Unpublished, Madison Square Garden, the site of the fight and on March 8, 1971, the center of the universe. One of the key factors that ratcheted up the rhetoric around the “Fight of the Century” was the record purse offered both fighters. As LIFE MAGAZINE observed in its March 5, 1971 issue: “[Ali] and Frazier are both going to get $2.5 million the morning after the fight whether anybody comes or not. A flat $2.5 million. Guaranteed. The most money ever paid to any man for a maximum 45 minutes’ work.” After a 15 round decision, Joe Frazier emerged victorious.