The 1960s brought out two famous boxers that were born in the ’40s. These two boxers have some similarities and some differences. At points in their life, they will turn from friends to enemies. Although two boxers from the same time period may have had differences in their life’s together and apart does not mean they can not be friends again.
Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942. He was born Cassius Clay but later changed his religion and name. Becoming the first man to win the heavyweight title three times, Ali was both arrogant and charismatic in his style of fighting. Whenever he was around he brought excitement with him. He often predicted the round in which he would beat his opponents. So talented and so fast, Ali was able to box while holding his left hand by his side and often pull straight back to avoid punches.
In 1967, Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army because of religious beliefs. He was arrested and had his boxing license suspended. Because of this, his heavyweight title was taken away.
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While Ali was gone Joe Frazier boxed through the division and earned the title of a heavyweight champion. Ali returned in 1970 this is where he set the fight for him and Joe Frazier. Both men were unbeaten. But Ali would always claim himself as the peoples champion. This fight was named the fight of the century, but not for Ali he was dropped by the 15th round. This made Frazier the winner by unanimous decision.
Ali regained the heavyweight again by beating George Forman. Then that put him in position for a rematch against Frazier, in which Ali defeated him. Muhammad Ali defeated the title against a host of boxing contenders until 1981 with his final defeat. Now he has Parkinson’s disease. This disease may have affected him physically but not mentally because he still believes and says he is still the champ of all times.
Joe Frazier was born on January 12, 1944. He became a boxer by accident. He first went to the gym to work himself into shape. Shortly after, He began to fight competitively and became one of the best amateur heavyweights in America. Frazier didn’t lose until fighting Buster Mathis. Turning pro in 1965 he ran off 11 straight wins in September 1966 fighting Oscar Bonavena.
Frazier not having any religion hindrances still exiled from the boxing sport to support Muhammad Ali. But before Ali could return to boxing because of his suspension he challenged Frazier to a fight in the park. This was later believed to be one of Ali’s gimmicks to try and get his license back. It worked before you knew it the fight was being held in Madison Square Garden instead of the park and Ali was getting his license back. Frazier did not understand what was going on. How someone he was trying to stand by and help would then want to fight him. Ali knew what he was doing this fight would bring both of them millions of dollars and more fights for himself.
Nine months after Frazier and Ali’s second fight he tried to fight back into the contention title with a rematch against Forman, but he was stopped in five rounds. After this Frazier hung his gloves up for good.
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier have some similarities such as birthday month, goals that they have achieved in their careers and careers. They also have some contrasting points such s religion and fighting style. But this does not mean that they cannot still be friends.
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