Get our free newsletter
Forget the “Thrilla in Manila” and the “Rumble in the Jungle.” Both of those were legendary victories for Muhammad Ali, but when it comes to the fight most laden with meaning for the sport of boxing, you gotta talk about an Ali loss years earlier: Ali vs. Frazier I, on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden, aka “The Fight of the Century.” That’s also the title of a new book by Alexandria writer Michael Arkush, who gives the matchup the full treatment it deserves, dwelling not only on the fight itself—which Joe Frazier won in a unanimous 15-round decision—but on the run-up to the match, with Ali coming back from his post-draft-evasion exile to take on the undefeated Frazier at the height of his skills. Neither Ali nor Frazier would sit with Arkush to talk about the fight, but interviews with Ali trainer Angelo Dundee and more than 100 others more than fill out his narrative. Arkush discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133.