Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Joe Frazier, RIP -- November 8, 2011

"Joe Frazier wouldn't back away from King Kong. Joe Frazier was one brave man." -- George Foreman

I liked Joe Frazier when I was a kid, and not just because his name was Joe.  I had just gotten interested in boxing when the WBA was trying to strip Muhammad Ali of his title.  Frazier refused to participate in the tournament to choose a new heavyweight champion.  He beat the winner, Jimmy Ellis, and became the champ. I liked the fact that Frazier was small for a heavyweight.  I liked the way he always moved forward.  I liked the fact that outside of the the ring, he seemed to be a good person.  Ali seemed to be a superman, while Frazier seemed like a normal person with a special talent.

The fights with Ali were the greatest fights I can remember.  They both should have retired after Manilla.

I had to use this photo of Frazier and George Foreman before their first fight on 22-January-1973.  Foreman won, which seems almost inevitable given the difference in size, but Frazier kept getting up until the referee stopped the fight.

Goodbye, Joe.  I'll miss you.

No comments: