By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
This is the first of a six-part series on my personal accounts of Muhammad Ali. In each of the monthly editions it will be my pleasure to share with you ten Muhammad Ali photos from my private collection.
I will start this series’ first edition, by saying that the best closed-circuit fight that I ever attended was with my late father, Daniel J. Martinez and two of my best friends, Al Garcia and Hector Ybarra, at the Santa Barbara, California “historic” Granada Theater. On March 8, 1971, we saw the most eagerly anticipated championship fight that I have ever been involved with in my 48 years in boxing … Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali.
I was so excited come fight time that I left my work early on that Monday afternoon just to be sure I was the first one in line to get tickets and the best seats: front row center balcony. I got both to view the fight.
This was simply known as “The Fight of the Century” and still ranks as one of the most famous in heavyweight boxing history.
Both fighters entered the ring unbeaten with both having legitimate claims to the heavyweight title.
The fight lived up to all of it’s hype, with Frazier punctuating his victory by landing a tremendous left hook which dropped Ali in 15th and final round. Smokin’ Joe won a unanimous 15 round decision, giving Ali his first professional loss.
It was simply a night that will forever remain – as it will with me – as
One of the best in boxing!
Frazier vs. Ali
March 8, 1971
Ali / 1965
double clutch shuffle
Ali vs. Liston / 1965
Hologram Collector’s Edition
“original” Leroy Neiman poster
Ali vs. Frazier / March 8, 1971
Sports Legends (1992) comic book
cover photo is from Ali vs. Patterson
Ali with boxing greats:
Hagler, Leonard, Tyson, Foreman
Ali vs. Frazier
March 8, 1971
Ali miniature doll with robe
Cassius Clay (1961) Miami
Angelo Dundee’s Fifth Street Gym
“original” Sports Illustrated
dated: March 15, 1971