Blog Entry

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 4:21 pm
 
Sad day. Goosebumps just writing this. But Joe Frazier is dying, sooner than later, and when he's gone boxing will have lost one of its toughest, its most talented, and its most underappreciated champions of all time.

Yes, I believe every word of that last sentence.

Joe Frazier, who is living his final days under hospice care because of liver cancer, is one of the best heavyweights of all time. He's the victim of timing, fighting during the heyday of the heavyweight division and retiring with a modest-looking (for an all-time great) record of 32-4-1. His only losses, though, came to Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, two losses each. He also beat Ali once, in addition to victories over high-quality heavyweights like Jimmy Ellis (twice), Jerry Quarry (twice), Bob Foster, Joe Bugner, Oscar Bonavena (twice), Buster Mathis and George Chuvalo.

Frazier had the size of a cruiserweight but the heart of a lion. Remember how dominating Mike Tyson was, earlier in his career? That was Frazier. Same size, same relentlessness, same ferocity.

Frazier is 67 years old, and with his next birthday Jan. 12, it doesn't look good that he'll make it to 68. May his final days be as enjoyable as possible.

Update, 4:24 p.m.: Here's a 6-minute highlight video of Frazier. Riveting.




Category: Boxing
Tags: Joe Frazier
 
Comments

Since: Apr 8, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 8:57 pm
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

I really wish Joe would have been a graduate assistant at PSU in 2002. May have had a different outcome.



Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

Frazier had pointed out, rightfully so, that this fight didn't need Ali to talk it up. It was the Fight of the Century and for good reason. It was the only time in history where an undefeated champion fought an undefeated ex-champion. Frazier was the greatest heavyweight fighter from 1970-1973. Ali was arguably the greatest heavyweight of all-time. The fight sold itself. That was Frazier's point. Ali was exhibiting poor judgment in being so cruel with his comments to a man who financially helped him significantly. Ali was broke and Frazier kept giving him money. When Ali needed a friend, Joe Frazier was there when few others were.



Since: May 13, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:12 am
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

90% of the taunting was know in advance by Frazier. Ali knew how to pump up interest in a bout and he made Frazier millions of dollars because of it. Mean spirited?, yes but it was all done to make more money and it worked.



Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:08 am
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

Completely agree with pats... So much so, I thought I wrote it myself. I'm 45 and grew up in Philly and when I 1st started following sports in the early 70's, there were the Flyers & Joe Frazier. And that's it. I remember crying when Foreman knocked him down 6 times in 2 rounds to take the Heavyweight Crown from him. Foreman later recalled the fight and everytime he knocked down Frazier, he kept begging the ref to stop the fight. He was afraid that all he was doing was making Frazier mad and thought he himself was in trouble. 


He fought like no other heavyweight, before or since. He fought like a middleweight in that his style dictated that there would always be action. Heavyweights take breaks throughout the fight, even Ali, but Frazier would have none of that. It could be said that the flaw in his boxing style was that too often he led with his chin. In reality, he ALWAYS led with his heart.


Joe Frazier, you were one of my boyhood idols & the world is a little more empty without you in it.     



Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 8:56 am
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

One of the toughest of all time. Does anyone else remember Smokin' Joe's lawnmower story? In his retirement days, Frazier cut his own lawn for exercise. One day, he backed up the power mower a little too far and cut of the great toe of his left foot. He went back into his house, splashed some alcohol on that bad boy, and drove himself to the hospital, where they patched him up properly. They never found the toe for reattachment, so he lived the rest of his life with a stump. For Joe, no big deal. Said he didn't really need it anyway. The interviewer (Stern, if I recall correctly) asked him if he cried. Are you kidding? He's JOE FRAZIER, dammit!

One of the last real men. May your passage be peaceful, Joe Frazier. We are all better off for having you along on the journey.



Since: Jun 15, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 1:09 am
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

Thanks to Smokin Joe Frazier for some of the greatest fights of all time.  There will never be another Thiller in Manila, and never a
heart as large as Joe's.




Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2011 1:01 am
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

God Bless Joe Frazier and his family for this troubling times ahead for them. And there is no doubt that Frazier is one of the all-time greats of boxing for sure. God Bless you Frazier.



Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 12:53 am
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

Thanks for writing the Joe Frazier tribute Gregg.  I loved Frazier as a kid - actually preferred him to Ali b/c of the way he was unfairly mocked by Ali despite how he helped get the latter back into the ring after his late 1960s ban for his refusal to serve.  The whole "gorilla" and "uncle tom"nonsense that Ali threw his way was just so mean-spirited and helped to lessen the glory this man should have been able to bask in.  I know some pointed to Frazier's reluctance to forget all of this and said he should have let bygones be bygones, but frankly I understood it.  I pray that he he doesn't suffer too much here at the end, and that when the he breathes his last he finally finds his peace.



Since: Nov 5, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 10:22 pm
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

Frazier was Great when Boxing was Great... You don't put down Frazier for a bum like Tyson, the guy has no heart, and Joe had a HUGE left hook and has an even Larger Heart... May you grace the angels with peace Joe Frazier... 



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: November 5, 2011 10:01 pm
 

Props for Joe Frazier, all-time great

Doyel, I rant at you about your hate mail blog, but this is a good piece.   I like a lot of your takes, and this is a good piece.  Peace with Joe Fraziers family, I used to watch Frazier on Saturday afternoons with my father, and it is one of the great early life memories for me.


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