Saratoga to Honor 'Smokin' Joe' Frazier

Boxer won the “Fight of the Century” against Muhammad Ali 40 years ago.

Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, who won the “Fight of the Century” against Muhammad Ali 40 years ago, will be honored at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 26.

Frazier, who compiled a professional record of 37-4 with 27 knockouts, will headline the day’s activities with a free autograph signing session for fans from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT at the Jockey Silks Room. Free photos of Frazier will be available to use for autographs.

“Joe Frazier is a legendary figure in boxing history and we’re thrilled to welcome him to Saratoga Race Course in celebration of his greatest triumph,” said New York Racing Association executive vice president and COO Hal Handel. “Frazier’s battle with Muhammad Ali captured the attention of a nation and included all the riveting drama and excitement beloved by racing fans in Saratoga.”

A Philadelphia native known as “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier had an undefeated record of 26-0 when he defended his title against Ali (31-0) in Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971.

Frazier won the slugfest in a dramatic 15-round unanimous decision, flooring Ali in the final round that remains one of the more iconic images in boxing history. The fight produced two sequels and marked the beginning of one the greatest rivalries in American professional sports.

In addition to the autograph signing, Frazier will present a trophy in the winner’s circle after the second race--the Ali/Frazier 40th Anniversary Race. Tape from the “Fight of the Century” will play on the infield video board leading up to the second race.