How many of you remember the "Fight of the Century," the first fight between Ali and Frazier? I think what made the fight magical was that neither fighter had ever lost and the country was split in half over the Vietnam War. Ali's pre-fight promotion made Frazier appear as an "Uncle Tom" and the "white man's champion" because he knew the Moral Majority in America resented him for defying his "duty to fight" for his country. Ali and Frazier were both guaranteed 2.5 million to fight. That's alot of $, but what they really should have taken was the 1.25 million plus a split of 35% of the gate--that would have earned them each 9 million!
I went with my father and brother to the HIC to see the fight on closed-circuit TV. I was for Frazier because I am always for the underdog. Frazier was a BIG underdog at the time and I think Vegas had the fight 2-1 in favor of Ali. It was electric that night at the HIC. My father wanted Frazier and my brother wanted Ali. I sat between them and heard "Go, Joe!" from my father and my brother chanting, "Ali, Ali, Ali!" It seemed as though Ali was piling up points and would either KO Frazier or win a unanimous decision by the 10th Round, but Frazier's LION HEART would not be denied. Frazier took control in the 11th Round and almost had Ali down on the canvas. Frazier decked Ali about a half-minute into the 15th Round and the crowd at Madison Square Garden was going nuts. At the HIC it was more subdued because it was a pro-Ali crowd. Frazier won a unanimous decision and retained his heavyweight title.
My father was so happy that Frazier won that he took us to the Ranch House in Aina Haina to celebrate.Posted by Kirby at March 15, 2004 05:59 AM