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Ali-Frazier, 40 years later

Joe Frazier hits Muhammad Ali with a left

Joe Frazier hits Muhammad Ali with a left during the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight at Madison Square Garden. (Mar. 8, 1971) Credit: AP, 1971

Here is Jeansonne's look back at the Fight of the 20th Century.

It is extremely difficult for those of you younger than your late 40s to appreciate the magnitude of this event. There certainly has been nothing to match it in my 42 years of following sports - even though I wasn't there and didn't watch it live.

But it was all anyone could talk about, before and after the fact.

As I have written before, I am just old enough to remember the cultural turmoil of that era but just young enough so that I experienced it not through the eyes of a teenager or young adult but through the eyes of the cranky middle-aged people I heard discussing the issues of the day and lamenting that the world had gone to hell.

Let's put it this way: Ali seemed to me like a menace to society, and I was rooting for Frazier. If I had been five or 10 years older, I'm sure it would have been the other way around.

New York Sports