Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier



Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe FrazierWhen Muhammad Ali Met Joe Frazier In Manila For Their Third Fight, Their Rivalry Had Spun Out Of Control The Ali Frazier Matchup Had Become A Madness, Inflamed By The Media And The Politics Of Race When The Thrilla In Manila Was Over, One Man Was Left With A Ruin Of A Life The Other Was Battered To His SoulMark Kram Covered That Fight For Sports Illustrated In An Award Winning Article Now His Riveting Book Reappraises The Boxers Who They Are And Who They Were And In A Voice As Powerful As A Heavyweight Punch, Kram Explodes The Myths Surrounding Each Fighter, Particularly Ali A Controversial, No Holds Barred Account, Ghosts Of Manila Ranks With The Finest Boxing Books Ever Written

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier book, this is one of the most wanted Mark Kram author readers around the world.

Reading ➺ Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Author Mark Kram – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier
  • Mark Kram
  • English
  • 09 August 2019
  • 0060954809

10 thoughts on “Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier

  1. Ian says:

    We went to Manila as champions, Joe and me, and we came back as old men The above line opens the author s account of the Ali Frazier rivalry, and the book s theme is how their three fights, especially the savage last bout in Manila, left both men as ghosts of what they had been I was aged between 9 and 14 when the three fights took place I don t remember the first one, The Fight of the Century , doubtless due to my extreme youth at the time, but at school all us boys talked about the othe We went to Manila as champions, Joe and me, and we came back as old men The above line opens the author s account of the Ali Frazier rivalry, and the book s theme is how their three fights, especially the savage last bout in Manila, left both men as ghosts of what they had been I was aged between 9 and 14 when the three fights took place I don t remember the first one, The Fight of the Century , doubtless due to my extreme youth at the time, but at school all us boys talked about the other fights, and the bouts the two also had with George Foreman and Ken Norton Growing up in rural Scotland, the racial politics of the rivalry went over our heads, but as the author himself comments, it was a time when the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World carriedstatus than it did in later years Whether it puts you off or gets your interest, it s safe to say that Mark Kram 100% took the part of Frazier in respect of the rivalry between the two He portrays Ali as essentially a simpleton who was manipulated by Elijah Muhammed and the NOI The author knew Ali over many years so his opinion can t simply be dismissed At the same time there are of course many who disagreed with him.The book outlines how the two men had something approaching a friendship in the 1960s, at least as much as two sporting rivals can have Frazier disagreed with Ali s stance on serving in the military but also disagreed with the decision to remove his boxing licence, Not right to take a man s pick and shovel was Frazier s take on it Their relationship of course changed with Ali s verbal taunting of Frazier Calling him ugly , stupid and a gorilla was bad enough and upset Frazier s children, but of course it was Ali s cruel and untrue labelling of Frazier as an Uncle Tom that was far worse The book presents contradictory evidence about what Ali really thought of Frazier Personally I gained the impression that for Ali, the comments he made were part of business, about saying the things that would sell fights To Frazier it was entirely different He grew up amongst the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina, and Kram quotes a Philadelphia doctor who also grew up there as saying, To call a Gullah an Uncle Tom would be asking to die I mean it From that moment, as the author put it Ali sat in Frazier s gut like a broken bottle There s enough in the book about the fights themselves to keep boxing fans happy, but ultimately this book is a lament for two fallen giants, one with his body and brain battered into ruin, the other wrecked by the verbal humiliations he suffered and the hatred directed towards him by so many Many of their fellow fighters also suffered sad endings It s a well written book that tells a remarkable tale, but it s a bit too one sided

  2. John Allen says:

    After reading this compulsively readable book compulsively readable in the same way that eating a pint of ice cream is compulsive, reprimanding oneself afterward for submitting to the lowly instinct , I felt tremendous pity for Mark Kram I don t think he was so much concerned with portraying the fateful blood feud between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier as making an art out of agony, resentments and utter dirt I would have beensatisfied if Kram had ended each chapter with the following l After reading this compulsively readable book compulsively readable in the same way that eating a pint of ice cream is compulsive, reprimanding oneself afterward for submitting to the lowly instinct , I felt tremendous pity for Mark Kram I don t think he was so much concerned with portraying the fateful blood feud between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier as making an art out of agony, resentments and utter dirt I would have beensatisfied if Kram had ended each chapter with the following lines All is darkness All is darkness.With respect to the reviewer who wrote that anyone who hates this is into propaganda , I don t think so This seems like propaganda to me though Kram uses his limited and embarrassingly pretentious command of art to paint a picture that simply does not exist a noble, warrior like Joe Frazier up against the terrible, name calling, vicious, egomaniacal and power drunk Muhammad Ali.Reality check Frazier was a guy who dumped his lifelong trainer, Eddie Futch the guy who helped him get near the top , because of money Fairly recently he was arrested for beating up his wife while drunk I guess Mark would blame that on some flashback to Manila He wasn t the timid, beautiful soul Mark would have you believe in his downcast dementia This is only another hallucination Kram sees fit to create in this piece of selective delusion.Joe Frazier never quite forgave Muhammad Ali for being a better boxer andof a public figure than he was I suppose that s understandable but, for a guy who was so tough, Frazier sure was real sensitive when it came to the PR Ali pulled with him, just like he pulled with every other fighter he stepped in the ring with The difference is that Chuvalo, Foreman, Liston, Wepner, Patterson, etc they didn t let it bother them Larry Holmes later pointed out that Frazier let too much of it get to him when it was only theatre Not nice theatre, no but boxing isn t nice I don t recall Lennox Lewis crying about Mike Tyson wanting to, in his own words, eat his kids Kram does a cute and completely ineffectual job of minimizing every single accomplishment and they were grand Ali pulled off in the ring The Rumble in the Jungle only requires two pages Frazier flipping out in a hotel room and the minute psychological motives behind that, however, requires half the book Hmmm.Actually, you can tell Kram hates both of them Frazier less, because he uses him as scrap metal to throw at Ali In his painful state of cynicism and hatred for self and others, Kram spares neither fighter he doesn t even spare Archie Moore or Sugar Ray, painting nightmare visions of them as permanently brain damaged, staring into outer space Sonny Liston s death from a drug overdose is a source of voyeuristic pleasure for Mark, making sure we know that no one wept for him He writes,or less, like they deserve what they got.As if all this weren t enough, Kram even uses deliberate distortion He claims that the phantom punch , which again and again has been proven to have connected with Liston s head never happened Only those interested in maintaining Ali s legend will ever invest in the phantom punch For a boxing journalist, Kram sure has missed a lot.In the end, both disintegrate Frazier and Ali are irreedemable messes to Kram, products of the disgusting sport he s made his living off of And guess what, Joe s still obsessed with Ali and how he beat him up twice In Kram s mind, this pettiness is worthy of a depiction by Van Gogh I am sorry, but there is something wrong with Mark Kram.This should be next to William Styron s Darkness Visible as a testimony of what mental illness can do to a man I wouldn t recommend it, though, as book about the Greatest of All Time or his worthiest opponent

  3. Cwn_annwn_13 says:

    If the authors goal with this book was to show Ali had a darkside, was an intellectually shallow person, was led around by the nose by the Black Muslims, that he was a lousy Father and Husband, or that in spite of Ali belonging to a brainwashing black nationalist cult, the truth is Joe Fraizer, who Ali labeled as an Uncle Tom was blacker than Ali could have ever hoped to have been, then the guy that wrote Ghosts of Manila succeeded He also makes a good point that Ali, while playing the rol If the authors goal with this book was to show Ali had a darkside, was an intellectually shallow person, was led around by the nose by the Black Muslims, that he was a lousy Father and Husband, or that in spite of Ali belonging to a brainwashing black nationalist cult, the truth is Joe Fraizer, who Ali labeled as an Uncle Tom was blacker than Ali could have ever hoped to have been, then the guy that wrote Ghosts of Manila succeeded He also makes a good point that Ali, while playing the role of oppressed rebel, was the darling of and had the full support of the liberal media establishment People also forget that Muhammad Ali turned his back on his one time friend Malcolm X even though Malcolm supported him as a friend when the Nation of Islam tried to distance themselves from him because they thought Ali was going to be destroyed in the ring by Sonny Liston.I would say there is a lot of truth to what makes into this book Ali had a mean streak that went beyond the boxing ring and the liberal press portrays him with some sort of bizarre holy reverence The guy had his faults but I also think he did waygood than bad I m originally from Louisville and I personally know old down on their luck former fighters who Ali did very nice and costly things for, I also remember hearing the guy who owned a Schwinn bicycle shop talking about how Ali would often come into his shop with a small busload of ghetto kids and buy every one of them new bikes The stories that are out there of him helping people out are innumerable

  4. Tung says:

    One of the most heralded sports nonfiction books around, Kram s book details the feud between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier leading up to and after their third fight, the Thrilla in Manila , one of the greatest bouts of all time Kram does an incredible job of portraying the psyches and personalities of both fighters, and the root and exacerbation of the feud between them Overall, however, I don t feel the book completely lived up to the hype I had gotten prior to choosing the book For one t One of the most heralded sports nonfiction books around, Kram s book details the feud between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier leading up to and after their third fight, the Thrilla in Manila , one of the greatest bouts of all time Kram does an incredible job of portraying the psyches and personalities of both fighters, and the root and exacerbation of the feud between them Overall, however, I don t feel the book completely lived up to the hype I had gotten prior to choosing the book For one thing, unless you are already a boxing fan I am , and are already familiar with the feud between the boxers, their boxing histories, and their personal histories, this book loses much of its depth The book makes numerous references to their lives and bouts as if the reader were already knowledgeable it s hard for me to imagine someone easily following the narrative without that prior knowledge Secondly, one of the compelling themes of the book is its demythologizing of Ali s career and reputation Rather than the beloved world figure Ali has become, the book describes a morally corrupt, sadistic, and easily controlled by the Nation of Islam man You won t look at Ali the same way again I m not disputing the accuracy of Kram s accounts I am disputing his claimed objectivity Kram makes the point that he actually liked both Ali and Frazier, but that is clearly not the case From page one, he is all over Ali and throughout he throws barbs at future sportswriters hero worship of Ali Kram does make interesting points about Ali s early career and the villainy behind what he said about and did to Joe Frazier, but it feels like the points are made in a mannerspiteful and angry than documentary By the end, it feels farlike a character assassination attempt rather than objective nonfiction Lastly, Kram routinely criticizes people he doesn t like, and makes general statements about the evilness of their character in an Everyone knew that person was a tool type of statement, without any proof or specific anecdotes to back up his claims He rips into Howard Cosell and Bryant Gumbel, for instance, without citing any real reason, or going into any detail These quick hits on semi relevant characters adds to the feel of this book not being an objective account In summary, a good book and a riveting read, but I m not sure I d call this pure sports nonfiction Recommended nonetheless, but so for those with a background or interest in boxing, Joe Frazier, or Muhammad Ali

  5. Michael says:

    This was a really outstanding book about Ali Frazier More than just a recap of the fights, it gives a history of both men, a history of their animosity, and tracks the forces that drove the feud The Nation of Islam did a lot of the pushing for Ali, and it was interesting to read Kram s who has first hand accounts of much of what s in the book take on the man For someone who s basically been deified at this point, a lot of the glow comes off Ali here And I m a lotinterested in Joe Fra This was a really outstanding book about Ali Frazier More than just a recap of the fights, it gives a history of both men, a history of their animosity, and tracks the forces that drove the feud The Nation of Islam did a lot of the pushing for Ali, and it was interesting to read Kram s who has first hand accounts of much of what s in the book take on the man For someone who s basically been deified at this point, a lot of the glow comes off Ali here And I m a lotinterested in Joe Frazier than I ve ever been He s not always cast in the best light either, but he seems a great dealsincere a working man s fighter drawn into the web of Ali, who often spoke without caring about who he hurt or the lasting effects of those words , even if that man had been a friend at one point

  6. Yofish says:

    Written by a Sports Illustrated writer, centered around the three Ali Frazier fights Basically history, but from this writer s point of view He did not have kind opinions of many Cosell, Bryant Gumbel, the black Muslims come off pretty bad , but liked both the boxers and boxing in general A lot of rumor Ali getting a blow job from Gladys Knight in the locker room after the first fight and opinion But reads very well May have inspired me to try to watch the fights somehow.4.5 really

  7. Paul Bauer says:

    A needed correction to the mythology that has grown around Ali The truth is muchinteresting than the hagiography.

  8. Ashwin says:

    There is a lot of information portrayed in this book that took quite some time for me to process I even had to pause at certain points in the book for a minute or two to just let it sink in The writer shows admiration for Ali as an elite boxer at the highest level At the same time, there is disgust for how Ali handled situations in his personal life Of course that disgust extends towards the way Ali treated Frazier and how Ali went about dismissing his draft for Vietnam Kram points out that There is a lot of information portrayed in this book that took quite some time for me to process I even had to pause at certain points in the book for a minute or two to just let it sink in The writer shows admiration for Ali as an elite boxer at the highest level At the same time, there is disgust for how Ali handled situations in his personal life Of course that disgust extends towards the way Ali treated Frazier and how Ali went about dismissing his draft for Vietnam Kram points out that much of what this book is based on contains experience of his personal dealings with both Frazier and Ali as a sports writer In that way, Kram is not apologetic about treating this story in a highly subjectve matter Still, you get the feeling that the man knows exactly what he s talking about.I have to say that the book started promising and later started to dissapoint Everything leading up to the Fight of the Century in 1971 seems laced with exaggerated use of symbols and excessive use of overly descriptive language to impress both the reader and the writer himself It became a little much for me English is not my native language, but I don t think that this is the problem Overkill is the word that comes to mind when thinking of Mark Kram s enormously descriptive wording of certain events Luckily for me, the arc of the story and it s wording took a turn for the best in the latter stages of the book At some points the writing style of Mark Kram that I am critical of actually aided in packing one hell of a punch in a few parts of the story.In many ways I am glad I read Ghosts of Manila However, I would be lying if I said it wasn t a struggle Ultimately, the purpose of this book is to show the reader what led up to the Thrilla in Manila and the toll it took on both fighters and everyone involved in the makings of the fight That is what I wanted to get out of reading this book and I sure as hell got it

  9. Jonathan says:

    What is it about boxing that seems to inspire the greatest sportswriters Is it the mortal danger a fighter faces each times he steps nto the ring Is it the scoundrels, cheats, and hustlers who latch onto every contender like so many mosquitos Or is it the sad end that awaits the boxer, addled and decrepit in his final years Boxing is beauty, brutality, and tragedy, and it is hard to imagine anyone portraying themvividly than the late Mark Kram in Ghosts of Manilla Kram writes in the What is it about boxing that seems to inspire the greatest sportswriters Is it the mortal danger a fighter faces each times he steps nto the ring Is it the scoundrels, cheats, and hustlers who latch onto every contender like so many mosquitos Or is it the sad end that awaits the boxer, addled and decrepit in his final years Boxing is beauty, brutality, and tragedy, and it is hard to imagine anyone portraying themvividly than the late Mark Kram in Ghosts of Manilla Kram writes in the cadence of poetry, the style of noir fiction, to describe the awful price boxing extracted from its two greatest rivals, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Given how beloved Ali was during the final two decades of his life, Kram s revisionist take on Ali s celebrated opposition to the Vietnam War is bracing but persuasive Kram gives Frazier his due, and allows him to step out of the shadow of Ali who would haunt the embittered Frazier the rest of his days As Kram notes, neither man ever really left that ring in Manilla

  10. Michael Evans says:

    A story can be told many different ways Typically, we remember people the way we want to remember them Often times we remember the good times And other times, we remember only the bad The truth is alwayscomplicated It getscomplicated, borderline delusional, when it comes to our heroes As I ve grown older I have had to learn to remember appreciate the good while not ignoring the bad The truth is alwayscomplicated.In this book, Kram tells the complicated and intersecting A story can be told many different ways Typically, we remember people the way we want to remember them Often times we remember the good times And other times, we remember only the bad The truth is alwayscomplicated It getscomplicated, borderline delusional, when it comes to our heroes As I ve grown older I have had to learn to remember appreciate the good while not ignoring the bad The truth is alwayscomplicated.In this book, Kram tells the complicated and intersecting life stories of Cassius Clay and Joe Frazier Hero worship aside, they both inspired and showed greatness in the prize ring What I appreciate about Kram is the candor of he clearly he has respect and love for both men, yet he insists on telling an honest story America puts its idols on a pedestal one day completely ignores that man or woman the next day Kram both highlights the truth greatness of both, while also not ignoring the flaws It s refreshing All will be revealed one day anyway There is a justice higher than that of man, separating truth from fiction

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