Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier statue unveiled 50 years after ‘Fight of the Century’

Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier statue unveiled 50 years after 'Fight of the Century'
Statue of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in Pennsylvania. (Image source: YouTube/CBS Philly)

The Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight boxing bout at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 8, 1971, remains arguably the greatest and most anticipated sporting event in American history. Sports pundits and fans reminisced lovingly this past weekend over the magnitude of this seismic clash of pugilists and their political ideologies of the time.

On Monday afternoon, March 8, 2021, a statue was unveiled commemorating the 50th anniversary of Ali’s and Frazier’s iconic boxing match.

“In 50 years, it’s still the biggest event that has ever happened in the history of sports. It transcends all generations,” Joe Frazier Jr. said, according to People magazine, during the unveiling in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles north of Philadelphia.

Sadly, Ali and Frazier are being honored posthumously. Frazier died in 2011 from cancer and Ali died five years later due to severe respiratory issues. However, that magical night along with their two other exciting fights — Ali won the latter two — have impacted successive generations.

“I have two 7-year-olds, an 18-year-old, I’ve watched the fight with them. They love it [and] they don’t know anything about boxing. But they just know what’s happening. They can see the passion,” said Frazier Jr.

An inscription on the plaque reads, according to People, that “two undefeated boxing Heavyweight Champions fought before the entire world for 15 rounds of gruesome combat” before Frazier emerged victorious.

“There has not been a comparable sports contest since this event,” the plaque continues. “Early in the 15th round, Joe Frazier sent Muhammad Ali to the canvas. At the time, Joe Frazier lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Muhammad Ali in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Both fighters and their amazing fight lore are part of the great sports heritage of the Greater Philadelphia area.

“In a time of civil unrest, these two gladiators united the country with their differing, but righteous, principles.”

Flip the page to view the full report from CBS Philly.

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