What happened when Muhammad Ali was invited to the hotel room of three models

Josh Barrie@JoshBythesea
Sunday 05 June 2016 11:20
Celebrities

The Thriller in Manila is widely regarded as the greatest boxing match in history.

Muhammad Ali, who died on June 3 at the age of 74, beat Joe Frazier in the epic match in the Philippines on October 1st 1975.

So much can be said about Ali's bout with Frazier - it was shrouded in political unrest, social injustice, and the boxing duo's cutting exchanges in the months prior.

But all that has been talked about. Ali has always been in the limelight - deservedly so.

Here, sports commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz, who was assigned by then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos to act as the Philippine government liaison to Ali, recalls an encounter with three female British models at a dinner in Manila.

In an interview on the BBC in which Ali's playfulness and fiery charisma are discussed, Nathanielsz is then asked about the 'seriousness' of The Greatest of All Time - a man 'fighting for his race and his religion'. Ali converted to Islam in 1964.

Nathanielsz's anecdote centres around a formal dinner in Manila. He explains that the "beautiful" women from the UK asked the boxing hero up to their room afterwards.

Ali and Nathanielsz accepted the invitation - and Ali proceeded to talk earnestly to their new friends about Islam until 3 o'clock in the morning.

Nathanielsz says Ali's take on the encounter was:

I fooled them, didn't I?

You can probably say that again.

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