Ali, Frazier and the Fight of the Century 50 years later


MANHATTAN — Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were both unbeaten when they met for the first time in what was billed the Fight of the Century.

The heavyweight title was at stake, and there were political and racial overtones in the clash at Madison Square Garden.

The stars and the star-struck came in their finest to watch as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier squared off in the Fight of the Century.

It was March 8, 1971, and those crowding their way into Madison Square Garden were attired in the fashion of the day.

That included full length fur coats, velvet pants and peacock feathered hats — and that was the men.

At ringside, Frank Sinatra had a camera in his hand, chronicling the scene for Life Magazine.

There were Kennedys in the building, as well as celebrities of the day.

The moonwalkers from Apollo 14 were on hand, too, still bearded from their trip to space.

PIX11 News takes a look back at the “Fight of the Century” with legendary broadcaster Tim Ryan, who called the bout on radio, but maybe not for the audience you’d expect.

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