Muhammad Ali, better known as Cassius Clay, and Joe Frazier, the current world heavyweight boxing champion, exchanged taunts when they met in New York yesterday (Wednesday, 30 December) to sign the contracts for their world title fight on March 8.
SV Muhammad Ali and Pressmen enter room (2 shots)
CU Boxing Commissioner speaks
SV Ali speaks
SV Frazier retaliates, Ali replies and Pressmen laugh
SV Clay stands and continues
SEQ. 2: BOXING OFFICIAL: "Unless this pre-contest bickering and fighting goes on here...unless it stops...these are going to be fined five thousand dollars today, so they'd better cut out the horse manure."
SEQ. 3: ALI: "All I've got to say is one thing. One thing I want to go down in history. Forget all the publicity and all of the talking and clowning. I want to say this. I am the two-time United States Golden Gloves Champion, two-time United States National ABU Champion, World Olympic Gold Medal Winner. When Mr. Joe Frazier first came into the light I was defending my title. I've defended my title, defeated the best..Sunney Liston, the man that nobody said could be beat. After almost a four year lay-off and six weeks notice took Jerry Quarry and beat him much easier than did Joe Frazier. Then I took Bonavena, a man who gave Frazier all he wanted and I think Frazier had a little trouble after the fight, a little tired. I whipped him more easily and more convincingly than Joe Frazier."
SEQ. 4: FRAZIER: "Brother, you not fighting Oscar Bonavena, you not fighting Sonny Liston, you fighting Joe Frazier."
ALI: "Everybody knows that. That's not the point."
REPORTER: "Joe, what's your prediction?"
FRAZIER: "My prediction's that the fight won't go the distance." The conference then became shouts and counter-shouts until Ali stood up.
ALI: "If Joe Frazier whips me, I'm getting on my hands and knees, crawling across the ring, look up to you because you're the champ...."(indistinct)...I'm going to walk over him."
Initials JMR/AE/VH/1635 JMR/AE/MH/1636
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Background: Muhammad Ali, better known as Cassius Clay, and Joe Frazier, the current world heavyweight boxing champion, exchanged taunts when they met in New York yesterday (Wednesday, 30 December) to sign the contracts for their world title fight on March 8. Most boxing reporters later agreed that Ali had won the ritual slanging match by about five rounds to one.
The contract for the 15-round bout guarantees that each boxer will receive 2,500,000 dollars (more than one million pounds sterling) for the fight, believed to be the highest purse ever received by single athletes for a single sporting event.
Before the boxers started the Press conference, Mr. Edwin Dooley of the Boxing Commission warned the fighters not to bicker. But they completely ignored him and the conference ended in shouts and catcalls.