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ESPN On ABC: Muhammad Ali Vs. Joe Frazier 50th Anniversary Special

Additional Airings on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS

ESPN Deportes to air Ali vs. Frazier Trilogy

Fans will have a chance to experience one of the most iconic fights in boxing history when ESPN on ABC debuts Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 50th Anniversary Special this Sunday, March 7, at 2 p.m. ET.  The two-hour program will also air on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNEWS between Sunday and Monday, March 8.  The entire Ali-Frazier trilogy is available on demand on ESPN+.  ESPN Deportes will also re-air the entire trilogy in primetime on Sunday, March 7.

On March 8, 1971, Ali and Frazier met for the first time at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York in a transcendent boxing main event that could only be named “Fight of the Century.” Ali sought to reclaim the title he lost nearly four years prior when the state athletic commissions stripped him of his title after refusing induction into the army.  Until this fight, no unbeaten fighters had ever fought each other for the heavyweight title.

“The ‘Fight of the Century’ will be presented to our viewers in a brand-new way,” said Norby Williamson, Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production & Executive Editor, ESPN. “This was one of the most important and impactful sports events ever and fans now have the chance to experience it as never before.”

Fans will be thrilled to see the results ESPN’s boxing production team achieved in Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 50th Anniversary Special through the intricate digital remastering of every second of both the original footage of the entire fight and the original ABC Wide World of Sports broadcast.  For the fight, this process included some 461 shots in which graininess was removed, color was corrected and enhanced, and images were sharpened.

A team of producers, editors and reporters also worked on accompanying stories to further enhance the fight broadcast and transport fans to 1971. These include:

ESPN Presents: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 50th Anniversary Special

Date Time (ET) Platform
Sun., 3/7 2 p.m. ABC
6 p.m. ESPN
Mon., 3/8 12 a.m. ESPNEWS
4 a.m. ESPN2

Ali-Frazier I had not been aired on U.S. television in nearly 30 years (it previously aired in August 1991) until it was shown on ESPN last June. Ali and Frazier met again on Jan. 28, 1974 — with no titles at stake — in what was called the “Super Fight II,” also at MSG. On Oct. 1, 1975, Ali and Frazier fought once again for the heavyweight championship in the “Thrilla in Manila” at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines.

Boxing fans can re-live hundreds of the sport’s most historic fights on demand anytime.



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