Manila's Muslim population had a chance to rub shoulders with world heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali, when he attended a prayer meeting at a Manila mosque on Friday (26 September).
GV Crowds and welcome banner in streets of Manila
SV Crowd around Ali's car
GV Crowd outside mosque
SV INTERIOR Ali seated with trainer listening to preacher (trainer is Bodini Brown)
SV Preacher speaking in English and Ali and party listening
SV Ali and party during prayer
GV Police leaving mosque
SV Muhammad Ali surrounded by crowd leaving mosque and walking to car
Initials CL/1952 1600/1830/2002
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Background: Manila's Muslim population had a chance to rub shoulders with world heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali, when he attended a prayer meeting at a Manila mosque on Friday (26 September). Ali was taking time off from training for his bout against his arch rival, Smokin' Joe Frazier, to be held in the Philippine capital on 1 October.
The match will be Ali's first title defence since he beat Britain's Joe Bugner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, earlier this year. He's been in Manila for the past fortnight getting ready for the bout and hitting the headlines with his usual fiery verbal attacks on Frazier and tempestuous matrimonial tangles.
Ali sets great store by his Muslim faith and says his clashes with Frazier are not just fights but holy wars. He first joined the Black Muslim faith in February 1964 when he rejected his former name, Cassius Clay, and adopted the Muslim name, Muhammad Ali.
He says he plans to become a Black Muslim Minister when he retires from the ring and is a strong advocate for the separation of the races.
During his training sessions at Manila's Folk Art Theatre up to 4,000 boxing fans a session have been flocking to see Ali - and paying as much as 1.50 U.S. dollars (70 pence sterling) a seat for the privilege.
No matter who walks off with the heavyweight title on Wednesday, Ali will be taking home no less than 4.5 million U.S. dollars (2.2 million pounds sterling) and Frazier 2.5 million U.S. dollars (1.2 million pounds sterling).