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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Foreman versus Frazier-Sunshine Fight

"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


Villager said...

That was a remarkable fight. Hard to believe it was so long ago. I recall that last knockdown ... when Joe Frazier literally was off his feet for awhile.

People that watched this fight never beleived that Muhammad Ali would have a chance.

Muhammad Ali watched this fight and created in his mind the 'rope-a-dope' strategy.

Thanx for sharing this today!

BillyWarhol said...

That was an Overwhelming Victory for George Foreman! He was the Total Package - Big + Strong + Built like a BrickHouse + could Box!

Thass prolly the First time i've seen that cuz back then it might be a Year before that Footage ever made it to TV!


I vaguely remember the Fight* 2 Great Gladiators altho I hope U have a Video up to refresh my Memory!

2 things I do Remember were Howard Cosell's famous "Down Goes Frazier!" when he & Muhammad Ali tangled!

The other was losing my First Bet to my Grandfather of a Dime* He was generous + gave me the Champion Sonny Liston but unfortunately for me he had The Greatest Boxer of All Time Cassius Clay - better known as Muhammad Ali!!

I remember my Dad making me march over to Grandpas House to give him the Dime!!



When We Were Kings is an Awesome Movie too*

Thanks Iriegirl*

iriegal said...

Villager, indeed it was an awesome fight. I remember watching it as well. George Foreman shocked him. Interestingly enough the majority of the Jamaican people were voting for Frazier.

Wow, trivia, I did not know the "rope a dope" was strategy was created by this fight.


iriegal said...

Wow, your Dad meant business...ha ha.

but no one knew the Ali would ever beat the great Sonny Liston.

I am a boxing afficianado.