Ali, Frazier and the ‘Fight of the Century’: A photographer remembers

LIFE celebrates the 72nd birthday of Muhammad Ali with rare photos from before, during and after the 1971 "Fight of the Century" -- the championship bout (which he lost) to Frazier -- as well as photographer John Shearer's memories of chronicling the epic event. For more photos, click here.

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    Muhammed Ali

    Muhammad Ali speaks to the press during a pre-fight weigh-in at Madison Square Garden in March 1971.
    John Shearer—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Training break

    Muhammad Ali takes a break during training in Miami Beach in 1971.
    John Shearer—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Playful sparring

    Muhammad Ali draws a crowd as he playfully spars with an unidentified man in the parking lot of a grocery store in Miami Beach in 1971.
    John Shearer—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Ali taunts his rival

    Muhammad Ali taunts rival Joe Frazier at Frazier's training camp in Philadelphia, 1971.
    John Shearer—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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    Fight of the Century

    Joe Frazier lunges at Muhammad Ali during their title fight at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971.
    John Shearer—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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