This week, Joe Frazier was honored with a statue commemorating his epic "Fight of the Century" with Muhammad Ali in Madison Square Garden. The statue was unveiled was both the Ali and Frazier families celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first showdown in their legendary trilogy.
"It's the still biggest event that has ever happened in the history of sports,'' Joe Frazier Jr. said.
The two entered the ring at Madison Square Garden in 1971 as undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champions. Ali was heading into his third fight after a lengthy layoff due to his decision not to enlist in the military during the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, Frazier was coming off of wins against Bob Frazier, Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis. Ultimately, Frazier pulled off the upset and earned a unanimous decision. The two would go on to fight twice more with Ali winning both matches.
With both men having passed away, the two have been memorialized in a number of ways. For Ali, he has been honored through television series, films, clothing and much more. Frazier has been spotlighted through documentaries and books. The daughters of both fighters even met in a championship boxing match twenty years ago. Now, the two men, who overcame systemic racism, discrimination and economic barriers to reach the highest levels of their sport, will be honored with a 1,600-pound statue. The state of Pennsylvania has also rolled out a mural honoring the Philadelphia legend.
"I want you to see the statue and I want you to think of Joe Frazier and Ali, not for where they just were, but where they came from,'' Frazier Jr. added.
"They came from work and dedication.''
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