Recognized as sports television’s best storyteller and the leading TV platform for boxing, HBO Sports presents five of its acclaimed boxing documentaries on consecutive Thursday evenings this summer on HBO2. Featuring HBO Sports’ trademark blend of unseen archival footage, home movies, revealing interviews and unique storytelling, the festival launches June 26 with the powerful ALI-FRAZIER I: ONE NATION… DIVISIBLE and concludes with the celebrated 2013 presentation LEGENDARY NIGHTS: THE TALE OF GATTI-WARD. Continue reading
There are some fights that were possible but they never happened. In the case of Joe Frazier verses Ken Norton a little bit of alternative revisionist history is needed to set the stage for the fight to have happened. The following, of course, is fiction and it is my take on how such a fight may have transpired.
It is May 1974 and former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier is in training to fight fellow highly ranked contender Jerry Quarry who had defeated up and coming contenders Earnie Shavers and Ron Lyle the previous year. Frazier, who was fresh off a loss to fellow ex champion Muhammad Ali, knew a win over Quarry would solidify another heavyweight title shot against the man who had brutally taken his title from him, George Foreman. But as luck would have it Quarry, who was prone to cuts, was cut while training and the injury was severe enough to sideline him for the next couple of months. Frazier was told by several promoters and by representatives of the major sanctioning bodies that he had to beat a top ranked contender in order to be considered for another title shot. But the problem was that if Quarry, who fit the bill, was not available, and both Lyle and Shavers who had already been beaten by Quarry had slipped in the rankings, who was available for Frazier to fight? Continue reading
Like many fans, my introduction to the sweet science came from watching the highlight reel knockouts of Mike Tyson. A casual viewer at first, I soon became enamoured with the sport after watching such greats as Pernell Whitaker, Roy Jones Jr. and Lennox Lewis. Craving more, I decided to check out some of the great fighters of old. Every now and then, ESPN Classics would spotlight fighters such as Roberto Duran, Mohammed Ali or even Sugar Ray Robinson.
Eventually, I came upon Smokin’ Joe Frazier. I had heard the name, of course, but had not seen any of his fights. They were showing his first fight with George Foreman – Kingston, Jamaica in 1973. I could still feel the electricity all these years later as the fighters entered the ring.
And that staredown. Continue reading
November 18, 1970 -Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier scores 2nd round knockout over light heavyweight champion Bob Foster.
Painting by Ylli Haruni — From the office of WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán: The following is one of the weekly “Hook to the Liver” columns that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From March 10, translated from Spanish:
By José Sulaimán — 42 Years Ago : Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
Back in February of 1971, I was elected Secretary General of the WBC. I was still very young – 30 years old – and I felt that I owned the whole Planet Earth. I wanted to give my very best for the sport where I had been since being a child. President Velazquez appointed me as supervisor for the most expected fight in the whole world, Ali-Frazier at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
Ali was sanctioned and humiliated by the American Army when he did not step forward to join the Army for the Vietnam war. All boxing and other organisations stripped him of his heavyweight title of the world, while the U.S. government took away his passport. He had been three and a half years away from boxing, waiting on his appeal to be resolved by the courts of law. Ali won the trial and came back to boxing at 28 and a half years of age. What a waste of time !!! Continue reading
by Geoffrey Ciani – Over the course of a sixteen month period beginning in June 2009, I conducted a series of surveys that all began with a very simple question: Who are the ten best heavyweights of all time? While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a ‘true’ top 10 list should look like. Now of course this is not an exact science by any means. In fact, quite the opposite, it is an extremely subjective topic that is often skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, individual tastes and preferences, and most importantly the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria with which to judge past fighters. Even with these inherent obstacles playing their natural role, however, we can still establish some degree of consensus.
The guidelines were simple. I had every person who voluntarily participated in each survey provide me with a chronological list of who they considered to be the ten best (heavyweights, middleweights, etc) in boxing history. Ties were not permitted, just a straight-forward list from one to ten. I then used a weighted-points system to assign values to fighters based on where they appeared on each individual’s list. First place votes received 25 points. Second place votes were worth 15 points, third place votes were 12, and fourth and fifth place votes were worth 10 and 8 points respectively. After that, the point differential was constant, with sixth place votes getting 5 points, seventh place votes getting 4, eighth getting 3, ninth place 2, and tenth place 1. Continue reading
Fans Will Be Able To Buy Ali, Leonard, Holyfield Ring Memorabilia, As The Boxing Treasures Of All Three Legends Go To Auction
By James Slater: Evander Holyfield is having to put up a lot of his prized possessions due to his financial problems (he recently had to sell his Georgia mansion for $7.5 million), and the late Angelo Dundee’s vast collection of ring treasures will also go for sale at another auction soon. Continue reading