Tribute to Smokin’ Joe Frazier
Although, I’ve never seen Joe Frazier Live in action, but after going through a number of resources for information, I discovered that Joe Frazier has all the elements of a mega superstar, that have kept his name alive, even today.Born on January 12, 1944, in Beaufort South California, Joe William Frazier, his family and friends called him “Billy Bob”.
He was a diehard fan of boxing legend Joe Louis, made his very own punching bag by stuffing an old sack with scrap and Spanish moss. He once stated, “For the next 6, 7 years, damn near every day I’d hit that heavy bag for an hour at a time. I’d wrap my hands with a necktie of my Daddy’s, or a stocking of my Momma’s or sister’s, and get to it.”
As an amateur, he won championships in the mid 60’s and the only fight he ever lost during his amateur fight career was against Buster Mathis. After the win, Mathis had qualified for the 1964 Olympics. But this was about to change. Both athletes decided to hold an exhibition match for some army personnel during the end of their training camp, where Mathis hit Frazier so hard that his knuckle broke, which earned Frazier a spot in the Olympics. Frazier made it big, by bringing home the only gold medal, won by the US in those times.
Joe Frazier had defeated some of the greatest athletes during his career, such as Buster Mathis, Jerry Quarry and Bob Foster, but it was his win against boxing superstar Muhammad Ali, held on March 18th in Madison Square Garden, New York, that outshined his career and became the most acclaimed match of his life.
Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali were not on cordial terms during their boxing careers and often ended up trash talking, passing sarcastic remarks against each other and soon it all became personal. However, the differences were all settled in 2009, when Frazier announced that he, no more, has hard feelings for Ali. Joe Frazier, also known as “Smokin’ Joe”, is one of the best boxing athletes of all time, holding a career record of 32-4-1.