Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali met for the first of their three bout fight in Madison Square Garden on 8 March 1971. Both accomplished boxers, the pair was equally matched for the first few rounds until Ali suffered powerful left hooks to the head during the middle rounds. Frazier won the match with a 15 round unanimous decision and Ali was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a severely broken jaw. Frazier also spent time in the hospital in the month following the fight for hypertension and kidney infection that had been exacerbated by the fight.
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