthearted. According to Cain's cornerman, it was believed that Obama was washed up and that this fight was to be his last hurrah before retiring from public service.
On the other hand, Obama, in an attempt to gain traction at every opportunity, was seen punching a rubber gorilla meant to represent Herman Cain during a press conference while screaming:
"Its gonna be a thrilla, and a chilla, and a killa, when I get the gorilla in the thrilla with no vanilla."
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