Sports stars are naturally some of the most competitive people in the world. As a result, they form rivalries with opposition athletes and teams. These create compelling storylines because fans are excited to see how these rivalries blossom and develop.
Today, we’re going to take a look at different sports stars and their own personal experiences with rival athletes. Some of these rivalries were iconic and intense but always respectful at the end of the day. However, others produced toxic emotions and resulted in darker outcomes. Check out the list below via Brittanica.
30. Ali and Frazier
Two of the greatest boxers of all time fought a ferocious and historic trilogy. Ali and Frazier also maintained the tensest of rivalries. A significant part of this was because Ali relentlessly trash-talked Frazier. He called him an ‘Uncle Tom’ and made fun of his appearances. “You’ll also see why I say he’s a gorilla,” Ali said. “You’ll see how ugly he is, and how pretty I am.”
Frazier won the first fight while Ali took the second. Finally, came the Thrilla in Manila. Ali won that too but absorbed an incredible amount of punishment. He said via NPR, “It was the closest to death that I could feel. This is too painful. It’s too much work. I might have a heart attack or something. I wanna get out while I’m on top.” Of course, his body paid the price in the long term.