When Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali stepped into the ring, to many they were not mere men, but champions of their respective causes. To the crowd, each man encompassed the values of two opposing sides. It was a sort of trial by combat, with the victorious combatant striking a major blow for their own ideology. For Ali, this was intentional and very much wanted, and for Frazier, it was very much not so.
These men brought into the light three major conflicts that had been brewing for years. There was the very real environment of racism that had permeated America for years, with segregation having just been ended 6 years earlier, there was American Youth’s rebellion against the draft for what most considered a pointless, bloody war, and there was the personal rivalry between the two warriors. Ali was furious at the man he considered a usurper to the heavyweight throne, and Frazier was ready to kill Ali for the disrespect he had been shown.
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