Bob Arum recalls ‘Thrilla in Manila’ ahead of Pacquiao-Rios fight Saturday

Longtime promoter Bob Arum on Saturday will promote the welterweight fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios in Macao, China (on HBO pay-per-view). During a conference call, he remembered vividly his favorite international promotion, and it was no surprise.

“The one that sticks out and is most comparable because it takes place in the same time zone is the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ when Muhammad Ali faced off against Joe Frazier,” Arum said. “That fight took place in the same time that the Pacquiao-Rios fight will take place – around noon Manila time. It was one of the greatest fights I have ever seen in my life.”

Ali won when Frazier did not answer the bell for the 15th round of the fight that took place Oct. 1, 1975.

“These guys went at it and (trainer) Eddie Futch wouldn’t let Joe Frazier come out for the 15th round and Muhammad won the fight,” Arum said.

Arum also remember the immediate aftermath.

“What I remember most was going outside the (Araneta) Coliseum after the fight was over – we had just seen this unbelievable fight and the sun was the brightest that I have ever seen and it was almost as if everyone was blinded by the daylight, and it was one of the most memorable experiences I ever had in my life.”



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