Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on March 8, 1971 · Page 37
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 37

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Monday, March 8, 1971
Page 37
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r ii i tnif0f iff rn ytT' DETROIT FREE PRESS Monday, March S, '71 in to A. razier,- f ism oni Is get la 'Fruzicr by a KO BY JOE FALLS Prt Praii Sparti IdiWr !!m sticking with Joe Frazier. I picked him after he dumped Bob Foster In Detroit, and I think he's going to be too strong for Mubammed AH Monday night. It should be a good fight with a lot of early action by All. He may even deck Frazier. But I see Frazier's better conditioning ... and All's long layoff . . . eventually turning the fight In Frazier's favor. Prediction: Frazier by a KO In the eighth round. BY JOE FALLS Prt Prttt Spartt tdllor NEW YORK The "Fight of the Century" has reached the put up or shut up stage lor Muhammad Ali. After weeks of constant carping about what he is going to do to Joe Frazier . . . and he was still at it Sunday night ... Ali will get his chance to back up his boasts under the bright lights of the ring at Madison Square Garden Monday night. That's when all the talking will stop and the world will see if the Mighty Muhammad is still as mighty as he says he is. And Sunday night, in his suite at the New Yorker Hotel, he was still clammering to he the greatest fighter this planet has ever seen. The local bookmakers reported no late change in the odds, which means Frazier is still r 13-10 favorite to retain his title in this highly ballyhooed bout which will be viewed by over 300 million people around the globe. ' Frazier left the talking to Ali on Sunday. "I just don't want to be bothered," Frazier said. "Right now. Clay's doing his thing, but tomorrow night I'll be doing my thing. His thing Is being a clown, and mine Is fighting." Ali, meanwhile, was telling newsmen how he will chop down Frazier with his steady stream of punches . '. . and there he was danc ing around his room shooting jabs and hooks and right crosses at a TV film of his opponent. "I am in the the best condition of my life," Alt boasted, and then, for the edification of all, he dedicated a final poem to Fra7ier. It went like this: "Joe's going to be smnkin' "And I ain't gonna be jokin' "I'll be a peckin' and a pohin "Pouring water on his smokin' "This might shock and amaze you, "But I'm going to retire Joe Frazier" 'Oooo, I Eat Him Up! Ali Roars on Fight Eve BY LEE WINFREY Prt Preu Stiff Wrltvr NEW YORK Muhammad Ali put on a stunning dress rehearsal Sunday for his heavyweight championship fight with Joe Frazier, using Frazier'a image on a television screen as his punching bag. For an hour in room 2532 of the New Yorker Hotel, while a be moving.' dozen boxing writers gaped at his bravura performance, ah pantomimed furiously as he watched a TV special called "In This Corner, Joe Frazier." As is his nature before big fights, Ali was wound up as tight as a drawn bowstring, his mouth the only outlet for the furious energy he had built up. ring on his thick legs, which look as solid as railroad ties beneath him. Ali, stripped to the waist and barefooted, sprang from his chair by the set and began violently to shadowbox. "Right mow he's in trouble," said Ali, springing on his toes. "Pop-pop-pop-pop," he spat, his left hand jabbing in accompani ment to his words. "Quick as my mouth is moving, my fist gonna THE TV SHOW For years I have seen boxing writers use the cliche description "blinding speed," but I never believed it until I saw Ali. Rut it is really true: His left hand at highest speed moves too fast for the eye to fix and hold. It is there et his chest, then there is a blur as it uncoils, then there it is back, back again at his breast, and your mind retains to began by showing Frazier plodding around a clear image of how it moved. Moments later there was Frazier again in another ring scene and Ali, seated again, shifted to the front of his chair and purred, "Oooo. I eat him up! Is that Joe Frazier, is that Joe Frazier, no footwork, just walking in? Oooo, I can't wait to get this on." THE SCREEN showed Frazier doing roadwork, jogging down some city sidewalk. Ali professed amazement. "That ain't the way he runs, is it that slow? He's dumb. He runs on concrete. That's the worst thing a fighter can do. He oughta run ongrass." The screen showed Frazier decked by the squat Italian Oscar Bonavena, one of only two men who ever knocked Frazier down. "I'm quicker than that and I hit harder," said Ali. "How can that awkward slow moving man (Frazier) hit me? No finesse or speed, or skill he's a plow horse.".. Muhammad Ali is 29 years AT 'Blacked Out9 On Eve of Fight NEW YORK The fight scene: It is the day before the Ali-Frazier fight ... a gray, misty day in midtown Manhattan . . . and John Condon is sitting behind his desk in the boxing department at Madison Square Garden. He is the public relations man for the fight. He is sitting there wearing a peaked cap and a long leather jacket down below his hips, as a hunter might wear if he were out stalking a deer through the woods of upper New York state. It Is strange to see a man sitting in an office wearing a peaked cap and a leather jacket down below his hips, but that is what John Condon is wearing on Sunday afternoon. He is also wearing a long, sad face. He looks like a basset hound on TV. It Is bis job to get the MO members of the media Into the Garden Monday night, and keep them happy, and he knows it is impossible. Everybody else's work is done. Harry Markson, the matchmaker for the Garden, is sitting in his office reading a paper. Teddy Brenner, his assistant, is sitting in his office with his feet on the desk. He is saying to a couple of writers, "If Ali said he'd walk across the Hudson River tomorrow, there'd be 10,000 people out there to see if he rould do it ... " AM is quiet here in the Garden offices. But John Condon sits there drumming his fingers on the top of his desk. "Tell me some funny stories, John," a newspaperman says to him. "Funny stories ... I don't have ,any funny stories," says Condon. He reaches down and opens a drawer in his desk. He pulls out an envelope. "Here," he says, holding up the envelope, "I'll tell you a funny story. I've been offered one thousand dollars for the contents in this envelope. One thousand dollars!" 'Secret of AW Is Just Thai He holds the envelope across the desk so the writer can see it. Written on the outside of the envelope in heavy black ink are five words: "The Secret of Muhammad Ali." "I've had this in my desk for a couple of weeks," says Condon. "This is what Ali is going to read in the ring just before the fight starts. A magazine offered me a thousand bucks if they could look at it." Condon shakes his head. "No way, baby," he says. He puts the envelope back into his drawer. "I had another magazine make me an offer to take some exclusive pictures of the fight. Do you know how much money that would mean to me? I could make 10 or 12 G's out of It. No way, baby. Nobody is buying me off." : ' "How many press requests you get?" the writer asks. "Fifteen hundred," says Condon. "I've got 'em sitting on the floor, in the side promenade, up in the gondola, hanging from the roof ... anywhere I can find room." "Where'd the requests come from?" "I got 'em from all over . . . Germany, Japan, Turkey, Russia ... we even got one from Israel, the first time they ever sent anyone. The guy's name is Moishe Scherer and he's from a paper called Maariu. "He said he woke up at home one morning and his mother said to him at breakfast: 'Who's going to win the fight?' He said that's when he decided he had to come over here to cover it. "Hell, I got requests from college papers, high school papers ... I even got one from. a supermarket. There's some guy who Turn to Page 2D, Column 3 ShoW'biz stars have taken over the fight spotlight Story and pictures on Back Page. old, stands six feet three iaches tall and weighs 214 pounds He looks in perfect shape shoulders broad, belly flat, waist slim, legs springy. Time and again, a white towel :: vf jyp. yp y , - -SAs Vj l"? fXv ' B $j" Turn to Page 2D, Column l Muhammad Ali relaxes in his New York City holel suite Roxing's Rarnum and Bailey has one final gimmick set for Monday night. That's when he will open a sealed envelope in mid-ring and announce to the viewers on the closed circuit network the exact 'round he will dispatch Frazier. The fight is scheduled to start helwren 10:40 p.m. and II p.m. There will he no home TV for this match, which is scheduled for 15 rounds. THE OUTLETS in Detroit are the Olympia . Stadium, the Fox Theater and the University of Detroit Memorial Building. The fight will also be shown at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. A network of more than 370 theaters has been set up around the country and the TV picture will he beamed to 37 nations around the world. The promoters are predicting a total take of $22.5 million. Each fithter is supposed to get $2.5 million, but nobody breakdown of the money. Both fighters returned to New York Saturday and remained in their hotel rooms most of Sunday. Ali had a 280 pound guard posted at the door of his suite. The man told reporters: "Nohody goes in . . . especially you guys from the press. I don't have anything agains'. newspapermen, except I don't, like them Jf Burt Lancaster shows up, well, that's different." Lancaster, one of the Hollywood superstars, is handling Turn to Page 2D, Column 2 Joes Liic Threatened (5) Nw York TimH Swvlci NEW YORK Eight detectives were guarding Joe Frazier and his manager, Yank Durham, Sunday following a death threat to the world heavyweight boxing champion regarding his title fight with Muhammad li Monday night. Frazier was warned to "lose or else" in an anonymous letter received last week and in a follow-up telephone call. As a precaution, Frazier was secreted somewhere in the city. nsult: Pistons Lose to Cavaliers! BY CURT SYLVESTER Pr ertii Snwtt Writw It has been a truly incredible season for the Pistons. But as incredible as it has been with the good features outnumbering the bad it was no preparation for what happened Sunday. The Pistons said their last goodbys to their NBA playoff hopes and they did it by losing a 104-100 decision to the lowest of the NBA lowly ... the Cleveland Cavaliers. The crowd of 8,fi47 fans at Cobn Arena saw the rare show. AS A STARTER, the Pistons gave away 4,000 certificates good for basketball shoes and then, after building up a 20-point lead in the third quarter, they proceeded to give away the game. In between times, they saw the only roin flip of the season performed by Piston coach Bill van Breda Kolff at half- court ... followed by van Breda Kolff's 39th technical foul of the season. There was also some good shooting by Piston Dave Bing, who hit 11 of IS from the floor for 30 points, although he is still wearing the protective headgear to guard a broken cheekbone, tohike his season's total to 2,001. For Cleveland, the victory came on the clutch fourth-quarter performance of Rohhy Washington, John Warren and Bobby Smith, who finished with 23 points. And, the' frustration of the Turn to Page 3D, Column 2 HABS WIN, 4-1 Big M's Goals Sink Wings BY JACK SAYLOR Prt Prcit Sporti WrHar The Red Wings were exposed to national television Sunday afternoon. But worst of all, they were exposed to Rogatien Vachon and the Montreal Canadiens. The Wings now can qualify Mow AlU Joe Hate NEW YORK (UPI) Tale of the tape for the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier world heavyweight title fight Monday night. Ali Frazier 2? AGE 27 214 WEIGHT 20 ft.-3in. HEIGHT 5 ft.-lli2 in. 80 lfl. REACH 734 in. 42 In. CHEST (normal) 42 in. 44i in. CHEST (expanded) 44 in. 15 in. BICEPS 15 in. Wt in. FOREARMS 13 In. 34 in. WAIST 34 in. 25 in. THIGHS 2 in. 17 Jn. CALVES 13 in. 171, in, NECK 17 in. in. WRISTS 7 In. 13 la. FISTS 13 in. Vt in. ANKLES 11 in. Fighters will officially hold weigh-In between 11:30 a.m. and 12:31 p.m. Monday. for another show "Be witched" after the way the pudgy 5-foot-7 Montreal goalie handled their shots in the 4-1 loss before 13,322 Olympia fans. EXCEPT FOR Vachon, however, the Canadiens were revealed to TV as a fraud. With their Beliveaus, Cour-noyers and Richards, they are supposed to be populated by nearly every Frenchman this side of Pierre Trudeau. But the principal damage was done by a Croatian, Frank Mahovlich, and a big Irishman, John Ferguson. The Big M became the latest in the string of ex-Wings to come back and turn on his old buddies. Mahovlich scored half f the Habs' goals, while Ferguson also scored one and made a general nuisance of himself. "It's nice to come back and score a couple," Mahovlich said. "But it's nothing personal I enjoyed it while I was here." It was his power-play goal that put Montreal In front at 5:03 of the first pe-riod, and Vachon took it from there. He turned everything aside except for Arnie Brown's third-period boomer from the point after the Habs had constructed a 3-0 lead. Roy Edwards wound up with one more save than Vachon (30), but was left at the mercy of Mahovlich, who converted perfect passes from Yvan C o u r n o y e r and Jean Beli-veau, while Ferguson turned Twins Clip Tigers Again, 4-3 BY JIM HAWKINS Pre Pnn Jporti Wrltw LAKELAND Whatever hap pened to Billy Martin, the brash back-alley brawler who hated more than anything else to lose? He certainly is not the new manager of the Tigers. Sunday, for the second day in a row, the Tigers had their tail twisted by Martin's old hallclub, the Minnesota Twins, 4-3. And for the second day in a row, all Billy did about it was smile and puff his pipe and point out the positive. Even the fact that two Tigers were thrown out at the plate and another watched strike three go by with the bases loaded failed to rattle the Tiger commander. "IF WE DON'T get started soon we won't win the Grapefruit League this spring," yukked Martin in his office after the loss. "Losing iust isn't the important thing down here but people seem to forget that. I know it drives general managers and ticket sellers crazy, but that's the way it has to be." What pleased Billy in particular Sunday were the perform- mppw Isft I If ysJj .jfii I ill MR. BIG SHIRTS BY ENRO. We've got a great big deal for all you great big men who've been having a great big problem finding a great big shirt to fit your great big body: we've got lots of great big Mr. Big striped dress shirts from Enro. They're permanent-press striped dress shirts with double-button cuffs and long pointed collars cut in collar sizes from "I6V2 to 20 and in sleeve lengths from 32 to 36. A lot of shirt at a lot less than you'd expect. They're only $11. ii it ft n U i,jf M.. . 1 i mm Sm I 11 1 ill HH5 Stores Open This Evening (Except Birmingham Ml 5:30) Specifll Nofice: Our Northland Sfors lemporanly closed. Turn to Page 3D. Column 1 ! Turn to Page 3D. Column 3

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