Joe Frazier: Wikis


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Joe Frazier
Frazier mugfoto.jpg
Nickname(s) "Smokin' Joe"
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 5 ft 11.5 in (1.82 m)
Nationality American
Birth date January 12, 1944 (1944-01-12) (age 66)
Birth place Beaufort, South Carolina
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 37
Wins 32
Wins by KO 27
Losses 4
Draws 1
No contests 0
Olympic medal record
Gold 1964 Tokyo Heavyweight

Joseph William "Joe" Frazier, known as Smokin' Joe (pronounced /ˈfreɪʒər/; born January 12, 1944), is an Olympic (1964) and World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, active from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s.

Frazier was a popular champion, ranked among the best ever heavy weights; reprising himself in cameo roles in several Hollywood films, and professionally is perhaps most famous for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali, with him winning one, and Ali two.

Frazier had a bullying fighting style, depending on bobbing, weaving and power punching. He is perhaps most famous for his vicious left hooks. Compared to Ali's style, he was close enough to the ideal bruiser that some in the press and media characterized the bouts as the answer to the classic question: "What happens when a boxer meets with a brawler."

According to Frazier in the HBO special documenting "The Thrilla in Manila" fight, he was partially blind in his left eye due to a training accident in 1965. This would indicate that throughout his entire professional career, he fought with only partial sight on his left side.




Early professional career

After Frazier won the Olympic heavyweight gold medal, his trainer Yancey "Yank" Durham helped put together Cloverlay, a group of local businessmen who invested in Frazier's professional career and allowed him to train full-time. Durham was Frazier's chief trainer and manager until Durham's death in August 1973. Frazier turned professional in 1965, defeating Woody Goss by a technical knockout in the first round. He won three more fights that year, all by knockout, none going past the third round.

In 1966, as Frazier's career was taking off, Durham contacted Los Angeles trainer Eddie Futch. The two men had never met, but Durham had heard of Futch through the latter's reputation as one of the most respected trainers in boxing. Frazier was sent to Los Angeles to train, before Futch agreed to join Durham as an assistant trainer. With Futch's assistance, Durham arranged three fights in Los Angeles against Al Jones, veteran contender Eddie Machen, and George "Scrapiron" Johnson. Frazier knocked out Jones and Machen, but went 10 rounds with Johnson to win a unanimous decision.

After the Johnson match, Futch became a full-fledged member of the Frazier camp as an assistant trainer and strategist, who also advised Durham on matchmaking. It was Futch who suggested that Frazier boycott the 1967 WBA heavyweight elimination tournament to find a successor to Muhammad Ali, after the heavyweight champion was stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted into the military, although Frazier was the top-ranked contender at the time.

Futch proved invaluable to Frazier as an assistant trainer, helping modify his style. Under his tutelage, Frazier adopted the bob-and-weave defensive style, making him more difficult for taller opponents to punch, while also giving Frazier more power with his own punches. While Futch remained based in Los Angeles, where he worked as a supervisor with the U.S. Postal Service, he was flown to Philadelphia to work with Frazier during the final preparations for all of his fights.

When Durham died in 1973, Futch was asked to succeed him as Frazier's head trainer and manager. In fact, Futch was also training heavyweight contender Ken Norton at the time. He was in Norton's corner in March 1973, when Norton broke Ali's jaw and won a split decision. After Norton lost the rematch to Ali in September 1973, Norton's managers, Robert Biron and Aaron Rivkind, demanded that Futch choose between training Frazier and Norton. Futch chose Frazier, but not without regret at being forced to make the choice.

Late 1960s

In 1966, Frazier won a disputed decision over Argentine fighter Oscar Bonavena, despite Bonavena flooring him twice in the second round (a third knockdown in that round would have ended the fight).

In 1966, Frazier won all four of his fights, including a sixth-round knockout of Doug Jones and a fourth-round technical knockout (TKO) of George Chuvalo.

In 1967, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his world heavyweight title due to his refusal to be inducted into the military during the Vietnam War. To fill the vacancy, the New York State Athletic Commission held a bout between Frazier and Buster Mathis, with the winner to be recognized as "World Champion" by the state of New York. Although the fight was not recognized as a World Championship bout by some, Frazier won by a knockout in the 11th round and staked a claim to the heavyweight championship. He then defended his title by beating Manuel Ramos of Mexico in two rounds, and closed 1968 by beating Bonavena via a 15-round decision in a hard-fought rematch.

1969 saw Frazier defend his New York title in Texas, beating Dave Zyglewicz by a first-round knockout, and beating Jerry Quarry by TKO in the seventh round. The competitive, exciting match with Quarry was named 1969 Ring Magazine fight of the year.

Early 1970s

On February 16, 1970, Frazier became the undisputed world champion when he defeated WBA champion Jimmy Ellis at Madison Square Garden by a fifth-round knock-out. Ellis had beaten Jerry Quarry in the final bout of a WBA elimination tournament for Ali's vacated belt, but Frazier had declined to participate.

In his first title defense, Frazier travelled to Detroit to fight world light-heavyweight champion Bob Foster, who had set a record for the number of defenses in the light-heavyweight division. Frazier (26-0) retained his title by knock-out in two rounds. Then came what was quickly dubbed the Fight Of The Century, his first fight with Ali. This would be the first meeting of two undefeated heavyweight champions, since Ali (31-0) had not lost his title in the ring, but rather been stripped because of his refusal to be inducted in the Armed Forces.

On March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden, Frazier and Ali met in the first of their three bouts which was widely called the Fight of the Century in pre-bout publicity and the press feeding frenzy. With a worldwide television audience, and an in-house audience that included luminaries such as Frank Sinatra (as a photographer for Life magazine to get a ringside seat), comedian Woody Allen, singer Diana Ross, and actors Dustin Hoffman and Burt Lancaster (who served as "color commentator" with fight announcer Don Dunphy), the two undefeated heavyweights met in the kind of media-frenzied atmosphere not seen since Joe Louis' youth.

Many factors came together for Frazier in this fight. He was 27 years old and at his lifetime peak both physically and mentally, while Ali, 29, was coming back from a three-year absence, taking on Frazier soon after a bruising battle with Oscar Bonavena, whom Ali had defeated by a TKO in 15. Frazier had exhaustively trained specifically for Ali under the tutelage of famed coach Eddie Futch, who had developed a strategy based on Ali's tendency to throw the right-hand uppercut from a straight standing position after dropping the hand in preparation to throw it with force. Futch instructed Frazier to watch Ali's right hand and, at the moment Ali dropped it, to throw a left hook at the spot where they knew Ali's face would be a second later.[1][2] Frazier's staggering of Ali in the 11th round and his knock-down of Ali in the 14th round were both executed precisely in this way.

Frazier lost a number of early rounds but took Ali's combinations without backing down. As Ali started to slow in the middle rounds, Frazier came on strong, landing hard shots to the body as well as the powerful left hooks to the head by virtue of Futch's instructions.

Consequently, Frazier won a clear, 15-round, unanimous decision. Ali was taken to the hospital immediately after the fight to have his badly swollen jaw x-rayed, and Frazier spent time in the hospital during the ensuing month.

In 1972, Frazier successfully defended the title twice, beating Terry Daniels and Ron Stander, both by knockout, in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively.

It was Frazier's turn to lose his undefeated record of 29-0 and position as undisputed world champion at the hands of powerful puncher George Foreman on January 22, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica. Foreman towered over the shorter, more compact Champ, and soon dominated the brief bout. The fight was stopped in the second round after Frazier was knocked down for the sixth time, three times in each round (the three knock-down rule was not in effect). The first of these knock-downs prompted Howard Cosell's famous call, "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!"

After his loss to Foreman, now 29-1, Frazier won his next fight, a 12-round decision over Joe Bugner in London to begin his quest to regain the title.

Mid 1970s

Frazier's second fight against Ali took place in 1974, in New York, with Ali winning a 12-round unanimous decision. Frazier finished that year with another rematch, knocking out Jerry Quarry in five rounds.

1975 was, once again, a year of rematches for Frazier, but this time they involved more overseas travel. He met Jimmy Ellis, the man from whom he had originally taken the WBA title, in Melbourne, Australia, knocking him out in nine rounds. That win made him once again the number-one challenger for the world crown, now held by Ali after an eighth-round knockout of George Foreman in the famous "Rumble in the Jungle."

Ali and Frazier met for the third and final time in Quezon City (a district within the metropolitan area of Manila), the Philippines: the "Thrilla in Manila." Ali took every opportunity to mock Frazier, again calling him The Gorilla, and generally trying to irritate him.

The fight for Ali's title, which was attended by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, caused another media frenzy and was seen live around the world. It was far more action-filled than the previous encounter (there was no belt at stake in the second fight), and was a punishing display that ended when Eddie Futch stopped the fight before the 15th and final round with Frazier sitting on his stool. Frazier never spoke with Futch again.[3] For his part, Ali described the match as "the closest thing to death" he had ever experienced.

In 1976, Frazier (32-3) fought and again lost to George Foreman, this time by fifth-round knockout, and retired.

Frazier made a cameo appearance in the movie Rocky later in 1976 and dedicated himself to training local boxers in Philadelphia, where he grew up, including some of his own children.

1980s comeback and coaching career

In 1981, Frazier attempted a comeback that lasted only one fight, drawing in 10 rounds with Floyd "Jumbo" Cummings in Chicago, Illinois. He then retired for good.

Since then, Frazier has involved himself in various endeavors. Among his sons who turned to boxing as a career, he helped train Marvis Frazier, a challenger for Larry Holmes's world heavyweight title, and trains his daughter, Jackie Frazier-Lyde. Frazier's daughter would lose to Ali's daughter.

Frazier's overall record is 32 wins, 4 losses and 1 draw, with 27 wins by knockout. He won 73 percent of his fights by knockout, compared to 60 percent for Ali and 84 percent for Foreman. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame.

In 1986, Frazier appeared as the "corner man" for Mr. T against Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 2 at Madison Square Garden. In 1989, Frazier joined Ali, Foreman, Norton and Holmes for the tribute special Champions Forever.

1990s to present

Frazier lives in Philadelphia where he owns and manages a boxing gym but Frazier put the gym up for sale in mid 2009. He has diabetes and high blood pressure. He and his nemesis, Muhammad Ali, have alternated over the years between public apologies and public insults.[4]

Frazier appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons ("Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?") in 1992, in which he would be beaten up by Barney Gumble. Frazier objected and was instead shown beating up Gumble, which was far funnier. He appeared in another episode of The Simpsons ("Homer's Paternity Coot") in 2006. Since the debut of the Fight Night series of games, Frazier appeared in Fight Night 2004, Fight Night Round 2, Fight Night Round 3 and Fight Night Round 4, games made by EA Sports.

Frazier's autobiography is titled Smokin' Joe and he was widely criticized by Ali fans for relating many of Ali's actions that he considered offensive. Some feel that Frazier has hurt himself with his unrelenting bitterness toward Ali. In 1996, when Ali lit the Olympic flame in Atlanta, Frazier told a reporter that he would like to throw Ali into the fire.[5] Frazier made millions of dollars in the 70's, but the article cited mismanagement of real-estate holdings as a partial explanation for his economic woes.

Frazier is still training young fighters, although he needed multiple operations for back injuries sustained in a car accident. It has been reported that he and Ali recently attempted a reconciliation, but as of October 2006 Frazier still claimed to have won all three bouts between the two. He declared to a Times reporter, when questioned about his bitterness toward Ali, "I am what I am."

Professional boxing record

32 Wins (28 knockouts, 5 decisions), 4 Losses (3 knockouts, 1 decision), 1 Draw[1]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Draw 32-4-1 Floyd Cummings Draw 10 1981-12-03 Chicago, IL Scoring was 46-45 Cummings, 47-47 and 46-46.
Loss 32-4 George Foreman TKO 5 (12), 2:26 1976-06-15 Uniondale, NY Bout was for the NABF Heavyweight title.
Loss 32-3 Muhammad Ali TKO 14 (15), 0:00 1975-10-01 Quezon City, Philippines "The Thrilla in Manila". Bout was for the WBA
and WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win 32-2 Jimmy Ellis TKO 9 (12), 0:59 1975-03-02 Melbourne, Australia
Win 31-2 Jerry Quarry TKO 5 (10) 1974-06-17 New York, NY
Loss 30-2 Muhammad Ali Decision (unanimous) 12 1974-01-28 New York, NY Bout was for NABF Heavyweight title.
Win 30-1 Joe Bugner Decision (unanimous) 12 1973-07-02 London, England
Loss 29-1 George Foreman TKO 2 (15), 2:26 1973-01-22 Kingston, Jamaica Lost WBA and WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win 29-0 Ron Stander TKO 5 (15) 1972-05-25 Omaha, NE Retained WBA and WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win 28-0 Terry Daniels TKO 4 (15) 1972-01-15 New Orleans, LA Retained WBA and WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win 27-0 Muhammad Ali Decision (unanimous) 15 1971-03-08 New York, NY "The Fight of the Century". Retained WBA and
WBC Heavyweight titles, and also became
universally recognized as champion.
Win 26-0 Bob Foster KO 2 (15), 0:49 1970-11-18 Detroit, MI Retained WBA and WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win 25-0 Jimmy Ellis TKO 5 (15) 1970-02-16 New York, NY Won WBA and vacant WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win 24-0 Jerry Quarry TKO 7 (15), 3:00 1969-06-23 New York, NY Retained NYSAC Heavyweight title.
Win 23-0 Dave Zyglewicz KO 1 (15) 1969-04-22 Houston, TX Retained NYSAC Heavyweight title.
Win 22-0 Oscar Bonavena Decision (unanimous) 15 1968-12-10 Philadelphia, PA Retained NYSAC Heavyweight title.
Win 21-0 Manuel Ramos TKO 2 (15) 1968-06-24 New York, NY Retained NYSAC Heavyweight title.
Win 20-0 Buster Mathis TKO 11 (15), 2:33 1968-03-04 New York, NY Becomes World Heavyweight Champion, as
recognized by the New York State Athletic
Win 19-0 Marion Connor TKO 3 (10), 1:40 1967-12-18 Boston, MA
Win 18-0 Tony Doyle TKO 2 (10), 1:04 1967-10-17 Philadelphia, PA
Win 17-0 George Chuvalo TKO 4 (10), 0:16 1967-07-19 New York, NY
Win 16-0 George Johnson Decision (unanimous) 10 1967-05-04 Los Angeles, CA
Win 15-0 Jefferson Davis KO 5 (10) 1967-04-11 Miami Beach, FL
Win 14-0 Doug Jones KO 6 (10), 2:21 1967-02-21 Philadelphia, PA
Win 13-0 Eddie Machen TKO 10 (10), 0:22 1966-11-21 Los Angeles, CA
Win 12-0 Oscar Bonavena Decision (split) 10 1966-09-21 New York, NY
Win 11-0 Billy Daniels TKO 6 (10), 3:00 1966-07-25 Philadelphia, PA
Win 10-0 Al Jones KO 1 (10), 2:33 1966-05-26 Los Angeles, CA
Win 9-0 Chuck Leslie KO 3 (10), 2:47 1966-05-19 Los Angeles, CA
Win 8-0 Don Smith KO 3 (10), 1:09 1966-04-28 Pittsburgh, PA
Win 7-0 Charley Polite TKO 2 (10), 0:55 1966-04-04 Philadelphia, PA
Win 6-0 Dick Wipperman TKO 5 (8), 2:58 1966-03-04 New York, NY
Win 5-0 Mel Turnbow KO 1 (8), 1:41 1966-01-17 Philadelphia, PA
Win 4-0 Abe Davis KO 1 (8), 2:38 1965-11-11 Philadelphia, PA
Win 3-0 Ray Staples KO 2 1965-09-28 Philadelphia, PA
Win 2-0 Mike Bruce TKO 3 (6) 1965-09-20 Philadelphia, PA
Win 1-0 Woody Goss TKO 1 (6), 1:42 1965-08-16 Philadelphia, PA

Relationship with Muhammad Ali

While Ali's characteristic taunts of his opponent began typically enough, after regaining his title, his taunts of Smokin' Joe eventually turned mean-spirited and racist. Joe was painted by Ali as the white man's hope and as an "Uncle Tom" interjecting an element of racism into an already contentious and controversial series of great bouts. (The early controversy was whether Ali should be allowed to fight at all.)

Joe Frazier petitioned President Nixon to have Ali's right to box reinstated setting up the whole series of matches.[6] Frazier also boycotted the 1967 WBA heavyweight elimination tournament to find a successor to Muhammad Ali, when the champion was stripped of the title.

After years of remaining bitter, Frazier told Sports Illustrated in May 2009 that he no longer held hard feelings for Ali.[7]


  • Some of the most memorable moments in the 1976 boxing-themed feature film, Rocky - such as Rocky's carcass-punching scenes and Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as part of his training regimen - are taken from Joe's real-life exploits, for which he received no credit. [8]

"But he never paid me for none of my past. I only got paid for a walk-on part. Rocky is a sad story for me."

  • Joe had his Olympic gold medal cut up into eleven separate pieces to divide it between his eleven children.[9]
  • In March, 2007, a Joe Frazier action figure was released as part of a range of toys based on the Rocky film franchise, developed by the American toy manufacturer, Jakks Pacific. [10][11]

See also


External links

Preceded by
Jimmy Ellis
World Heavyweight Champion
1970-02-16 – 1973-01-22
Succeeded by
George Foreman
Preceded by
Dick Tiger (1965)
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Succeeded by
Nino Benvenuti
Preceded by
José Nápoles
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1970 and 1971
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali and Carlos Monzón
Preceded by
Dick Tiger W10 Frank DePaula
Ring Magazine Fight of the Year
1969 – TKO7 Jerry Quarry (June 23)
Succeeded by
Carlos Monzón KO12 Nino Benvenuti
Preceded by
Carlos Monzón KO12 Nino Benvenuti
(November 7, 1970)
Ring Magazine Fight of the Year
1971 – W15 Muhammad Ali (March 8)
Succeeded by
Bob Foster KO14 Chris Finnegan
Preceded by
Bob Foster KO14 Chris Finnegan
(September 26, 1972)
Ring Magazine Fight of the Year
1973 – George Foreman TKO2 Joe Frazier (January 22)
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali KO8 George Foreman
Preceded by
Muhammad Ali KO8 George Foreman
(October 30, 1974)
Ring Magazine Fight of the Year
1975 – Muhammad Ali KO14 Joe Frazier (October 1)
Succeeded by
George Foreman KO5 Ron Lyle


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Joe Frazier(born January 12, 1944 in Beaufort, South Carolina) is a former world heavyweight boxing champion, active mostly in the 1960s and 1970s. Frazier is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, but he is perhaps most famous for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali, the first of which, won by Frazier in a unanimous decision, has often been called one of boxing's greatest bouts. Frazier was known for a relentless pursuit of opponents, quickly cutting off angles of escape using a chugging locomotion reminiscent of a train's advance up a hill. The contrast with Ali's dancing, non-linear style could not have been greater.



  • A sound body keeps a sound mind.
    • Wise words from Frazier.[1]
  • I am who I am, and yes, I whipped Ali all three times.
    • Frazier referring to his fights with Muhammad Ali.[2]
  • Ali kept calling me ugly, but I never thought of myself as being any uglier than him, I have 11 babies, somebody thought I was cute.
    • Frazier deals with one of Ali's insults.[3]
  • I had a job to do in the ring, and the businessmen around me had a job to do outside the ring, I did my job by beating up most of the guys they put in front of me and staying in shape, but the people I trusted didn’t do their jobs.
    • Frazier talking about how the people he trusted took advantage of him.[4]
  • Ali always said I would be nothing without him, but who would he have been without me?”
    • Frazier makes his point.[5]

About Joe Frazier sourced

About Joe Frazier unsourced

  • It's gonna be a thrilla, a killa, and a chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila.
  • Muhammad Ali

External Lnks

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Joseph William Frazier (January 12, 1944) is an American boxer. He held the world heavyweight championship from 1968 to 1973. Frazier also won a gold medal in boxing at the 1964 Olympic Games.

Frazier was born in Beaufort, South Carolina but moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He learned to box in Philadelphia. Frazie won the vacant world heavyweight title by beating Buster Mathis. He lost the title to George Foreman. Frazier's most famous fights came against Muhammad Ali. He beat Ali in their first fight in 1971 but lost the other two. The third fight was known as the "Thrilla in Manila."


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