Joe Frazier: Truly Alive at 205

By Mike Casey on February 24, 2016
Joe Frazier: Truly Alive at 205
Smokin' Joe Frazier was a glorious fighter, for reasons as simple as his unrelenting style.

Frazier is the guy who plays havoc with the minds of traditionalists and revisionists alike whenever they shuffle their all-time rankings…

When the news was confirmed from the horse’s mouth that Smokin’ Joe Frazier had fought through his magnificent professional career while legally blind in one eye, the reaction of all and sundry was intriguing. There was the initial rush of sympathy and admiration and the promises of many to study their all-time heavyweight choices and maybe bump Joe up a couple of notches.

Then there was nothing. In the articles and essays on Joe Frazier I have seen since, there has been little if any mention of the considerable handicap under which Joe labored in punching his way to the top and remaining a major league player for some seven or eight years. Let us remember that he did so in the company of some of the toughest heavyweights of any era.

Along with Rocky Marciano, Joe Frazier is the guy who plays havoc with the minds of traditionalists and revisionists alike whenever they shuffle their all-time rankings. In general, Joe and Rocky are generally found bouncing around anywhere between tenth and fifteenth in the current climate, as cases are made for other fighters who suddenly become cool or trendy. Sonny Liston has been re-classified as the flawless and invincible killer he never was. George Foreman keeps moving up and it seems that Larry Holmes can do no wrong at all. Jersey Joe Walcott, a fine old ring mechanic who finally had his hour in the sun after dropping the ball several times, is lately revered as a brilliant old ring mechanic, albeit just plain old when he appears in Marciano’s portfolio.

The Frazier career is something of a conundrum to many fans and historians, who can never quite seem to make up their minds as to when it ended in earnest.

If we are judging Frazier at his very best, a given courtesy when we are ranking fighters on an all-time basis, then where do we draw our cut-off line?

We do not judge Ezzard Charles on the basis of all those late career losses when he was simply going through the motions. We do not judge Dempsey on his defeats to Tunney or Joe Louis on his sad exit against Marciano. We close the book when we reach those chapters, because we know for a certain fact that what we are reading is not the true story.

Now here is a question for you: Should we close the book on the prime time Joe Frazier after his epic victory over Muhammad Ali in the so-called Fight of the Century in 1971? No, I don’t believe we should, even though Joe was never that level of fighter again.

Over the following four years, Frazier was still good enough to take Ali close to death’s door and virtually slaughter Jerry Quarry in 1974 when Jerry at his very best. Joe also defeated Jimmy Ellis for the second time and saw off an unusually lively and ambitious Joe Bugner in a great scrap in London. Those results must count in assessing Frazier’s career and therefore so should the results that preceded them.

Extensive

Before taking a more extensive look at Joe Frazier’s career, let us pick up the thread after the Fight of the Century. The first meeting of Frazier and Ali was everything that a great fight should be, a genuine classic of the ages. For me, it has always surpassed the Thriller in Manila for excitement and sustained quality. That first match was a brutal, punishing encounter of power and skill, which exacted a great toll on both fighters. Neither Joe nor Muhammad ever quite hit those giddy heights again.

Joe was a revelation that night, beautifully trained and conditioned at 205½ pounds, a fighter in his prime. He was never much more than a flat-out slugger with a powerful left hook, but he maximized his physical advantages to become a formidable adversary. Frazier had some smarts too within his own simple and brutal textbook. He was often effective with a jab, which he really should have employed more often. He was also one of the few fighters who didn’t stand for Ali’s spoiling tactics, contemptuously slamming aside Muhammad’s probing jab with bear-like swipes.

But while Ali was still a hungry and driven fighter after 1971, Frazier had the bearing of a man who had climbed the highest mountain and didn’t know what to do next. He never hit that magical weight of 205 again or anything near it as his appetite for the game waned. He had won the greatest fight of his life. How could he possibly top that? Never again training or dedicating himself with the same commitment, Frazier became vulnerable and chugged on almost aimlessly as he stumbled towards a minefield in Kingston, Jamaica. He took ten months to come back after the Fight of the Century and rumors were rife about the extent of his fitness and his ambition. Were there doubts in Joe’s own mind? His rising weight and his choice of opponents certainly reflected a suddenly tentative and wavering champion.

When he defended his title against the lowly ranked Terry Daniels at the Rivergate Auditorium in New Orleans in January 1972, Joe’s weight had soared to a fleshy 215 pounds. and his old sharpness and bite had gone. Far from smoking, he ‘huffed and puffed’ in the words of ringside reporter Bert Sugar.

Daniels fought gamely before being overwhelmed in the fourth round and was quickly forgotten as the post-fight chatter focused on Frazier and how much he had left in the tank. The mismatch had all the air of a testimonial last hurrah, and Joe still couldn’t shake Muhammad Ali from his tail. Always looking to strike the first psychological blow, Ali had returned to action much earlier and had already knocked off Jimmy Ellis, Buster Mathis and Jürgen Blin.

Four months after the Daniels debacle, Frazier came into the ring at 217 pounds for his next defense against the equally unsung Ron Stander. In Stander, Joe met a fiercely proud bull of a man who grabbed his unlikely shot at glory with both hands. There were times when the hometown boy fought the champion on even terms in the early going, although Frazier’s vicious hooks fairly butchered Stander’s face. Ron was all in by the end of the fifth round and one wondered if Joe Frazier’s career was nearing the same state.

Remember

Youth is a wonderful thing in its clarity and vibrancy. Everything you love is larger than life and remembered in the finest detail. I was eighteen when Joe Frazier defended his championship against the young and still largely mysterious George Foreman at Kingston, Jamaica, in 1973. I can still recall that fight with crystal vividness, as well as every morsel of trivia leading up to it. I loved Frazier’s fighting attitude and style and I believed he would beat Foreman comfortably until I saw a simple picture in the newspaper. Joe was posing beside a punching bag, surrounded by two Playboy bunnies. He was smiling and at ease, and his once magnificently honed body was similarly loose and relaxed. He had taken to believing that half measures would get the job done. And I say truthfully that I knew from that silly picture that Foreman would prove a far tougher challenge than most others seemed to believe. My pick was Joe, but I didn’t feel comfortable about it.

Big George was a hard man to assess at that still formative stage in his career. He was undefeated in twenty-eight fights, but his only notable achievements were two wins over former light-heavyweight contender Gregorio Peralta and a third round pummeling of the oft-pummeled George Chuvalo.

Foreman had feasted mainly on easy pickings and would continue to do so for the rest of his long career. Most fighters built on weak stilts can only get away with that approach for so long, the most glaring example of the time being California puncher, Mac Foster. But we would learn that Big George was very much an exception to the rule. Phenomenally strong and a born ring killer, there would be few times in Foreman’s career when he would need any more than the brutal basics with which he was blessed.

Like a giant scything his way through a cornfield, Big George knocked the 214-pound Frazier down six times and crushed him in two rounds. The one thing that struck me right away, even before the opening bell, was how ill-conditioned Frazier looked. Trunks pulled high up, fleshy and not the great intimidator of yore, he bore little resemblance to the rampaging tiger he had been from 1969 through 1971. It was a shattering result for Joe, yet oddly curative in the long term. Even before the terrible impact of it began to fade, Frazier declared himself a serious fighter again. He had regained his hunger and ambition and set his sights on regaining the championship.

Tough

Joe Frazier’s fire and determination to succeed was borne out of a tough early life. Joe might have been forgiven for thinking that winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 would ease his path and separate him from the millions of other strugglers. He discovered very quickly that this was not the case on returning to his hometown of Philadelphia. Having injured his left hand in Tokyo, Frazier’s paychecks were stopped when he was unable to resume his job at a local slaughterhouse.

But fate was about to lend a hand. A shrewd old bird called Yank Durham had been spying on the raw youngster from the time he walked into a Philly gym for no other purpose than to lose some weight. Yank noted Joe’s crudeness but was greatly impressed by his fortitude. Durham recalled how Frazier took some lusty beatings from the other youngsters in the gym, yet never backed down or gave up. Yank began to coach Joe and patiently polish the rough diamond.

What struck me at the time was how fast Frazier learned and progressed. He seemed to positively zip through the professional ranks on his march to the championship, brushing aside the inconveniences he suffered with the disdain of a man swatting a fly.

Turning professional in August 1965, Joe won his first five fights in a combined total of eight rounds and was quickly ready for tougher opposition. He was matched sensibly against a string of tough journeymen like Dick Wipperman, Charley Polite, Chuck Leslie and the jaded but still tricky Billy Daniels. Joe continued to build on his knockout streak until he met his first world ranked opponent in the crude but dangerous Oscar “Ringo” Bonavena in September 1966. It was Frazier’s tenth professional fight and a calculated gamble that very nearly backfired. He was decked twice in a frantic opening round and showed his inexperience as he jumped up quickly from each knockdown and threw himself back into the eye of the storm. Yet Joe showed the fighting qualities of a future champion as he weathered Bonavena’s initial rush to win a well deserved decision.

Within three years of that harsh lesson, Frazier was a champion and a worthy successor to the exiled Ali. Joe had also revised his style for the better. Against Bonavena, Frazier was a much more upright fighter than he would become in his prime years and much more vulnerable. He needed to make himself harder to hit and thereafter worked out of a very effective crouch and improved his general movement.

Joe was the very antithesis of Ali in style, yet every bit as captivating. It was in the hot and sticky summer of 1969 that Frazier reached maturity as a formidable fighting man with a brutal seventh round stoppage of Jerry Quarry. The epic first round of that no-holds-barred classic will forever linger in the memories of those fortunate enough to be there. Without respite, Joe and Jerry bulled and slugged each other in mid-ring, neither man backing off. Then Quarry wilted. He couldn’t live with Frazier’s ferocious pace and was pounded to defeat after seven rounds.

Closing in

Frazier’s confidence was now soaring and he was a bulldozer when he clashed with his WBA counterpart Jimmy Ellis at the Garden in early 1970. Jimmy actually fared well in the early going, getting Joe’s attention with the kind of sneaky, well-timed punches that had Oscar Bonavena rocking and reeling all over the ring three years before. But Frazier simply marched straight through Ellis, turning the tide dramatically with a booming left hook late in the third round and finishing his man in the fourth.

It was the unforgettable trilogy with Ali that cemented Joe’s place in the history books. Frazier’s work rate in their first chapter was exceptional, sometime frightening in its pure intensity. He fought like a man whose very life depended on the result and the price he paid for his monumental effort was costly and enduring. It loosened vital components in his engine room and sucked him dry of motivation.

‘Motivation’ is a key word in judging Joe Frazier over the long haul of a somewhat divided career, which roared at full throttle for six breakneck years and then spluttered and stalled before revving up again for the final lap. Frazier, quite simply, needed a fight on his hands every time he answered the bell. He needed to look across the ring at his opponent and feel that he was genuinely threatened. He didn’t get that feeling against Terry Daniels or Ron Stander. Disastrously, he didn’t get it against George Foreman.

It fell to Ali to put the ice and fire back into Frazier’s soul when they hooked up again in 1974. Muhammad got his revenge, but Frazier in defeat regained his sense of purpose.

Later that year, Joe faced a revitalized Jerry Quarry in a long awaited rematch. Quarry soon found himself on the end of a merciless beating from Frazier, who reached back and rediscovered all his old fire and fury to pound his man to defeat in five rounds.

The road was clear for the final chapter against Ali in Manila on October 1, 1975. A thriller it certainly was, almost gruesomely so. For while the Fight of the Century had been a war with a near perfect sheen, the Thriller in Manila was its primitive and raw sister, frayed and flawed because the gladiators were close to fighting from memory by that time, but pulsating throughout and almost morbidly gripping. Many people have told me that their memories of that awesome struggle are like snatches from a jumbled dream. There was Ali, as pained and as desperate as he had ever been in a hellish tenth round, touching the pearly gates with one hand and later admitting that he had never felt so close to dying. And there was Frazier, battered and exhausted, his face a horrible mess, pleading in vain with trainer Eddie Futch to let him out for the fifteenth and final round. The compassionate Futch would not do so. It was over in every sense.

Glorious

For me, Joe Frazier was a glorious fighter, for reasons as simple as his unrelenting style. We knew exactly what he brought to the table during his exciting rise to power, and they were the qualities we love to see in champions. In Joe’s case, the simple ingredients comprised of pride, determination, an insatiable will to win and a wrecking ball of a left hook as the icing on top. Yet the chinks in Smokin’ Joe’s armor were no less appealing. The perfect fighter, if there truly is such a thing, captivates us for a while before beginning to bore us. Imperfect fighters win our affection and stay in our hearts.

I believe that Joe Frazier, with his one good eye, deserves a place among the ten greatest heavyweights. Joe did not possess the genuine knockout power of Dempsey, Louis or Marciano. He was never as chillingly destructive at his peak as the prime Foreman or Tyson.

Joe was too deliberate and predictable in his approach to be compared favorably with the greats of similar styles. Too often, he attacked in a straight line, although very formidably so. He learned to bob and weave well but still presented too inviting a target. Dempsey, by contrast, was all springs and coils, all intelligent movement. Jack came at his opponents from many different angles and was more guarded and cunning against bigger men who had the potential to chop him down if he misjudged his charge. He circled Willard from a distance for what seemed like an eternity before making his move with terrifying impact. Frazier walked straight into Foreman and we know what happened.

However, I feel that other criticisms of Joe are harsh and unfair. A more recent theory has been that his punch resistance was suspect. But would any heavyweight in history have stood up to the blows that Foreman was dishing out in Kingston? I would suggest that not even Ali would have survived the attack of the prime Foreman in anything other than the bizarre and almost surreal atmosphere of Zaire.

Let us not forget also that while we try to discount the last fights of a boxer who has slipped over the hill, they can still linger in our memory and blur our judgement. Frazier took a second pounding from Foreman in upstate New York in 1976, but Joe was almost parodying himself by that time. He shaved his head before that one and called himself the black Kojak. Uncharacteristically, he was trading on gimmicks, and the high trunks and fleshy body had become a sadly familiar sight. Joe never did regain his peak fitness after the first Ali fight.

Yes, Frazier was hurt by lesser fighters during his career, but let us not venture down that tired old road. Dempsey, Louis and all the great champions suffered similar blips while still learning the ropes.

Frazier’s career was short and sweet compared to most others, but it was loaded with genuine quality. The general level of his competition was superior to that of Holmes, Lennox Lewis and, ironically, Foreman. Joe defeated arguably the greatest heavyweight of them all in his finest hour and never dodged a deserving opponent. We can argue forever about who would beat who, but Frazier surely deserves his place among the elite on his record of achievement alone.

Historians, including yours truly, love to tell the tale of Harry Greb and how he fought the latter part of his career whilst wearing a glass eye attached to the eye muscles by sheep tendons. Perhaps we should start singing Joe Frazier’s praises in similar fashion.

Only Joe himself knows just how much he could see out of his ‘legally blind’ eye, but any handicap of that nature is some handicap. In spite of it all, he won the richest prize in sport and irresistibly plowed his way through a generation of golden heavyweights.

Not bad going at all for a slugger with only one peeper.

Mike Casey is a Boxing.com features writer and Founder & Editor of ALL TIME BOXING at https://sites.google.com/site/alltimeboxingrankings. He is a freelance journalist and boxing historian and a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO).

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  1. Mike Casey 02:22am, 02/28/2016

    Thanks Darrell, Mike and Eric for your great observations. Nice that Smokin’ Joe still gets people talking!

  2. Darrell 11:54pm, 02/26/2016

    Frazier deservedly won that first fight with Bonavena.  The tough as teak Argentine had moments in every round but Frazier was relentlessly aggressive and threw an unending barrage of mean intentioned punches.  I had Bonavena winning only round 10, possibly round 8, after his round 2 knockdowns of Frazier.

  3. Mike Margolies 10:32pm, 02/26/2016

    I like your writing and analysis very much.  Two things though….

    The second Frazier - foreman fight was at the Nassau Coliseum.  I happened to go to the fight so I recall it well.

    The other is this.  I don’t think even the Frazier of the first Ali fight could have beaten Foreman.  Foreman was simply too strong and would have pushed Frazier off whenever he wished to.  Plus his height would have negated Frazier’s awesome left hook.  Foreman’s right arm would have blocked most left hooks that Frazier threw in my opinion, even swatting it away some times.  BTW, hand to Bible, I won $50.00 off a very small time local bookie, who went by the name of Squirrel.  My friend made the bet for me, pointed him out as the Squirrel and we were leaving the theatre.  I think we saw it I guess it was an RKO, in Bensonhurst. I had never seen the Squirrel until that fleeting moment, and boy oh boy did he look unhappy.  I guess he took more than his share of bets on Joe Frazier that day. 
    Thanks as always for your terrific research and writing.

  4. Eric 06:29pm, 02/26/2016

    Tyson vs. Frazier? Tyson, too quick, too strong, too powerful, two hands over one hand. Joe was also a slow starter, and Smokin’ Joe could very well get caught early. Both are pretty similar in height and weight, but Frazier carried most of his weight in his thick legs and arse. I cant see a prime Frazier beating a prime Tyson. Tyson takes it over Dempsey, Marciano & Frazier. People tend to forget just how good a prime Tyson actually was back in the day. Now a prime Tua vs. Tyson would have been interesting.

  5. peter 06:06pm, 02/26/2016

    Mike—I agree with you about a Tyson-Frazier battle. Tyson had two guns; Frazier, one. But I like to think that the Joe Frazier’s determination and grit, plus his strength of character would surmount Tyson’s thuggery.

  6. Mike Casey 06:28am, 02/26/2016

    Yes, Bikermike, Joe was a man obsessed that night. I will never forget it! Tremendous fight by a tremendous champion.

  7. bikermike 05:58am, 02/26/2016

    Great read, as ever , Mr Casey

  8. bikermike 05:57am, 02/26/2016

    Many believe Ali should have been better prepared for his first match with Frazier…..as Ali had been banned from Boxing by an unfair , reactionary Commission , for not fighting in Viet Nam.

    ...at the same time….some scribe said it best…NO MAN ALIVE COULD HAVE BEATEN JOE FRAZIER THAT NIGHT !!

  9. Mike Casey 05:39am, 02/26/2016

    My pleasure, Pete, and I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. Ali’s act was amusing and fresh when he first came on the scene but was just tacky and distasteful by the time of Manila. In my opinion, it led to the circus that is boxing today. When he was in exile, Joe helped him out considerably as a friend. Ali seemingly forgot all that. Frazier by contrast was dignified from the beginning to the end of his career.

  10. Pete The Sneak 05:23am, 02/26/2016

    Mike, thanks for an absolute scintillating read on my all time Heavyweight favorite, Joe Frazier. I think Piety’s comments below nailed exactly why I always loved Joe, and if Piety doesn’t mind, I’d love to highlight his quote:
    “Its not just his style of fighting, but the way he carried himself in interviews and in the face of alis taunts that I am so enamored with.”
    I always knew how Ali’s personal attacks, name calling (especially the ‘Uncle Tom/white man’s fighter comments) hurt Joe to the core. He always said it affected his family, particularly his children, who got into many a fight in school defending their father when other kids yelled out that their father was an ‘Uncle Tom.’ And then of course, the Gorilla comment for the Thrilla in Manila was also a bit too much. Through it all, Joe remained a dignified, humble man who decided to unleash his tage in the ring. I can watch that left hook uncoiling on Ali’s jaw for the knockdown in their first fight a zillion times and it absolutely never gets old. Thanks again for the great read Mike!...Peace.

  11. Mike Casey 02:38am, 02/26/2016

    Peter, you conclude your comment with Frazier v Tyson, and I would love to see that battle! It might surprise you to know that my gut instinct tells me that Mike might have nailed Joe early and knocked him out. People have been very smart after the event where Tyson is concerned. At his best, I thought he was a great champion. But just as Joe lost his motivation after the Fight of the Century, so I believe that Mike never truly wanted to fight again after the Douglas defeat in Tokyo. I write here of the once upright Frazier developing a very effective, bustling crouch. Tyson went the other way when he lost interest, becoming more upright and far easier to hit.

  12. peter 05:11pm, 02/25/2016

    Growing up, Joe Frazier was my guy. I resonated to his “simple ingredients comprised of pride, determination, an insatiable will to win and a wrecking ball of a left hook as the icing on top” , as you well state.  However, upon growing older, googling his fights, and gaining added perspective, I am not convinced of his greatness. (It bothers me to write that last sentence.)  The “chinks in Smokin’ Joe’s armor”  were many. One “chink” which was alluded to in this excellent article, was Frazier’s lack of creativity and adaptability. The most glaring chink is that Frazier was, essentially, a one-handed fighter. Watch any of his fights—he rarely threw the right. It was primarily used to parry, block, or set up his left…Along with only having one good eye, I read that due to a childhood accident, Joe Frazier could not fully extend one of his arms…Mr. Casey, you write, “Frazier walked straight into Foreman and we know what happened.” I think Foreman simply had the style to beat Frazier eight out of ten times. How would Frazier do with Mike Tyson? Because of Frazier’s ““simple ingredients”, I’d say Frazier beats Tyson more often than not. Excellent article!

  13. Mike Casey 08:50am, 02/25/2016

    Eric, I certainly agree that Bugner could bang. It was wrong of people to claim he couldn’t. He knocked out a guy called Ulric Regis early in his career and Regis died after the fight. I think that must have affected Joe very deeply and caused him to hold back thereafter - a la Max Baer after Frankie Campbell.

  14. Eric 08:40am, 02/25/2016

    Mike…Fighters like Mathis or Bugner will never be mistaken as all time greats, but I feel their sheer size would present problems for a fighter as small as Marciano. Bugner towered over Frazier and he gave Frazier one of his toughest fights. Marciano never fought a legit contender anywhere near the size of Mathis or Bugner, I’m not sure if he ever fought a guy that large period. I remember watching the Lyle-Bugner fight back in the day, good fight, and I feel the decision could have really went either way. Bugner had the reputation of not being much of a puncher but when properly motivated he could bang. He starched granite chin Dino Denis in either the first or second round. Bugner is often underrated IMO, and a properly motivated Bugner with his huge size advantage would have given Marciano some trouble.

  15. Mike Casey 08:23am, 02/25/2016

    Jim: You’re quite right about the great influence of Eddie Futch.
    Eric: I too tend to believe that Foreman was all wrong for Frazier at any time in Joe’s career. But I believe Marciano would have taken Quarry (much as I loved Jerry), Chuvalo, Bonavena and Smokin’ Joe too. Bugner was too often intimidated and timid against the really top mne. He admitted that Ron Lyle freaked him out. I followed Joe’s career with great frustration, because there was always the feeling that he could have beaten anyone if only he had believed it himself. Once again, Foreman is the big question mark here. George was such a wrecking ball for the first six, seven, eight rounds of a fight. Could Rocky have hustled his way through those rounds and knocked out a spent Foreman late in the fight? I feel the outcome would have hinged on that.

  16. Eric 08:02am, 02/25/2016

    Frazier was never the same after his first fight with Ali, but I don’t think even a prime Frazier would have fared well against Foreman. Styles make fights and Frazier was tailor made for Big George, there were even rumors that Frazier avoided an old Liston. Frazier, like Marciano, was short for a heavyweight and both relied heavily on always being the best conditioned man in the ring. After the Ali fight, Frazier always seemed fleshy, he even weighed as much as 224lbs against Foreman in their rematch. I actually feel that Liston and Foreman are often underrated and that Frazier’s ranking at around the 10 slot, or slightly below is about right. Marciano is often overrated IMO, and the Rock never faced the stiff competition that Frazier had to fight. You have to wonder how a 185lb Marciano would have fared against guys like Bonavena, (who I thought beat Frazier in their first fight), Chuvalo, Quarry, or even much larger opponents like Mathis, Bugner, Ali, or Foreman. I could easily see Frazier going undefeated in Marciano’s era, but no way does the Rock go undefeated in Frazier’s era.

  17. Jim Crue 07:01am, 02/25/2016

    Thanks for another wonderfully written piece Mike.
    You know, in the first Bonavena fight under the current scoring system Joe would have lost. NYC scored by rounds and not points in those days so Oscar won the round when he knocked down Joe whereas today the round would have been 10-7 with 2 knockdowns.
    I think Eddie Futch when he came on board really helped Frazier.

  18. Piety 04:33am, 02/25/2016

    Glorious. Smoking joe is my all time favs, I wish I were alive to have grown up with the buzz of his prime, and the buzz of his whole era.
    Its not just his style of fighting, but the way he carried himself in interviews and in the face of alis taunts that I am so enamored with.
    He will truly live forever.

  19. Mike Casey 03:49am, 02/25/2016

    Piety, I remember seeing it at the time on the BBC. You could hear the smash of that punch and the crowd went wild.

  20. Piety 03:42am, 02/25/2016

    Couldn’t agree more, Frazier ali 1 was a far more compelling fight then the thrilla in manilla. AND! You get to see ali put on his ass! Couldn’t count how many times ive watched, never gets old. BAM! Keep your hands up and your mouth shut Muhammad.

  21. Mike Casey 02:58am, 02/25/2016

    Frazier v Norton would certainly have been interesting, Jolly. But I feel that Joe would have intimidated Ken in the manner of Foreman and Shavers.

  22. Darrell 11:10pm, 02/24/2016

    Excellent read.

  23. Jolly 09:48pm, 02/24/2016

    I think Joe Frazier did hit his prime out pointing a still in his prime Ali and I believe it would have the same outcome if that fight had taken place 2-3 earlier when Ali was suspended, Joe Frazier was a nonstop punching machine great head roll.
    Shame that monster Big George Foreman come along, would have liked to seen a Frazier Vs Norton fight

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