March 8, 1971: Fight of the Century in Photos

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On the 48th anniversary of The Fight of the Century, look back at the spectacular matchup between undefeated heavyweights Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. After being stripped of the heavyweight title for refusing the 1967 Vietnam draft, Ali sought to reclaim his championship from defender Frazier. The match lasted a full 15 rounds. Although Ali dominated the first few, Frazier landed a series of blows that found Ali dropped on the canvas. Frazier won by unanimous decision, but this was just the beginning of the heavyweight saga.


<p>Muhammad Ali, red trunks, and Joe Frazier, green trunks, are shown during round 5 or 6 of their bout in New York’s Madison Square Garden, March 8, 1971. (John Lindsay/AP Photo) </p>
Ali Connects

Muhammad Ali, red trunks, and Joe Frazier, green trunks, are shown during round 5 or 6 of their bout in New York’s Madison Square Garden, March 8, 1971. (John Lindsay/AP Photo)

<p>Heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, left, has challenged Muhammad Ali, right, on the ropes during the fourth round of their heavyweight title bout, Monday, March 8, 1971, New York. (AP Photo) </p>
On the Ropes

Heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, left, has challenged Muhammad Ali, right, on the ropes during the fourth round of their heavyweight title bout, Monday, March 8, 1971, New York. (AP Photo)

<p>Boxer Muhammad Ali, left, and Joe Frazier, center, shown in action at Madison Square Garden, New York on March 8, 1971. Ali knocked down by Joe Frazier, however Frazier won in the 15th round. Referee Art Mercante is shown on the right. (AP Photo) </p>
Frazier Right Hook

Boxer Muhammad Ali, left, and Joe Frazier, center, shown in action at Madison Square Garden, New York on March 8, 1971. Ali knocked down by Joe Frazier, however Frazier won in the 15th round. Referee Art Mercante is shown on the right. (AP Photo)

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<p>American heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier (L) kept his title at the end of the fight called the “match of the century” against his compatriot Muhammad Ali at the Madison Square Garden, in New York, March 08 1971. (AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Frazier Jab

American heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier (L) kept his title at the end of the fight called the “match of the century” against his compatriot Muhammad Ali at the Madison Square Garden, in New York, March 08 1971. (AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A picture taken March 08 1971 in New York at the Madison Square Garden of the heavyweight boxing world championship fight between Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) (on the floor) and Joe Fazier at the end of which Frazier kept his title of heavyweight boxing world champion. (AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Recovery

A picture taken March 08 1971 in New York at the Madison Square Garden of the heavyweight boxing world championship fight between Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) (on the floor) and Joe Fazier at the end of which Frazier kept his title of heavyweight boxing world champion. (AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Boxer Muhammad Ali crouches on the canvas as Joe Frazier circles in background (not seen) after Ali slipped during the 11th round of their title fight, March 8, 1971, New York. (AP Photo) </p>
On the Canvas

Boxer Muhammad Ali crouches on the canvas as Joe Frazier circles in background (not seen) after Ali slipped during the 11th round of their title fight, March 8, 1971, New York. (AP Photo)

<p>Muhammad Ali takes a left from Joe Frazier during the 15th round of their heavyweight title boxing bout in New York. Frazier won a unanimous decision. Prime seats were $150 – an astonishing sum at the time – and they could have sold them for twice that price. (AP Photo) </p>
Ali Takes a Left

Muhammad Ali takes a left from Joe Frazier during the 15th round of their heavyweight title boxing bout in New York. Frazier won a unanimous decision. Prime seats were $150 – an astonishing sum at the time – and they could have sold them for twice that price. (AP Photo)

<p>Joe Frazier hits Muhammad Ali with a left during the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight at New York’s Madison Square garden in this March 8, 1971 photo. (AP Photo) </p>
Frazier Lands Punch

Joe Frazier hits Muhammad Ali with a left during the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight at New York’s Madison Square garden in this March 8, 1971 photo. (AP Photo)

<p>Joe Frazier knocks down Muhammad Ali in the 15th round of the “Fight of the Century.” (AP Photo) </p>
Knocked Down in the 15th

Joe Frazier knocks down Muhammad Ali in the 15th round of the “Fight of the Century.” (AP Photo)

<p>Boxer Joe Frazier being directed to the ropes by referee Arthur Marcante after knocking down Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of the title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 8, 1971. (AP Photo) </p>
To the Ropes

Boxer Joe Frazier being directed to the ropes by referee Arthur Marcante after knocking down Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of the title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 8, 1971. (AP Photo)

<p>Muhammad Ali is down on the canvas after being floored by Joe Frazier in the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight in New York, March 8, 1971. Frazier won on a decision. (AP Photo) </p>
Floored

Muhammad Ali is down on the canvas after being floored by Joe Frazier in the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight in New York, March 8, 1971. Frazier won on a decision. (AP Photo)

<p>A battered Muhammad Ali walks back to his corner as a triumphant Joe Frazier, background, celebrates his title defense after the 15th round of their title bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971. (AP Photo) </p>
Defeat

A battered Muhammad Ali walks back to his corner as a triumphant Joe Frazier, background, celebrates his title defense after the 15th round of their title bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971. (AP Photo)

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