Damn, just got the word that one of the greatest boxers of all times Smoking Joe Frazier passed away last night…Dude had been battling liver cancer which is no joke..
Wish I had the words to express all that I feel..Joe represented a bygone era.. He was part of the Golden Age of Heavyweight boxing and was staple figure to anyone growing up in the 1970s..
I grew up as a Muhammad Ali fan, but always had a deep respect for Frazier.. Not only was a damn good fighter who definitely brought the pain to Ali, he was a first class guy who I feel was constantly overshadowed. Hopefully history will treat him more fairly…
If you talk to some of the elders in the community they will tell you that key turning points in both sports and social history occurred when both Ali & Frazier squared off at Madison Square Garden back in 1971. Both were undefeated..Their bout was the start of one of the most storied rivalries in sports history.
Ali was extremely fast with a mean jab. He’s float like a butterfly sting like a bee.. Frazier was the type of cat who would keep coming.. He’d bob, weave and knock you out..
Ali who was known for talking major shyt was the guy white America loved to hate, because he was so cocky.. Black folks loved him because he was political and aligned himself with the struggle..
Frazier was never a sell out type of cat.. he was always well respected, but when contrasted with Ali, he was the man the mainstream was rooting for when they had their epic fight billed the ‘Fight of the Century‘.
It was one of the first bouts that was pay per view.. Folks had to go to a movie theater and pay $35 which was a lot at that time to see this fight via short-circuit TV…Frazier won in 15 round decision. If I’m correct he broke Ali’s jaw and knocked the champ off his feet for the first time in his career
Frazier’s reign as champ was short-lived when he lost to George Foreman in 1973.. That fight was brutal because Frazier who was known for bobbing and weaving and then knocking you out with a left hook, was pummeled by Foreman…He was knocked down 6 times. It was this win over Frazier that made Ali’s victory over Foreman so memorable.
Frazier’s greatest fight may have been his third and final match with Ali..known as the Thrilla in Manilla which went down in Oct of 1975.. Ali had beaten Frazier the year before, so this fight was the one to settle the score between the two champs.. Ali won, but Frazier whupped him. meaning, that when it was over you knew Ali had been in a fight..
After that fight and over the years Frazier seemed to be bitter when it came to Ali. At one point Frazier was recorded making fun of Ali’s Parkinson disease Many said it was because Ali kept calling him a ‘gorilla’. Frazier thought it was disrespectful especially since he had reached out to help Ali when he was broke after being banned from boxing for refusing to be drafted and fight in Vietnam. Many think Ali didn’t show Frazier, the love and respect he deserved.
In any case, Frazier was a class guy. He constantly gave back to his community and its sad to hear of his passing.. RIP Joe..