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Michael Brennan tells the story behind one of his iconic images: Muhammad Ali confronts Joe Frazier on the streets of Manhattan photograph, taken in January 1974.

Michael Brennan, who only moved to the Big Apple from London a few months prior, found himself at a press conference at the Wig & Pen restaurant in Manhattan where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were promoting their upcoming fight at Madison Square Garden. This was the first time Brennan was in the same room as the great fighter. Later, outside, he caught the two fighters on the street as “Ali points to the side-view mirror and tells Joe Frazier to take a look and see how ugly he is.”

It would seem that a camera, any camera anywhere would have Muhammad Ali turn into a promotional automaton. Unfortunately, many recipients of those well-meaning tirades found it tiresome. Joe Frazier most times tolerated Ali’s creative insults. However, on this occasion it became obvious that had his trainer Eddie Futch and press representative Dave Wolf not intervened, Frazier would have responded. You might have seen Ali v Frazier 2 on the streets of Manhattan.” – Michael Brennan

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