There was definitely no ‘smoka in Boca’!

Published 8:06 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

If you all will, please forgive me for my sports references. I have always been a sports fan and have liked many different sports. One that is not very popular these days, but was years ago, is professional boxing. I begin with a mention simply to bring to your mind one of the greatest promotional themes of all time.

When Muhammed Ali returned to the boxing ring after his banishment for refusal to submit to the military draft, he had to reclaim his lofty status as heavyweight champion of the world. Standing right in the middle of the ring, blocking his status was a really good fighter from Philadelphia by the name of Joe Frazier.

Ali and Frazier did not like each other, personally, and fought three times. Frazier won the first, Ali the second, and the third was to be in sporting parlance, “the rubber match.” It was scheduled to be fought in capital city of The Philippines, Manila.

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Muhammed Ali, if he knew how to do one thing, was to create a rhyme. Here is what he said about the fight in Manila. He said it would be “a Killa and a Thrilla and a Chilla when I get that gorilla in Manila.” From that moment on, the fight was dubbed “The Thrilla in Manila.”

Last night we saw the third debate between the heavyweights who are duking it out for the right to be the president of the United States of America for the next four years. The first was in Denver and most folks — even those in the current president’s camp — feel that the challenger, Gov. Mitt Romney dominated.

The second debate was held last week at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y. President Barack Obama, I’m sure, knew that he could not play the game as he had the first one and came out much more aggressively. It was a matter of self-preservation and he did not lose.

The sparks flew and, due to the town hall format, they circled each other as if they were in a boxing ring. The results were not definitive and the set-up for the third debate led me to anticipate what I would call a knock-down-drag-out, to use a phrase familiar with a serious fight. In my quest to find a promotional theme worthy, I dubbed it “The Smoka in Boca.”

It did not turn out to be a feisty fight, but a pretty tame discussion of foreign policy, the subject. Romney seemed intent on not losing any of the ground that he had already gained. As we say in football at the end of the game, he played a “prevent” defense.

It remains to be seen whether his strategy worked. Two weeks to go and it will be nonstop for the two candidates. It’s a very close election and very important. It might be the most important in a long time. I hope you are intending to vote.