It was known as the “Fight of the Century”. Some call it the greatest fight ever. Forty-one years ago tonight, Muhammad Ali and Smokin’ Joe Frazier fought it out in New York’s Madison Square Garden for the heavyweight championship of the world. Both were undefeated. Frazier was the actual title holder, but many still recognized Ali as the champ because he had not lost his title in the ring. The fight was not carried by any television network, but was available in theaters throughout the country via closed circuit broadcast, helping to make it the biggest purse in boxing history up to that point, with each fighter taking home three million dollars. For celebrities, Madison Square Garden was the place to be that night, watching in person as two of the greatest boxers of all time battled tooth and nail for fifteen rounds. If you are over 50, where were you on that date? How do you remember the fight? Did your man win? Lose any money? Write back and tell us what you know. Thanks, Jamie
PS. Marvis Frazier, who was ten and one half at the time, spent that night at home listening to the round by round summaries on the radio. He and his family were advised not to attend since they had received so many death threats in the weeks leading up to the fight. They were provided with police protection for several days before and after the match. And yes, his man did win (did you see that Frazier left hook drop Ali in the 15th round?). As for me, I was fifteen and a pretty big fight fan even at that time. Like Marvis and family, my Dad and I sat in the kitchen all night on March 8, 1971, listening to the round by round summaries on the radio. Unlike the Frazier family though, the Potters had no need for police protection.