FANTASTIC POSTER-SIZED ACTION PHOTOGRAPH OF THE FAMOUS "THRILLA IN MANILA," SIGNED BY PHOTOGRAPHER NEIL LEIFER, ONE OF ONLY 24 COPIES ALSO SIGNED BY BOTH ALI AND FRAZIER
(ALI, Muhammad and FRAZIER, Joe) LEIFER, Neil. Large original color photograph signed. Manila, Philippines: no publisher, October 1, 1975 (printed November, 1993). Poster-sized photographic print (sheet measures 20 inches by 24 inches), signed beneath the image; matted and framed, measures 30 by 31-1/2 inches. $7200.
Extraordinary poster-size color photograph of Smokin' Joe Frazier taking a punishing straight right hand from Muhammad Ali during the late rounds of the "Thrilla in Manila," one of only 24 signed by both Ali and Frazier and the photographer Leifer, from the total edition of only 350 copies printed.
October 1, 1975 was the third time that Smokin' Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali clashed, each having beaten the other once before. The "Thrilla in Manila" was a highpoint in Ali's fascinating career, and is ranked by many as the greatest Heavyweight Championship fight of all-time. After a brutal, punishing battle, Joe Frazier could not answer the bell for the 15th round, and Ali won by TKO. This image, shot by renowned sports photographer Neil Leifer, perfectly captures the passion of that Titanic match. Leifer chronicled Ali throughout his career and captured many of the defining images of "The Greatest"— such as the present photograph. "There's no sport I enjoy photographing as much as boxing," admits Leifer. "The atmosphere of a big-time fight-the crowd, the fashion show, all the celebrities— is electric… Over the last 42 years, I've shot almost every major fight and every major fighter… But my favorite subject, no matter what the sport, was and still is Muhammad Ali." Number 61 of only 350 copies; Muhammad Ali signed only 35 copies, and of those 35 copies, only 24 are additionally signed by Frazier. With certificates of authenticity documenting the original edition and the dates on which Ali (October 14, 1996) and Frazer (January 7, 2005) signed the piece.