Vancouver, BC (October 1st, 2013) - Pugilist-centric apparel brand and media company Roots of Fight celebrates the anniversary of the greatest heavyweight boxing match of all time with a short documentary and capsule collection of apparel, commemorating the final fight in Muhammad Ali and "Smokin' Joe" Frazier's epic trilogy.
The two Hall of Fame champions met in the squared circle for the last time on October 1st, 1975 at the Araneta Coliseum, in Quezon City, Philippines. They split their two previous encounters, both unanimous decisions, and each managed to lose just once more heading into the rubber match -- Ken Norton beat Ali via split decision, and George Foreman knocked out Frazier. Ali would reclaim his heavyweight title by defeating Foreman in "The Rumble in the Jungle," thus setting the stage for one of the most anticipated boxing matches of all time.
For 42 grueling minutes, in 120-degree heat, the two warriors left their hearts in the ring, with Ali often employing his now familiar "rope-a-dope" strategy and Frazier coming in low to land thunderous hooks to the body and head of the aging champion. The fight wore on at a frantic pace, with neither man significantly ahead on the judges' scorecards. In-between rounds 14 and 15, Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch deemed his fighter had had enough and threw in the towel, ending the battle and awarding Ali the victory. The fight took its toll physically on both Ali and Frazier and neither were ever as great again as they were that morning in Manila.
"Muhammad Ali was on the stool and was not getting up; he said he wasn't getting up. If Eddie Futch would have let Joe Frazier get up and Round 15 would have started, he would have won that fight, because Muhammad Ali said that was it. He was not going out for the next round," says former lightweight champion Ray Mancini. "Just think about that. 30 seconds that would change history."
Roots of Fight commemorates the "Thrilla in Manila" through the release of a short film, featuring rare footage of both champions leading up to the historic fight. The film is narrated by boxing great Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, with original commentary by former heavyweight champion "Iron" Mike Tyson, former heavyweight contender and Ali and Frazier opponent George Chuvalo, former UFC light heavyweight/heavyweight champion Randy Couture, and UFC middleweight contender Mark Munoz.
Watch the Video:
In addition to the film, Roots of Fight has produced a capsule collection of apparel inspired by the fight to accompany their existing Smokin' Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali collections.
Thrilla in Manila T
Thrilla event inspired 100% premium cotton T. Vintage dyed & washed for super soft hand, look & feel with specialty prints.
Smokin Joe Thrilla T
In the green corner, Thrilla inspired 100% premium cotton T. Vintage dyed & washed for super soft hand, look & feel. With specialty crackle prints and premium event badge on left sleeve.
Ali Cornerman Thrilla T
In the red corner, Thrilla inspired 100% premium cotton T. Vintage dyed & washed for super soft hand, look & feel. With specialty crackle prints and premium event badge on left sleeve.
For more information on Roots of Fight, visit www.rootsoffight.com.