Organized fights have always been popular, often attracting large audiences. One of the earliest historic fights was in 1927, when over $1.7 was paid by audiences to witness the matchup between Jack Dempsey and George Carpentier. The match was held in New Jersey where over 80,000 people could be accommodated. Dempsey who was the heavyweight champion of the world at the time, successfully beat Carpentier. One of the most historic fights was the last match up between Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali in 1974. This historic fight entailed Ali defending the heavyweight world championship, which he was successful in doing. Both fighters were very popular and had huge fan bases. The rivalry between the two had been going on for years as well.
In fact the 1971 match up of Ali and Frazier was coined “the fight of the century” with Frazier actually beating Ali in this brutal, fast action, heavyweight title fight. Muhammed Ali was very famous, even among people who did not watch many boxing matches. Muhammed Ali was born Cassius Clay and before he changed his name he fought against Sonny Liston in 1964. This historic match led to an upset as everyone had expected Sonny Liston to win, but this was not the case. Ali’s fight against George Foreman in Zaire in 1974 was another historic fight as many people were convinced that Ali would not win and would actually be injured by the powerful punches that George Foreman was known to produce. Using skill and technique Ali was able to win, shocking many and making this a truly historic fight.
Another historic fight was that was held was between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran in 1980. The fight was very widely broadcast to a massive audience and broke records for closed-circuit television broadcasts. The fight took place in a huge Olympic stadium in Montreal which could seat over 46,000 fans. Duran won the fight which was very close. This fight was the first really popular fight between non-heavyweight fighters. The fight between Joe Louis and Billy Conn that was held in New York in 1941 garnered much attention. Joe Louis was defending his title as heavyweight champion. He did end up winning the fight and defeating Billy Conn.
Referred to as “The Fight of the Decade” was the fight between Rocky Graziona and Tony Zale in 1946. Tony Zale was the reigning middleweight champion at the time and was defending his title. The aggressive Graziona was renowned for knocking opponents out with a single punch, but in this case the 40,000 fans witnessed Tony Zale winning. He actually knocked out Rocky Graziona in the very first round of the match. A historic fight was that between Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney in 1982. Unfortunately the fight became famous because of its racial undertones with many in America hoping for a white champion, but they were to be disappointed as Larry Holmes won the fight.