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BOXING: Kram sheds new light on Ali's dark side.

TO read some of the reviews of Mark Kram's book Ghosts Of Manila (Harper Collins pounds 14.99), you'd think he'd come out in favour of the terrorist attacks on America.

Kram, a respected writer, HAS committed a crime in the eyes of many, however, by having the audacity to paint a less than flattering picture of Muhammad Ali.

This fascinating book (subtitled The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier) examines the nature and origins of that feud and it's fair to say Kram, not without reason, comes down heavily in favour of Smokin' Joe.

Kram's obvious dislike of Ali could probably have been tempered but it was precisely the uncritical fawning over the former champion which provoked him to write the book in the first place.

Kram wanted to show another, darker, Ali and he's done just that.

However, while The Greatest was no saint it's also reasonable to assume he isn't as shallow, stupid, malleable or mean- spirited as the author would have us believe.

The truth will almost certainly lie somewhere in bet-ween.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 11, 2001
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