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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Smokin' Joe Frazier: A Legend Among Legends

AP Photo

My memories here are few, but what few I have,
they are of legendary proportions. Before there
was the embarrassment that was Leon and Michael
Spinks, the hollow champ that was Larry Holmes,
or the hurricane that was and in some ways still
is Mike Tyson, there were legends. Many will
call late night talk shows and was poetic about
the golden age of boxing when they can get a
word in edgewise because the hosts are dying for
callers. Some will recall vividly and not so
vividly, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, and
others I am way to young to mention, but when I
was growing up, there was no MMA, and for me boxing
was in one of it's best periods ever when it came
to the Heavyweight division. You had the likes
of Ernie Shavers, George Foreman, Muhammad Ali,
and of course "Smokin' Joe Frazier". These are
just the headliners, these are the top tier.
Even the lower level of the heavyweight division
could beat on some of today's bums. Kenny Norton,
Jimmy Young, and Jerry Quarry earned a fair amount
of respect as well. Quarry lost to Muhammad Ali
twice, Kenny Norton and Joe Frazier once each and
still managed an impressive 53-9. Impressive because
of who he lost four of those to, not because nine
losses can ever be impressive.

Joseph William Frazier, had an unbelievable flair
about him, he was 32-4, an Olympic Gold Medalist,
a Heavyweight champion, and an entertainer like
very few could be. His Heavyweight crown came
when he defeated Muhammad Ali in the "Fight of
the Century", and is an inductee of both the
Intl. Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing
Hall of Fame. I will always remember Frazier for
his style, hats, that fur collar on his coat, and
never being afraid of going toe to toe with the self
proclaimed "Greatest" Muhammad Ali.

Boxing lost a true legend, as did the world on November
7th, and it's not just sad because of how great he was,
or entertaining he was, or even because soon we may have
to deal with the reality some some of his peers may soon
see their end, but because it was as lightning quick as
one of his powerful blows. He was diagnosed with cancer
in September and we lost him in less than two months, at
the very young age of 67.

I wish I could tell you more, but I was just a boy
when Frazier began his greatness, and lucky for us he
never stopped being great. R.I.P. Smokin' Joe!

Thank You Al Davis !

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