By the time the third bout between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali was made both future hall of famers had lost the cloak of invincibility they wore going into thier epic first encounter.
Frazier lost the heavywieght title to George Foreman, who ruthlessly pummeled him to a second-round TKO in January of 1973. Two months later, Ali’s jaw broken during his 12-round decision loss to unheralded Ken Norton. Ali barely outpointed Norton in their rematch in Sept. of ’73.
However, Ali, who had won the rematch with Frazier and regained the title with a dramatic eigth-round KO of Foreman in 1974, was the prohibitive favorite to beat his arch rival in their rubbermatch, which was scheduled for October 1975 in the Philippines.
But Frazier was unfazed by the odds makers and media who counted him out. The former champ was on a mission of revenge as he stated in an article titled “I’ll Make Ali Fight for his Life” that was published in the October issue of THE RING, represented here in the second to last instalment of RingTV.com’s tribute to Frazier.
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