‘Thrilla in Manila’: Muhammad Ali’s iconic white trunks from epic bout expected to fetch $6m at auction

Frazier, nicknamed ‘Smokin’ Joe’, had won the first meeting between the pair four years earlier, becoming the first man to defeat Ali when he successfully defended his world heavyweight title via unanimous decision in New York.

Ali won a controversial non-title rematch in 1974, paving the way for a rubber fight the following year, by which time he had regained the world crown by beating George Foreman in another iconic bout, the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

And the third meeting also went the way of Ali after 14 gruelling rounds when Frazier was retired by his corner team.

The bouts are considered by many to be the greatest trilogy in boxing history.

As well as being signed by Ali, the Everlast trunks are also inscribed by his corner man, Drew ‘Bundini’ Brown, who died in 1988 – they fetched just $1,000 (£800) when auctioned after his death.

Ali, one of sport’s legendary figures died in June 2016 at the age of 74 after living with Parkinson’s Disease for much of his post-boxing life, while Frazier passed away in 2011 at the age of 67.

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