Smokin’ Joe

“When I go out there, I have no pity on my brother. I am out there to win.”
Former Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier was born in Beaufort, South Carolina but Philadelphia became his adopted home. Frazier won 32 of his 37 fights and 27 of those victories were as a result of knockouts. Despite having a broken left thumb, Joe Frazier still won a Gold Medal in the Heavyweight Division in the 1964 Olympics. Frazier’s first fight with Muhammad Ali, on March 8, 1971 was billed as the “fight of the century.” Frazier won that one however Ali triumphed in their other two bouts. Frazier died at age 67 of liver cancer on Monday, November 7th.

Joe Frazier was one of the greatest fighters of all-time. His style was relentless; he would take several of his opponents punches in order for him to throw that devastating left hook. I watched all three of his fights with Muhammad Ali. The second fight was good; the first and third bouts were fabulous. It was a classic match; the boxer (Ali) vs. the slugger (Frazier). Although Ali won two of the three fights, Frazier also should be remembered for what he accomplished. Frazier defeated everyone in his path with the exception of Ali and George Foreman. I never met Joe Frazier; everything I have heard about him leads me to believe that he was a very nice man who treated people with respect. He was bitter toward Ali because of the things Ali said about him during their fighting days. Ali has said that his comments about Frazier often were made to “hype their fights.” Nonetheless those comments took a toll on Frazier.

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