How We All Failed Frazier

How We All Failed Frazier

Joe Frazier never got enough from us. Never enough affection, never enough respect. Joe Frazier never got the love we poured down so freely on Muhammad Ali. For this I blame myself.

As a child of the 1960s, what I recall of Joe Frazier is indissoluble from what I remember of Muhammad Ali. Like a lot of kids back then, Ali was my hero. Frazier therefore only the foil, the villain, the second banana. I was too young and stupid to understand that each made the other; that each would create the other's history.

For a little more than four years, from March of 1971 to October of 1975, Ali's titanic struggle against Joe Frazier marked modern boxing's golden age. Three times they fought -- from the "Fight of the Century" at Madison Square Garden to that last humid morning in Manila -- and three times they killed and resurrected one another.

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