Fight of the Century
Frazier won in 15 rounds via unanimous decision. It was the first of a trilogy, followed by the rematch fights Super Fight II and Thrilla in Manila. The Garden was packed with a sellout crowd of 20,455 that provided a gate of USD 1.5 million.
About Fight of the Century in brief
Frazier won in 15 rounds via unanimous decision. It was the first of a trilogy, followed by the rematch fights Super Fight II and Thrilla in Manila, both won by Ali. The fight held broader meaning for many Americans, as Ali had become a symbol of the left-wing anti-establishment movement during his government-imposed exile from the ring. The bout was noted for its broad appeal to non-boxing and non-sport fans, many of whom held an intense rooting interest in one of the fighters. Ringside seats were USD 150 and each man was guaranteed USD 2. 5 million. The Garden was packed with a sellout crowd of 20,455 that provided a gate of USD 1.5 million. On the evening of the match, Madison Square Garden had a circus-like atmosphere, with outrageously dressed fans, and countless celebrities from Woody Allen to Norman Mailer. The other commentators were play-by-play announcer Don Dunphy and closed-circuit boxing champion Archie Moore. Burt Lancaster served as a color commentator for the broadcast, though he had never performed as a sports commentator before, he was hired by the fight’s promoter, Jerry Perenchio, who was also a friend of Ali’s. The match, which had been dubbed \”The Fight,\” \”gripped the nation.
\”Just listen to the roar of this crowd!\” thundered Burt Lancaster, the color man, \”The tension and the excitement here is monumental!\” On the night of the fight, Nelson Mandela spoke about how excited everybody was for this fight, saying: “If they would have dropped the bomb onMadison Square Garden that night, the country wouldn’t been able to run. If you want to see the real Muhammad Ali, you have to go to New York City” The fight was sold to closed-Circuit broadcast screens around the world, and was closed to the public by Archie Moore and Archie Moore, who were also friends with Ali’s friend and promoter Jerry Perez, who also was a close friend of the boxer’s. It is widely regarded as the biggest fight in history and as arguably the most anticipated and hyped sporting event ever. In 1971, both Ali and Frazier had legitimate claims to the title of World Heavyweight Champion. Ali had won the title from Sonny Liston in Miami Beach in 1964, and successfully defended his belt up until he had it stripped by boxing authorities for refusing induction into the armed forces.