Joe Frazier’s loss became Laurence Tureaud’s gain. According to Sylvester Stallone, the legendary former heavyweight king was all set to take the part of Clubber Lang in the third installment of the fantastic “Rocky” series, only for “Smokin’” Joe to suffer a flashback in pre-movie sparring with Sly, hitting him with a shot that opened up a nasty cut, requiring six stitches.
Heavyweight legend Joe Frazier would have been 73 years old today, January 12. Yet, sadly, as we all know, “Smoke” passed away in November of 2011 after a battle with cancer. As we all know? Well, the folks at Fox Philly certainly don’t appear to know that Joe has been dead for over five years, not if their morning broadcast from earlier today is anything to go by.
The female host wished Joe a happy birthday, informing viewers how:
Imagine how highly heavyweight warrior Joe Frazier would be rated today if he had retired after he had, as he himself put it, “closed the butterfly’s lips” in March of 1971. Often in boxing, it’s crucial, legacy-wise, how a fighter leaves the sport. Too often a once indestructible fighting machine becomes a mere mortal due to the passing of years and the number of hard fights endured.
But heavyweight legend Joe Frazier – who sadly passed away five years ago today – was never going to call it a day after scoring the biggest, most impressive win of his entire career. It was of course March of ’71 when Frazier met Muhammad Ali in a Fight of The Century that lived up to ALL the hype and its lofty billing, and Joe, then aged 27 and at his blistering, unstoppable peak at 26-0 as a pro had truly conquered the world. Why – how – could he possibly walk away?”Smokin’” Joe had plenty of fight left in him, even if the titanic battle with Ali had taken its toll.
Philadelphia, PA (September 1, 2015) – XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is set to unveil a new 12-foot bronze statue commemorating Joe Frazier, one of the most iconic Philadelphia athletes in history, during a free, open-to-the-public ceremony at XFINITY Live! on Saturday, September 12 at 1 p.m. XFINITY Live! and Joe Hand Promotions were the lead contributors for this memorial.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.