Mid-day Extra: Where boxing has gone since the days of Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier fights Muhammad Ali in the "Fight of the Century" at Madison Square Garden, in New York.

There was some sad news out late yesterday that boxing legend Joe Frazier has passed away.

He was probably best remembered for a legendary rivalry against Muhammad Ali. In 1971, he handed Ali his first professional defeat in the "fight of the century" at Madison Square Garden.

At the time, these big matches were heavily hyped, but it seems as though now, boxing has fallen off the radar of mainstream American sports fans.

In today's Mid-day Extra, we ask: how has boxing, and the business of boxing, changed over the years?

For answers, we went to Thomas Hauser, the author of a number of books including "[[link: text: The View From Ringside: Inside the Tumultuous World of Boxing."

According to him, one of the main reasons boxing isn't the sport it once was is because of the division of the market. In the days where we had just three television channels, there was a huge audience to watch these big boxing matches.

Now, with dozens of cable channels and boxing leagues, the viewership is splintered -- not to mention, you can always watch the fight later on YouTube.

The rivalry between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier also helped add to the flame of boxing's popularity, as did the idea that one champion would be crowned at the end of a fight -- a practice that has since been watered down.


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