Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Oct. 1, 1975 As close to death as he'd ever been. And that's how the winner described it. Little wonder that the "Thrilla in Manila" (aka Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III), tops TIME's list of greatest ever fights. The pair entered the decisive third heavyweight fight at 1-1 and the searing Philippine heat made conditions as close to hell as was possible. From the start there was nothing humane about the way the pair went at each other. You feel that had it not been for the 15-round limit and, ultimately, Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch throwing in the towel at the end of the 14th, they would still be boxing today. "I want him, boss," screamed Frazier. Futch simply replied, "It's all over. No one will forget what you did here today." As for Ali, in typically modest fashion, he described his opponent as, "the greatest fighter of all time, next to me."Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Top 10 Boxing Matches in History
Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Oct. 1, 1975 As close to death as he'd ever been. And that's how the winner described it.
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Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images
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See the Top 10 Boxing Matches of All Time

Apr 29, 2015

On the morning of 17 April 1860, boxing's inaugural "world title" match took place. Though the event was illegal, sporting historians accept that John C. Heenan vs Tom Sayers (U.S. vs England, in a Hampshire field) was the first of many thousands of "fights of the century." Here's TIME's selection of the greatest matches.

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