EVENT: FRAZIER vs. ALI I
Champion Joe Frazier and challenger Muhammad Ali were both guaranteed a then-record $2.5-million purse for the fight. Dubbed “The Fight of the Century,” the bout lived up to the hype. It went the full 15 rounds, and was a back-and-forth tussle until round 11, when Frazier landed a solid left hook that shook Ali. After that, the champ didn’t look back. Frazier was awarded the victory via unanimous decision, dealing Ali his first professional loss.
EVENT: ALI vs. FRAZIER II
The rematch between Ali and Frazier wasn’t considered as entertaining or meaningful as the first encounter, since no title was on the line. But there was still a lot of buildup to the fight, including a pre-fight scuffle during an interview on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. The fight went to Ali by unanimous decision, prompting Frazier to declare he got robbed. His take: He was more aggressive and landed harder punches. Obviously, the judges didn’t agree. There was a rubber match between the two that you may have heard of — The Thrilla in Manila. But it didn’t take place at MSG. Ali won by TKO.