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MUHAMMAD "THE GREATEST" ALI - MAGAZINE UNSIGNED - HFSID 261985

This unsigned March 5, 1971 LIFE magazine, with a cover story on Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, was published just three days before the first of their three fights, dubbed the "Fight of the Century", at Madison Square Garden.

Sale Price $67.50

Reg. $75.00

Condition: fine condition
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MUHAMMAD ALI This unsigned March 5, 1971 LIFE magazine, with a cover story on Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, was published just three days before the first of their three fights, dubbed the "Fight of the Century", at Madison Square Garden. Magazine Unsigned. Color, 76 pages with covers, 10½x13¼, bound with three staples. March 5, 1971 edition of LIFE, with address label at left edge. Cover story: "Backstage with/Ali and Frazier/Battle/of the Champs". This magazine is dated three days before Ali and Frazier's April 8, 1971 fight at Madison Square Garden, dubbed "The Fight of the Century". At stake was Frazier's title as undisputed world heavyweight champion, as well as both boxers' undefeated records (Ali was 26-0 going into the fight, while Frazier was 31-0). Heavily hyped, the atmosphere on fight night could charitably be called "circus-like", with celebrities (Burt Lancaster was a color commentator) and flamboyantly-dressed fans. But the 15-round fight lived up to the hype, with Ali harrying Frazier in the firth three rounds and Frazier dominating after the eleventh. Ali had several disadvantages coming into the fight. He had just come off a three-year jail sentence for refusing the draft and a tough win over Oscar Bonavena. Frazier also trained specifically against Ali's style for the fight. Frazier won the fight in a unanimous decision, handing Ali his first professional loss and retaining his title. The two fought two more times: again at Madison Square Garden in 1974 and in the legendary Thrilla in Manila in Manila, the Philippines in 1975. On Feb. 25, 1964, MUHAMMAD ALI (1942-2016), born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky in 1942, knocked out champion Sonny Liston in the seventh round in Miami Beach to win the World Heavyweight title. He was stripped of his title in 1967 for refusing military service. On Oct. 30, 1974, Ali KO'd George Foreman in the eighth round in Zaire to regain the title. Leon Spinks became champ when he won a 15-round decision over Ali on Feb. 15, 1978 in Las Vegas but lost a rematch with Ali in New Orleans in another 15-round decision on Sept. 15, 1978. Ali retired as World Heavyweight Champion in 1979. He is the only three-time World Heavyweight Champion. Ali was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. An Olympic gold medal winner in 1964, JOE FRAZIER (1944-2011), born Joseph William Frazier in Beaufort, South Carolina, went on to reign as the undefeated heavyweight world champion from Feb. 16, 1970 to Jan. 22, 1973. After winning "the fight of the century", he later lost to Ali twice, in January of 1974 and September of 1975. Soon after losing to Foreman again at the 1976 world championships, Frazier retired. He staged an unsuccessful comeback fight in 1981, in which he reached a draw with Floyd Cummings, before retiring for good. Frazier was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Lightly toned, scuffed, and creased. Light tears and scuffing marks along all four edges. Rusted staples. Otherwise, fine condition.

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