"Down goes Frazier!" Howard Cosell shouted, stunned surprise in his famous drawling sportscaster voice, even though he had picked the underdog Foreman to defeat the Champ. He said it a second, "Down goes Frazier!" and a third time "Down goes Frazier!" In those three straightforward words, Cosell summed up the story of the January 22, 1973 title fight in Kingston"
These were the words that drew well over 36,000 fans to Jamaica's National Stadium on January 22nd, 1973. (35 years ago). This was a fight between two great warriors, Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
Gate proceeds were $370,000 with another 3 million earned from television coverage. Foreman was guaranteed 20% of the gate and Frazier 42%. When asked about a rematch, Foreman, displaying poise and a sense of celebrity for which he would later become well known, simply stated "I don't know how long I'll be the champion we only borrow the title you know...." Having been tremendously welcomed by the Jamaican people (who were not happy with Frazier, the man who had defeated Ali)
Big George said he'd be happy to defend his title in Jamaica a statement that must have set the heart of Jamaican businessman and fight promoter extraordinary Lucien Chen, owner of Track Price Plus, who had guaranteed the promotion of this fight, racing. Chen had hoped to make Kingston into a fight centre. Sadly, this was never realized due to the high cost of financing such events, made even more difficult today by the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar and the skyrocketing purses of title fights. (Lennox Lewis was made something close to US$20 million for his most recent fight in Atlanta)
Sources: Pieces of the Past