Publish date:

HOOKED AND SMOKED OUT

Author:

Joe Frazier fought precisely as he said he would—"I'll come out smokin' "—and, in the end, there was nothing Jimmy Ellis could do about it. For the first round and part of the second, Ellis was able to maneuver for the distance he needed for his sharp punches. After that Frazier—flailing away with left hooks and looping rights—denied him distance and any respite. The lefts were more effective. They knocked Ellis down early in the fourth round, and he barely got up at nine. Another hook put him down again, and though he again was up at nine—this time after the bell sounded—he could not come out for the fifth round. If Frazier fought his fight, so did Ellis, and there could hardly be any doubt that the Philadelphian was the superior fighter. Frazier thus retains the championship he claimed for two years—of six states—and takes over the one awarded Ellis by the World Boxing Association. He is the champion now—except, perhaps, for Muhammad Ali.

PHOTO

HERB SCHARFMAN AND TONY TRIOLO

Overwhelmed by a barrage of punches, Ellis collapses on his stomach in the first knockdown of the fight in Madison Square Garden.

PHOTO

HERB SCHARFMAN AND TONY TRIOLO

After a left hook to the head, Ellis starts to crumple again. Later he could not remember Frazier had knocked him down a second time.