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Salamat sa "Thrilla In Manila," nagbago ang tingin ng mundo sa Pilipinas


PhilBoxing.com





Alam ba ninyo na ang paghaharap nina Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest,” at “Smokin “Joe Frazier para sa kampeonato sa heavyweight sa daidig na hawak ng una na bininyagang “Thrilla In Manila” at natakdang maganap dito sa Maynila noong Oktubre 1, 1975 ay muntik nang hindi matuloy?

Dahil sa, ayon na rin kay Louisville Lip mismo, sa masasamang balitang nababasa niya noon sa malalaking pahayagan sa Estados Unidos tungkol sa Pilipinas ang nagbunsod sa kanya upang di tuparin ang bahagi niya sa kontrata.

Sa isang impormal na pakipag-usap ni Ali sa mga mamamahayag sa kanyang Manila Hotel suits ilang araw bago ang laban, inamin ng kampeon na nangangamba siya at miyembro ng kanyang kampo sa kanilang kaligtasan sa pagpunta sa Pilipinas.

Marami, aniya ang nagpayo sa kanya, ilan mismo dito ay mga Pilipino, na mapanganib na magpunta sa Maynila. May mga nagsabi sa kanya, dugtong ni Ali, na “there was shooting on the streets and fighting and people getting killed and that the Filipino people were no good.” “They (Filipinos) hate you, you are muslim, they are killing muslims, it’s just like Hitler.” Pagdating lamang niya at ni Frazier, kaya niya napagtanto na ang lahat ng mga narinig niya tungkol sa Pilipinas at mga Pilipino, kay Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ay salat sa katotohanan.

“Lying dogs, lying people!” bulalas ng kampeon tukoy ang mga dayuhang mamamahayag), “Filipinos are the sweetest people in the world. I see muslims and Christians hugging ang kissing each other.”

Noong mga panahong iyon, tulad ng mga kaganapan ngayon, ay nasa kainitan ang kampanya ng mga kalaban ni Marcos na hiyain siya at ang itinatag niyang New Society subalit sa halip na mangyari ito, ang nasira at napahiya ay ang buong bansa at ang lahing Pilipino.

Kalaunan, ani Ali, ay napag-isip-isip niyang tumuloy sa Pilipinas kung saan ay nalaman niyang lahat ng mga negatibong balitang ikinakalat ng mga dayuhang press “were nothing but lies, lies, lies.”

“When white men in America and some of my own Muslim brothers tol dme about those horrible stories about the Philippines, that made me more determined to get to the truth,” aniya.

“I will believe it (only) when I see for myself,” wika ni Ali. ’And what I have been seeing (since setting my foot here) are the exact opposite of what I was told.”

Sa mga narinig niya tungkol kay Pangulong Makoy, sinabi ni Ali: “he is a great and humble man who is trying to do what is best for his people. It was a great honor to meet a man of his stature and courage.”

Ayon kay Ali, si Marcos ang nagbigay sa kanya “the right and privilege to be paid for his work, which I will use as what I had done in the past, and what the President would’ve wanted it, help poor people by building schools, hospitals, houses and enabling colored children to have decent future.”

Pinuri ng kampeon ang pamahalaan sa pagsisikap nitong madala ang laban sa Pilipinas para mabago ang pagtingin ng buong daigdig sa bansa at sa mga Pilipinong pinipilit sirain ng mga taong ang hangad ay maupo sa kapangyarihan.

At talaga namang 47 taon na ang nakararaan mula ng matapos ang saga ng Thrilla in Manila, kahit na ano ang nangyari sa dalawang nagharap, na kapuwa pumanaw na, ang alaala ng huli sa tatlong beses nilang pagkikita sa ring ay patuloy na namamalagi sa isipan ng lahat – Pilipinas, Mayniia, Pilipino at ang kanilang kagandahang asal kung bakit sila napamahal sa lahat ng tao sa mundo.

Thrilla in Manila --The fight of the Year, The fight of the Century, The Greatest Fight of All Time, -- ay hndi lamang nagpatingkad sa karangalang “The Greatest” kay Ali, ito rin, salamat kay Ali, Frazier at Pangulong Marcos, ang nagsilbing instrumentong nagbalik Pilipinas sa pagkilalang muntik na maglaho dahil sa maduming uri ng pulitika.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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