Boxing And Cultural Icons Muhammad Ali And Joe Fraizer

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The ‘Thrilla in Manila’, of 1975, was the third and final fight between boxing and cultural icons Muhammad Ali and Joe Fraizer, in a spectacle whose symbolic significance transcended sport. African-American boxers, such as Ali and Fraizer, became political symbols and their fight denoted an event in which a divisive social conflict could battle for supremacy. Don King defined the fight as a “symbolic black happening” where the world would learn that “there is more to Africa than beads, bones, and beating drums”. Routinely, Ali emphasised the importance of such a duel describing himself as the “freedom fighter” against Fraizer who, despite too being an African-American, represented the “oppressor of all black nations”, after being…show more content…
Kram states that he was, in fact, once a reviled revolutionary, but after lighting the torch to open the 1996 Olympics with a frozen expression and a quivering hand, the drama of the moment sparked a love affair that continues to this day. Kram’s revisionism is essentially arguing that our recent view of Ali has lead to society viewing his past through a lens shaped by ill-informed perceptions. In ‘Ghosts of Manila’, Kram undermines what he coins to be the “Ali myth.” He writes that “current hagiographers have tied themselves in knots trying to elevate Ali into a heroic, defiant catalyst of black independence”. A central theme of Kram 's book is that Ali is less than he seems to be, especially as a political and social force, that he was an empty canvas upon which the uninformed painted a world idol. He fails to note any significant actions in which Ali positively transformed race relations. At Sports Illustrated, Kram covered Ali during an era when reporters had almost unending access to the fighters, being able to eat with them, travel with them and talk to them in the locker room. ‘Ghosts of Manilla’ is a narrative rather than a biography based on Kram 's recollections filled with illuminating firsthand anecdotes after the number of private meetings that he was able to have with Ali. Kram, therefore, is a more qualified scholar than most whose work can be distinct from the
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