The “Thrilla in Manila” was the third (and most famous) fight between boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. A documentary about the fight will air on HBO tonight.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Frazier explains his absurd theory as to why Ali has Parkinson’s Disease:
… as a Christian, Frazier said, he isn’t surprised by it, either.
“I’m sorry that he is the way he is, but I didn’t have too much to do with it. It was the good man above,” Frazier said. “Maybe I did have a little to do with it, but God judges, you know what I’m saying? We don’t have the power to judge that the man has above.”
Frazier believes that Ali’s arrogant boasts of “I am the greatest!” were “a slap in the Lord’s face,” and that he did the same to his family when he changed his name from Cassius Clay to reflect his Muslim beliefs.
Ali was cocky, so God gave him a life-altering disease. That sounds about right.
Ron Gold puts it well:
I can’t think of a better advertisement for Christianity: “Be a humble Christian, or God will give you Parkinson’s!”