When Muhammad Ali survived 14 brutal rounds with Joe Frazier in the 'Thrilla in Manila' 45 years ago, it wrote a page in boxing folklore but left both men forever diminished.
Fought in the Philippines' stifling daytime heat, with barely functioning air conditioning, Frazier was beaten nearly blind and Ali was on the verge of surrender.
In the end, it was Frazier's trainer who threw in the towel to hand Ali victory on October 1, 1975, settling their head-to-head 2-1. But the fight came at a cost to both men.
"Ali and Frazier would never be the same again, after pouring and spending practically all their power and durability in Manila," said Recah Trinidad, a Philippine boxing columnist.
Ali, who had beaten George Foreman in the 'Rumble in the Jungle' in Zaire a year earlier, came i...