Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier Brawl Out In Historic Fight – March 8, 1971 (This Day In Boxing History)
Fifty-one years ago, boxing fans were gifted the “Fight of the Century.”
March 8, 1971 marked the return of Muhammad Ali. But his opponent was just as exciting as his return, who was none other than fellow undefeated heavyweight and WBC and WBA world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.
Ali returned after a three-year absence after boxing commissions revoked his license for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. On the night of the fight, it’s said that millions were following the fight in person, on TV or on radio, and most were cheering for Ali.
Ali landed more punches, but Frazier’s seemed to have more impact.
Towards the second half of the bout, Ali seemed to be a little more winded than his opponent, despite being able to dodge some punches and throw some back.
By the 15th round, Frazier sealed his win when he knocked down Ali with a left hook to the chin – marking just the third time Ali went down in his career.
Frazier retained his titles via unanimous decision and served Ali the first loss of his illustrious career.
They fought two more times, in 1974 and 1975, both times Ali got revenge.