'Fight of the Century' to re-run with 'enhanced' production on 50th anniversary


Sports fans will be treated to a rebroadcast of one of the most famous contests of the 20th century this weekend.

A remastered version of the legendary first bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier will air Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN announced this week.

The re-run is meant to mark the 50th anniversary of the so-called "Fight of the Century," held at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971, and apparently boasts improved and "enhanced" production techniques.

From an ESPN release:

Fans will be thrilled to see the results ESPN’s boxing production team achieved in Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier 50th Anniversary Special through the intricate digital remastering of every second of both the original footage of the entire fight and the original ABC Wide World of Sports broadcast. For the fight, this process included some 461 shots in which graininess was removed, color was corrected and enhanced, and images were sharpened.

The highly anticipated fight pitted two undefeated champions against each other for the first time in boxing history, and marked the stiffest challenge Ali had faced since his return to the ring after being exiled for his refusal to report for military service upon being drafted amid the Vietnam war.

The brutal 15-round fight went the distance, with Frazier winning a unanimous decision.

It also marked the beginning of Ali's later career, when he was no longer seen as invincible, and set the stage for his final and arguably greatest comeback, culminating with his stunning 1974 upset of George Foreman, who had claimed the heavyweight title from Frazier.

The two-hour broadcast was also set to re-air on ESPN on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

h/t Awful Announcing