A Trip down the Memory Lane of Best Fight in Boxing History


The most influential athlete and Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali came up against  Joe Frazier who was a WBA, WBC, and The Ring heavyweight champion at that time, for the heavyweight championship title on 8 March 1971 which is still recognized as the fight of the century.

In this blog, we will go through the details of the historical background of the Best fight in Boxing History, Technical analysis of that fight, Records broken, and aftereffects of that boxing bout.

A Trip down the Memory Lane of Best Fight in Boxing History

Historical Backdrop of Best Fight in Boxing History

Both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali were undefeated and heavyweight champions in their respective competitions. So, they were competing for the “World heavyweight champion” title but this was not the main reason for the hype and popularity of this fight.

Before this fight, Muhammad Ali won the heavyweight championship that was later turned down due to his view on the American government in the Vietnam War. Therefore, people started tagging him as a traitor. While on the other hand, Joe Frazier was in favor of the American Government taking part in the Vietnam War.

Furthermore, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali both had severe animosity at a personal level. People who were anti-establishment were backing up Muhammad Ali to win the fight while the Pro-establishment people supported Frazier to win the fight.

Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier Comparison:

Muhammad Ali Vs Joe Frazier
Died at the age of 74 Age Died at the age of 67
6 Feet 3 Inches (191 cm) Height 5 Feet 11 ½ Inches (181 cm)
The Greatest Alias Smokin' Joe
93.21 (205 ½ lbs) Weight 98 Kg (215lbs)
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
78 Inches (198 Inches) Reach 73 Inches (185)
61- 56- 5- 0 Boxing Record 37- 32- 4- 1
37 Knockout Wins 27
Heavyweight Division Heavyweight

Historical Backdrop of Best Fight in Boxing History

How people turned up for this match around the globe?

The fight took place at Madison Square Garden New York and before the fight the environment outside the arena was electrifying. There was a circus-like atmosphere and people were chanting the names of their respective boxers intensifying the fight even more.

Fans, children, and celebrities were dressed up to support their favorite boxers, and thousands of security personnel were applied to avoid any mismanagement. Not only in America, people were looking forward to this fight from all around the globe. Many renowned celebrities like Lancaster, popular painters, and photographers attended the fight. Almost 21,000 fans attended the Best Fight in Boxing history in the arena.

Descriptive Analysis of the Fight:

The fight was crazy, going on for 15 rounds when not everyone expected it. At first, Ali was like a boxing wizard, jabbing Frazier left and right for the first five rounds.

But after that, Ali got tired. Frazier threw a powerful left hook in the eighth round, making Ali stumble into the ring's center. Things got messy, and the referee had to step in.

The eleventh round was wild. Frazier hit Ali with a left hook, and it seemed like Ali might fall, but the referee didn't count it as a knockdown. They kept going, with Frazier landing heavy hits, and Ali stumbling around.

By the 15th round, Frazier was winning according to the judges. Ali's jaw was swollen, and he even fell early in the round. But surprise, Ali got up and stayed on his feet despite Frazier's strong punches. In the end, the judges decided Frazier won, and it was Ali's first loss in the ring. It was a real up-and-down kind of fight.

How people turned up for this match around the globe?

Bout Result:

The fight totally lived up to the expectations of the fans around the world and was taken down to the wire by the boxers. However, Joe Frazier walked out as the winner of the Best Fight in Boxing history

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Total
Artie Aidala (judge) A A F F F F F A A F F F A A F Frazier, 9-6-0
Bill Recht (judge) F A F F A F F F A F F F F A F Frazier, 11-4-0
Art Mercante (referee) A A F F F A A F A A F - F F F Frazier, 8-6-1

Viewership records and Earnings from the match:

This fight was one of the most viewed matches in the history of sports and athletics. It was telecasted in more than 50 countries and in 12 languages. Around 300 million people watched this fight on the live telecast across the globe. Most of the viewership among these numbers was from the United Kingdom.

This fight was hailed as the Fight of the Century or the Best Fight in Boxing history and also saw record revenue from a single boxing fight or any sporting match. The arena could manage only 21000 fans while different closed circuit venues were arranged in many cities or the USA and even in London, UK.

The management earned from the ticket sales of the fight inside the arena and from closed-circuit events. Besides this, the record live viewership also contributed to the revenue of this fight. The ticket sales of closed circuit venues and arenas earned $45.8 Million at that time which today becomes around $300 Million after adjusting for inflation.

Viewership records and Earnings from the match:

Aftereffects of the Best Fight in Boxing History:

Muhammad Ali lost the fight but he didn't accept it and he was declared the loser on racial grounds. Therefore, he asked for a rematch with Joe Frazier. Joe lost the title to George Foreman after almost two years and Muhammad Ali the ln fought with George Foreman and claimed the World Heavyweight championship. Before this fight, Ali and Frazier took on each other in their second bout and Muhammad Ali won comfortably.

Later, both Ali and Frazier fought for the third time in the fight which is regarded as Thrilla in Manila and Ali claimed the victory again. By this time, the Vietnam war was over and people were not biassed against any boxer and accepted Muhammad Ali as the World Heavyweight Champion.