Kram’s contribution to At the Fights is “Lawdy, Lawdy, He’s Great,” his report for Sports Illustrated on the third and final contest between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975—the famous “Thrilla in Manila.” Great Men Die Twice reprints that piece—and also makes it the basis of a new promotional video in which actor James Fouhey reads Kram’s text against the backdrop of an empty boxing gym. Fouhey’s resonant tones bring to life Kram’s description of the world heavyweight champion:
The maddest of existentialists, one of the great surrealists of our time, the king of all he sees, Ali had never before appeared so vulnerable and fragile, so pitiably unmajestic, so far from the universe he claims as his alone. He could barely hold his fork, and he lifted the food slowly up to his bottom lip, which had been scraped pink.Enjoy the full video below—and check out the links beneath the video for additional boxing-related Reader’s Almanac posts.
- Rodney Welch on the many contradictory lessons in At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing
- Robert Lipsyte describes how Cassius Clay met The Beatles
- Forty years ago, the first Muhammad Ali–Joe Frazier bout, touted as “The Fight of the Century,” linked their legends forever
- George Kimball and John Schulian share their favorite boxing stories about Ali-Frazier, Stanley Ketchel, Bummy Davis