A memorial for smoking Joe

By Robert Brown: This Year writer and director of the highly successful Rocky franchise Sylvester Stallone, was inducted into the international boxing hall of fame in the non participant section. As a lasting memorial to the Rocky Phenomenon there is a statue of the fictional character which is located in Philadelphia. I have no problem with Sylvester Stallone being inducted into the hall of fame because of his effect on a dying sport in the late 70’s, however the fact that a lasting memorial exists for a fictional character, and yet does not exist for “Smoking Joe Frazier” who is basically the symbol of the now famous Philadelphia spirit, is an extreme over sight that must be corrected.

In my opinion, I think the Rocky films are loosely based around Joe Frazier. Joe Frazier even worked in a meat packing plant as the Rocky character did in the first and second installments of the film. My point is, Joe Frazier would have existed without the Rocky films, but the Rocky films may not have existed without Joe Frazier.

Joe Frazier is responsible for a huge piece of world boxing history. The Philadelphia heartened spirit would not have existed without him. the Ali’s legend would have been largely been diminished without him, and so would Foreman’s to a certain extent. Even Howard Cosell would not have his famous “down go Frazier” line, which is one of the most famous lines in sporting history.

The point I’m trying to make is, in most people’s eyes, Joe Frazier is probably in the top 10 heavyweights of all time. He however does not seem to get the credit of other iconic boxers, or other sportsmen of the 20th century. In my opinion this must be rectified as soon as possible. Let’s not forget he fought in arguably one of the most important fights in boxing history, and was the first person to defeat the great Muhammad Ali. And in my opinion, delivered the hardest punch not to knock out a fighter in the 1971 showdown, in New York’s Madison Square Garden I believe he fought the most important trilogy of fights in boxing history, and if anyone deserves a statue or a lasting memorial in their city of origin it is “Smoking Joe Frazier”. I hope that all boxing fans join with me and put pressure on the city of Philadelphia to rectify this glaring anomaly.

At the moment “Joe Frazier” deserves more than a gym from the city of Philadelphia to show that he exists. I realize that “Joe Frazier” is in the international boxing hall of fame, however because he is part of so many of the most important history making events in boxing history I believe he deserves more recognition both from the city of Philadelphia and from us in the boxing community. “Ali” has a shopping mall in the Philippines whereas “Frazier” does not even have a plaque in the city of Philadelphia. He does have a hospital named after him in Sri Lanka, but nothing significant enough from the city of Philadelphia, and for a person that has done so much for the boxing world both as a trainer and a fighter, this is a major indictment on the boxing world as a whole.

If anyone deserves a statue alongside “Rocky” it is “Smoking Joe Frazier” Please join with me in encouraging the city of Philadelphia to fix this obvious mistake…

Article posted on 04.08.2011

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