Today In History: ‘The Fight Of The Century’
Today, 40 years ago, there was a big event. The media called it “The Fight of the Century.” In Life magazine, it was “The Battle Of Undefeated Champs.”
After more than three years in forced retirement for refusing to fight in Vietnam, Muhammad Ali was back to contend in the world heavyweight championship at Madison Square Garden in New York. He was pitted against the reigning champ, Joe Frazier. And they were each, no matter what, to receive an unprecedented $2.5 million for entering the ring.
To honor the momentous fight, Life has published a gallery of photos, many never before seen, taken by John Shearer, who at the time was merely in his 20s. (Joining Shearer as a Lifephotographer at the fight was amateur photographer Frank Sinatra.)