March 8th 1971: The Most Celebrated Date In Boxing History

BY Frank Lotierzo ON March 17, 2004
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Today is the most important date in the history of the world, bar none. At least in my World it is. Not because it's my father's birthday, and not because it's one of my best friend's son's birthday. No, this date has only one meaning for me, "Fight Of The Century" better known as Frazier vs. Ali. Sorry dad and little Glenny. For This Was The Day A 10 Year Old Kid's Life Would Never Be The Same.

For on this day that 10 year old kid sat on the Kitchen floor at 108 Ardmore Ave in Haddonfield New Jersey, reading the Courier Post about tonight's big fight between Muhammad Ali and "Smokin" Joe Frazier. This kid counted down the months, days, hours and minutes to Monday Night March 8th. He kept asking his father that day who he thought would win tonight. This would eventually go onto become Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday, and New Years Eve for this 10 year old.

This was the night that Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were scheduled to finally come to blows. On March 8th 1971, Ali and Frazier put on a fight for all time between two of the greatest Heavyweight Champion's who have yet lived. So don't call me tonight after 11:03 PM, because I'll be watching a tape of the fight at the exact time that it started. For one hour tonight I'll be reminiscing about that night up in the rafters (The Twenty dollar seats) at Madison Square Garden watching the fight with my father and cousin.

Sometime between 11:00 and midnight my cousin will most likely call me up and say do you know what today's date is. I'll say yes, why are you calling me now, you know I'm watching the tape. Maybe just one of these years, he'll call 24 seconds into the 15th round, then I won't be annoyed? Can't believe it's been 33 years. If you were a boxing fan then, I have no doubt you remember exactly where you were that night. There was never anything like it before, and I have no doubt that I'll never see anything like it again in my lifetime. Thank you Joe and Muhammad for providing boxing with it's most celebrated night and event!

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