This Day In Sports History (May 8th) — Fight of the Century
It was on this day in 1971 that the “Fight of the Century” took place between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden in New York. It was the first of three epic bouts between these two fearless combatants.
With both of these heavyweights owning undefeated records, and Frazier owning the belt at the time, this bout was being referred to as “The Fight of the Century.” It attracted the interest of several celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Woody Allen, Diana Ross and Dustin Hoffman, and it was televised worldwide.
Frazier and his trainer, Eddie Futch, had developed a strategy to throw a left hook to Ali’s head anytime he went for a right upper-cut, and it worked to perfection, as he stunned Ali in the 11th and knocked him down in the 15th, en route to the unanimous decision victory. This would end up being Frazier’s only victory against Ali, as he came up short in each of their next two meetings.
Sadly, Frazier passed away on November 7, 2011, but despite his passing, he will always be remembered for his tenacity in the ring and his epic trilogy against Ali.
Here are some highlights from “The Fight of the Century.”
Sonny Liston, Boxing – Born on May 8, 1932 in Sand Slough, Arkansas
Ronnie Lott, NFL – Born on May 8,1959 (age 54) in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Adrian Gonzalez, MLB – Born on May 8, 1982 (age 31) in San Diego, California