MMA thrills new fight fans in Manila

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

Ph News Today

MANILA (Reuters) – Indelibly linked with the ‘Thrilla in Manila’, where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier laid their bitter boxing rivalry to rest some 37 years ago, the Araneta Coliseum welcomed “the future of fighting” on Friday in the Philippines‘ biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) event.

A tied, yellowing banner marking the date of that brutal battle in 1975 reminded fans of the Araneta’s place in boxing history, but most of the 16,500 people packed into the domed venue were not even born when Ali met Frazier in that last great clash of heavyweight titans.

While the full contact sport of MMA has gone from strength to strength over the last 10 years, boxing, and the heavyweight division in particular, has fallen on hard times.

Years of greed and self interest, and a lack of direction from the alphabet soup of governing bodies, has brought the once proud sport…

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