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Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali: Fight of the century [Video]

Boxing legend Joe Frazier died Monday of liver cancer at age 67. He was a heavyweight champion during the golden age of heavyweight boxing in the 1970s.

Smokin' Joe became the first fighter to defeat Muhammad Ali when they faced off in 1971 in the first of three epic battles. "That was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life," said Frazier, who knocked Ali to the canvas in the 15th round.

Here's how Bill Dwyre described the "fight of the century" in his tribute to Frazier in Tuesday's Times:

They met for the first time on March 8, 1971, in New York's Madison Square Garden, with each fighter guaranteed $2.5 million. Ali, then 31-0, had been stripped of his heavyweight titles when, as Cassius Clay, he refused to be inducted into the military after being drafted for the Vietnam War. Frazier, at 26-0, had captured the title of undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970 with a technical knockout of Jimmy Ellis.

It was a brutal battle, rated by many as the "fight of the century" and considered the best boxing match of all time at any weight. When Frazier knocked Ali down in the 15th and final round and won on points, both received rave reviews for their performances. Both also went immediately to the hospital.

Take a moment today to watch an amazing bout from a time when the top boxers would actually get in the ring and fight each other.

RELATED:

Photos: Joe Frazier through the years

Former boxing champion Joe Frazier has liver cancer

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 
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