With the passing of boxing legend Joe Frazier last night at the age of 67, we at NewsOne decided to further educate the public on the man who many call to be one of the greatest boxers of all-time.
Here are the top 10 facts you didn’t know about Smokin’ Joe Frazier.
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10. One Arm?
One of the interesting details about this boxer’s early life was that Frazier’s father was a moonshine runner that only had one arm. Despite the fact his father’s activities often got him in trouble, in a Fight Night Champion interview, he said the main reason he moved from the South was due to the lack of equipment available for him to practice with.
9. Poor Beginnings
When Frazier was growing up, he did not have a proper punching bag and instead filled a bag with scraps. Some of the things he filled it with were moss, corncobs, coal briquettes, and his mother’s old clothing.
8. Joe “The Slaughter” Frazier?
Due to the lack of opportunities in his hometown of South Carolina, Frazier followed many up north to the city of Philadelphia where he landed work as a slaughter.
7. Joe Frazier Helping Ali?
Despite the fact that they were rivals, Frazier was one of the boxers that petitioned President Nixon to reverse his 1967 decision to ban Muhammad Ali from boxing for three years. After the crisis following Ali’s draft dodging was over in October of 1970, it was only a matter of months before the famous Frazier versus Ali match.
6. Frazier The Musician?
Many will always remember Joe Frazier as a great boxer, but he also had his share of musical talents. He once performed with the band The Knockouts, and was also invited to play piano and sing with The Essential Band.
5. Rocky vs Frazier?
One of the many debates in the boxing world is how the city of Philadelphia has built a statue for a fictional character in Rocky, but never did the same for Frazier.
4. Frazier: The Ad Man
They didn’t call him ‘smokin for nothing. Frazier was an advertising pitchman for many years. In particular, a 1988 Quality Inn ad offers their newest service of a non-smoking room. Despite the fact that he was associated with smoke, he refrained from using cigarettes in his post-career life.
3. The Simpsons
Frazier has twice featured in cult cartoon The Simpsons – in 1992 and 2006.
Following his Olympic victory, Frazier’s manager “Yank” Durham put together a group of local businessmen, called “Cloverlay”, to help fund Frazier’s transition into professional boxing. He defeated Woody Goss by TKO in the first round of his professional debut on August 16, 1965.
1. The Thrilla In Manila
Held at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines, this was the third and last boxing match between the two. Although Frazier threw in the towel (due to his manager’s advice) after round 14, Ali said he almost quit himself and had to have his boxing gloves cut off.