Thursday, September 20, 2012

Slasher Cup: Cockfighting in the Philippines

A banner at the top of the Araneta coliseum in Manila reminds us that this place was home to one of the most epic fights in history: The "Thrilla in Manila" that in 1975, for the third and final time, brought face to face Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier to fight for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World. The cocky but totally exhausted Ali prevailed, after the coach of a heavily punished and almost blind Frazier stopped the fight before the 15th and last round.

These days other fighters, cocky in their own way, engage in a no-prisoners combat at the same venue. During the World Slasher Cup, the Olympic Games of cockfighting, hundreds of fights take place in a pit almost identical to a boxing ring.

As each fight is about to start, the shouting among the Kristos or betters starts to go in a crescendo until it becomes generalized yelling in the arena. The roosters are given the go. They study each other for a few seconds. Then a flash, a cross or two of their sharp blades, feathers flying around and the fight is over, one of them biting the dust.

Next fight.

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

© nacho hernandez, all rights reserved

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