Up Close & Peculiar
More than 100 years ago, the globetrotting Robert Ripley began collecting artifacts from his journeys around the world, which today form the heart of the greatest collection of oddities ever assembled. Up Close & Peculiar brings the curious history of these pieces to a personal level as our very own, Allyson Iovino, explores the strange relics that lie within our Warehouse walls! Become a part of the story as we share pieces for every history buff, pop culture junkie, and oddities collector alike.
Today: Joe Frazier’s Jockstrap
It may look like I have been rummaging through someone’s underwear drawer, but what I have here is actually a pretty significant piece of boxing history. This is Joe Frazier’s jockstrap that he wore in his famous 1971 fight against Muhammid Ali.
In 1971, the world was eagerly anticipating the “Fight of the Century” between two boxing legends: Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Ali, the former heavyweight champion, had been stripped of his title due to his refusal to be drafted into the Vietnam War. Frazier, meanwhile, had recently won the title and was eager to prove that he was the true champion.
Believe It or Not! Joe Frazier used to work in a meat locker in Philadelphia and was known to punch the sides of the meat with his fists. Sound familiar? That’s because his unusual training tactics were the inspiration behind the meat locker storyline in Rocky!
The fight took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 8th, 1971, and was a grueling 15-round battle that saw both fighters take punishing blows. In the end, Frazier emerged victorious, handing Ali his first professional loss.