Iconic Joe Frazier – Muhammad Ali 50th Anniversary Special From Ring Magazine


It was The Fight that made the world stop.

The first iconic meeting between Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, known globally as The Fight of the Century, took place on Monday, March 8, 1971. This matchup of unbeaten fistic juggernauts more than lived up to the hype with Frazier flooring his great rival en route to a glorious 15-round unanimous decision triumph.

Now, to honor the 50th anniversary of Frazier-Ali I, The Ring has compiled the Ultimate Special Edition. This is an unmissable collector’s item that has already set a pre-order record at The Ring Shop.

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“I’m very proud of this special issue,” said Ring Magazine Editor-In-Chief Doug Fischer. “Properly commemorating a fight with the historical background and magnitude of Frazier-Ali I is a daunting task for any publication, but The Ring staff was up to the challenge. I believe that Associate Editor Tom Gray, the driving force behind our Four Kings, Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao special issues, has hit another one out of the park with our tribute to The Fight of the Century. The archival photos and articles, brilliantly arranged and designed by Creative Director Lamar Clark, mix perfectly with new features penned by award-winning writers, such as Donald McRae, Ron Borges, Michael Rosenthal, Don Stradley, and Tris Dixon to accurately present the build-up, significance, context and impact of March 8, 1971.

“But it’s the first-hand accounts of the legendary rivals and that epic night from hall-of-famers Larry Merchant and Thomas Hauser, as well as behind-the-scenes background from Gene Kilroy, the last surviving member of Ali’s team, that make this issue truly ‘special.’”

Award-winning artist Richard T. Slone, who has contributed to Ring Magazine for over 25 years, created the incredible cover art for the Frazier-Ali I Special. The process was a labor of love for many reasons and that passion has resulted in one of the most iconic designs of his extraordinary career.

“This cover firstly pays homage to LeRoy Neiman, the official ringside artist in 1971, and I have utilized his color palette,” said Slone. “LeRoy was a friend and he had a huge influence on me. He would have been 100 years old this coming June, so it’s a fitting tribute to accompany the 50th anniversary of ‘The Fight.’ This cover is also the first time that I’ve painted Joe since he passed away on November 7, 2011. It’s just so difficult to paint him. As I sit here right now, the hair on the back of my neck is standing on end because it’s a chance for me to make him proud. He always had belief in me, he gave me so many opportunities, and to be part of this is one of my biggest honors. To be pallbearer at his funeral was a massive honor, but this is massive for me, too. This is a painting that will stay in my collection forever; it comes from the soul, and it’s important for me because I knew both guys. In a way, it’s like painting family, it’s like painting a moment from childhood. It’s hard to find the words, but this tribute means so much to me.”

Half a century on, Smokin’ Joe’s win over The Greatest remains one of the finest in boxing history. It will never be forgotten by fight fans, and it will certainly never be forgotten by the Frazier family, who are as proud now as they were when Frazier and Ali first collided on that electrifying evening at Madison Square Garden.

“I’m so proud of my father, and Pops done a great job,” said Frazier’s son Marvis, who was a professional fighter between 1980 and 1988. “He did what he had to do in the ring that night, and the whole family were so happy. To me, it’s the greatest win ever. My father was a great boxer and coming all the way from South Carolina to become the man, to prove himself as champion… God just blessed him. Beating Ali didn’t make my father the man of the year, it made him the man of the whole century. It’s great that Ring Magazine are paying tribute to this fight.”

The Frazier-Ali Special Edition is available ON DIGITAL NOW and the print edition can be purchased as a pre-order at The Ring Shop. Release date is February 4, 2021.

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Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali - Boxing History

9 thoughts on “Iconic Joe Frazier – Muhammad Ali 50th Anniversary Special From Ring Magazine”

  1. I bought my grandson Henry (8) a book from the children’s “Who Was…” series, “Who Was Muhammad Ali”. He couldn’t wait to read it and afterward he’s immediately telling me about Cassius Clay, the Kentucky Gold Gloves, Sonny Liston, and of course the epic contests with Joe Frazier. He learned a lot about the man behind the gloves too. I also got to tell him what both of those two great boxers meant to me when I was a kid and what the two men meant to me later as an adult. Then we streamed the Ali – Frazier fights on my computer. Unbelievable experience to be able to relive some of that with Henry.

  2. Like yesterday. Frazier won on points for sure. But had Ali ahead in rounds, 8-7. Frazier in league with Marciano &Tyson. Ali in league of his own.

  3. Can the above print be purchased in a poster or larger limited addition printed size?
    I Remember when those two Black Warriors fought against raceism, each other and won against them both in and out of the ring, gentleman of great faith, so let me know if posters or prints are available.
    I can be reached via email:

  4. I remember this fight so well, I was a kid living in Singapore with my father sitting in a room with a bunch of grown men who were so excited about this fight that it sucked me in so much that I became a huge boxing fan of Muhammad Ali.

  5. What a night it was, and the world, at least the US, did stop for a few hours. I boxed when young, and was a fan. We only got the round by round report on radio. I’ve watched that fight 20 times, and to this day, can’t determine a clear winner. Ali hit Joe a thousand times, Joe took them for the chance to land a few thunderous, damaging shots. The knockdown tipped the scales I believe, in a fight that was so punishing, that both fighters were hospitalized, and in my view, left both fighters less than they were before, and never were again.

    Sadly I believe there was a determination to have Ali lose, as he had the courage to challenge ” the system” in America. They felt he needed to be put in his place.

    Two more epic, essentially cruel fights resulted, Ali winning winning both. Never again have I seen two fighters give it all like that. The brutality of them, for our entertainment, changed my views on a sport that l liked, but now question. But these two fighters gave the greatest effort seen, 3 times. Real men, warriors and skilled at their craft. Both are gone, but I will never forget that night, or the trilogy they gave us.

    • So true, and well said. Having the skills to fight is one part of the equation, if you can’t take a punch you won’t last in the sport, and that was one thing that the both of them took way to well. May they both rest in peace.

  6. Ali was injusticely crucify by a Wicked system ,wasn,t allow to practice his craft for 3yr then ame back against the so call champ and lost a decision. Just show how great he was out and inside the ring.

    • No. He wasn’t that great. If he was he would have won that night. Joe was the better man that night. Do not take that away from him.

    • I completely agree. He was in his prime, and America wanted him stifled. That fight was close, and I’ve watched it 20 times. Two different styles, Ali landing hundreds of blows, Joe took them so to deliver a few crushing shots. The sentiments to knock Ali down were present, and the knock down tipped the scales in a fight I saw as a draw. An incredible show of courage by both.

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