Skip to main content

Michigan State OL coach Mark Staten is having his guys watch the Ali vs. Frazier fight as bowl homework


One of the greatest boxing matches ever took place over forty years ago when heavyweights Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier went toe-to-toe in what many call "The Fight of the Century".

The fight between the two undefeated heavyweights went 15 rounds at Madison Square Gardens before Frazier was crowned champ in a unanimous decision.

Michigan State offensive line coach Mark Staten sent the video of the fight to each of his offensive lineman's iPads and assigned a bowl homework assignment leading up to their match up tonight with Alabama. Each player was asked to watch the fight, and break down a round to one of his teammates, according to a piece by USA Today.

“It’s (been) their homework assignment. We’ll go through the first five rounds [Tuesday], the second five rounds [Wednesday] and then the final five rounds on game day.”

You may be asking yourself what the significance is between that fight and the Spartans' game tonight against the Crimson Tide.

“It’s two programs who, historically over the last five or six seasons, have been at the top of their those two great fighters. This is our fight of the century."

One lineman, fifth-year senior Jack Conklin didn't see the significance at first, but eventually got the message that Staten wanted to deliver with the unique assignment.

“It seems silly at first, sometimes, some of the little things we do, but that really is going to pay it forward in the game, just getting into the mindset that it’s going to be a dogfight. The most physical team will win. We’re going to stay in the fight. Fifteen rounds, it’s going to be a four-quarter game. It’s something that’s in the back of your head, but it’s something that I think will actually help quite a bit.”

Read the more here.