Published: 12:33 | 21/5/21

Watch two great Muhammad Ali fights this Saturday

Watch two of Muhammad Ali's greatest fights back-to-back this Saturday night from 9pm on eir sport 1.

He called himself 'The Greatest' and, while it may have all been a little tongue-in-cheek, few could dispute the claim of the man who went on to become the first person to win the undisputed heavyweight title three times.

 Join us this Saturday from 9pm for two of Ali's greatest fights - the 'Rumble in the Jungle' against George Foreman in Zaire from October 1974 and, less than a year later, the 'Thrilla in Manila' against 'Smokin' Joe Frazier in Manila on October 1st 1975.

Preceded by Ali's traditional braggadocio which brought boxing into the realms of showbiz for the first time, both were brutal encounters with no quarter asked or given.

After carving a swathe through the heavyweight ranks, Foreman had been undisputed champion since January 1973 following a stunning second-round knock-out of Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica. Frazier had been on the canvas six times before the fight was stopped.

He repeated the feat against Ken Norton, another formidable challenger, the following year. 

Armed with unmatched punching power, Foreman was 4-1-on favourite to beat Ali who many regarded as being over the hill at the age of 32. 

What followed was one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history as Ali upset the odds to reclaim the tile that had been stripped from him seven years earlier for his refusal to fight in Vietnam.

Fast forward almost a year to the Araneta Coliseum in Manila for the conclusion of the Ali-Frazier trilogy as Ali defended his title against his most bitter rival.

There was no love lost between the two men and it showed as both fighters put it all on the line in what is recognised as one of the greatest fights in boxing history.

Image: Getty

***Enjoy classic boxing EVERY Saturday night on eir sport 1.

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