Muhammed Ali looked drained and exhausted when he faced newsmen at Quezon in the Philippines on Wednesday (1 October), shortly after the toughest fight of his unique career.
Muhammed Ali looked drained and exhausted when he faced newsmen at Quezon in the Philippines on Wednesday (1 October), shortly after the toughest fight of his unique career. He gave them a strong hint that he might hang up his gloves and vacate his World Heavyweight Boxing throne.
After retaining his title against Joe Frazier, whom he defeated in fourteen savage, bruising rounds in Quezon City's Coliseum, the 33 year-old champion declared, "There's a great possibility you probably saw the last of Ali. I'm considering retiring."
The fight was one of the greatest heavyweight title bouts of all time, and Ali may well have meant what he said and stick to his decision to walk away from the ring with the acclaim of his triumph echoing forever in his ears.
It took 42 thundering minutes for Ali to douse and extinguish Smokin' Joe and finally be able to claim he's "The Greatest" heavyweight of the modern era. The clash, before a roaring 25,000 crowd, included President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, produced a live gate of 1,500,000 U.S. dollars (750,000 sterling) It is probably the biggest income ever for an indoor fight.
But afterwards the Champion told newsmen, "I want to get out -- I'm tired". He said that George foreman, the former title-holder he knocked out in Zaire in eight rounds eleven months ago, second-ranked American heavy-weight Ken Norton and Frazier himself, could fight for his title among themselves.