When Joe Frazier invited newsmen to lunch at a swanky Manhattan restaurant on Tuesday ( 26 August), who should turn up but ...
SV & CU Frazier surrounded by newsmen
CU poster advertising fight
CU Frazier With Fight Promoter don king Behind him
SCU Mohammad Ali and entourage wearing t-shirts inscribed Manila Gorilla
SV Ali being restrained from sparring with Frazier before he leaves
CU Promoter don King smiling
TRANSCRIPT: MACMILLAN: "It was the truer ... (INDISTINCT) ... of champion and challenger that drew the crowds to Reno half a century ago -- Johnson and Jeffries -- and only a heavyweight bout between dempsey and willer ten years later could have filled the hotels and rooming houses in Toledo. Now decades have passed and pure hokum is the attraction. If you missed Toledo or Reno, scrape up eighteen hundred forty two dollars 'cos that's the round trip fare to Manila to get in on what promoter Don King modestly calls The saga of Our Lifetime. The teaser was played out in the posh Manhattan restaurant today. We were promised a luncheon with Joe Frazier but barely had Smokey Joe arrived scarlet suited than Muhammad Ali shock troops came whooping in wearing t-shirts with a glittering tribute to Manila Gorilla. Ali got as much as from ten miles of roadwork. Frazier really doesn't like it much but even for the straight man's pay of four million dollars it's like a marriage. Murmured Joe, 'I understand it all ). Ali came and left in a frenzy -- the saga of our lifetime is going to put an estimated eight million into his pocket. Pocket. Promoter don King was laughing the whole time. Does he know something we don't?"
Initials BB/2000 AB/MR/BB/2050
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: When Joe Frazier invited newsmen to lunch at a swanky Manhattan restaurant on Tuesday ( 26 August), who should turn up but ... you've guessed it ... Muhammad Ali and his entourage of hangers on.
While fighter promoter Don King stood by grinning from ear to ear, Ali and his boys gate-crashed the luncheon party with their usual wisecracks and dressed in their Manila Gorilla t-shirts.
The heavyweights will meet in their third match in Manila on the first of October and Ali ways he's got no doubts who'll win this deciding match. Up to now both boys have one a piece to their credit. Reporter Andy Macmillan was one of the newsmen who missed out on a free lunch that day. A transcript of his commentary is provided on page two.