Ali vs. Frazier

 

Perhaps there is no greater boxing story than the legendary fights between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier.  Ali and Frazier were both exceptional fighters but they had very different personalities and fighting styles.  In the 1970s, Ali and Frazier fought three times in the greatest clashes of boxing history.

By the late 1960s, Ali was the heavyweight world champion of the boxing ring.  He was 25 years old and had already won 29 fights.  He was big and boastful, often telling journalists that he was “the greatest of all time!”  Although some people thought he was arrogant, everyone could agree that he fought with grace and style.  It seemed no one could beat him.

In contrast, Joe Frazier was quiet and shunned the media attention that Ali desired.  Frazier was polite to his opponents before and during the boxing matches while Ali insulted his opponents.  Despite these differences, many people believed Joe Frazier had about the same boxing ability as Ali.  When Frazier fought Ali for the first time in 1971, his boxing record showed 26 wins and no losses.

They fought their first match in 1971.  During the long fight, Frazier knocked Ali to the ground.  Frazier won by unanimous decision.  The men fought again in New York City three years later.  This time, Ali was declared the winner.  The next year, they fought their final match in Manila.  It was a tremendous fight in the heat and humidity of the Philippines.  Ali won.  After the match, he admitted that he felt close to dying during the tough fight.



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