Today in Sports History: March 8

In 1971, American professional boxer Joe Frazier beat American professional boxer Muhammad Ali, and broke his 31-fight winning streak. It was called the “Fight of the Century,” at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

Frazier won the heavyweight boxing title by unanimous decision in 15 rounds. Frazier threw a left hook in the 15th round that sent Ali to the side of the ring. It was Ali’s first defeat in his career. Frazier went on for two years and defended his title until losing to George Foreman in 1973. The following year he met Ali in another match and lost. 

In 1975, Frazier was having cataract issues and knew his last fight was going to be with Ali. The two of them fought into 14 rounds, but his trainer would not let him go to another round 15. In 1976, Frazier decided one last fight against Foreman before retiring. He was knocked out in the fifth round and retired right after that fight. 

Throughout his career he won the Philadelphia Golden Gloves novice heavyweight championship, Middle Atlantic Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship, Olympic Gold Medal in heavyweight boxing, New York State heavyweight boxing title, and the World Boxing Association heavyweight boxing title. He finished his career with an overall record of 32-4-1 and 27 knockouts. 

He was later inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 for his phenomenal career.

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