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AT THE BELL...
Mark Kram
March 08, 1971
...millions around the world will lean forward, the anticipation over, the moment now at hand when two of the best their sport has known settle who deserves the title that only one can have
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March 08, 1971

At The Bell...

...millions around the world will lean forward, the anticipation over, the moment now at hand when two of the best their sport has known settle who deserves the title that only one can have

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Still, the prospect of odd incident, even a close decision for Frazier, offers the potential for trouble, and one can already sense sinister vibrations. So the fight cannot afford the slightest murkiness: no breaches of rules and no confused interpretation of the rules. The referee, who should be black and not allowed to score, must be in absolute control; for him, scoring is diverting. Any bungling, any laxity in supervision is beyond consideration.

So now, with only the hallucinatory ranting of Ali to amuse us and whip the passions of his legions, we can only wait for the climax of the ring's strangest era. Wait and wonder if Ali will fulfill what he calls his divine destiny and deliver as romantic a moment as sport has ever known. Wait and feel the loneliness of Joe Frazier's position, sense his quiet desperation to remove the last obstacle in his life. Wait...as the drama tightens like a knotted rope in water.

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