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This day in NY sports history: March 8

THIS DAY IN NY SPORTS HISTORY

Monday, March 8, 1971

Ali-Frazier I at MSG

For the first time, undefeated heavyweight champions squared off and Joe Frazier (26-0) scored a unanimous 15-round decision over Muhammad Ali to become the undisputed champ. Because of his refusal of an Army induction in '67, Ali had been barred from fighting and the match with Frazier was his first major bout in over three years. Early in the 15th round, Frazier, already leading on three score cards, sent Ali to the canvas with a left hook. Ali was able to recover, but Frazier's dominance made the decision clear and Ali's record dropped to 31-1. The 17th title fight at Madison Square Garden drew 20,455 fans and a $1,352,951 gross, both setting indoor records.

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