I had paid particular attention to the lists ranking history's top ten greatest heavyweight champions.
After reviewing several boxing publications, internet sites and conducting a personal survey of writers and trainers, I found two irrefutable parallels: (1) Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis were named one and two a majority of the time and (2) Joe Frazier was often found in the bottom third and consistently behind Jack Dempsey and Rocky Marciano.
The names Holyfield and Tyson were usually above Frazier as well.
I found myself wondering if the individuals who ranked these fighters saw the same Joe Frazier I did during the years 1968 through 1974.
Perhaps ABC replayed Frazier-Foreman I so many times that Howard Cosell's call of "Down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier" is what most remember when recalling the career of Smokin' Joe.
Maybe the overwhelming presence of Muhammad Ali during the 70's and the emergence of the colorful George Foreman of the 90's have overshadowed the accomplishments of Frazier's renowned boxing career.
Looking back at Frazier's career, several things stand out. He was without peer as a body puncher. He fought with never-ending stamina and became stronger as the fight progressed.
He cut off the ring and forced his opponents to fight his fight at his pace and possessed a left hook that was without equal in the heavyweight division. Frazier's record is a virtual list of the top heavies of the late 60's through the mid-70's. As early as his 11th pro bout, he took on the "Argentine Bull," Oscar Bonavena who was a veteran of over 30 fights as a pro. After being down twice in the 2nd Round, Frazier stormed back to win the hard-fought 10 Round decision. He was the first to stop the iron-chinned Jerry Quarry and the reigning WBA Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Ellis.
Frazier will always be remembered as the first fighter to defeat Muhammad Ali in the biggest and most highly anticipated fight in history. It has been said Frazier won because Ali had just returned to the ring after a 43-month layoff.
What is sadly overlooked is that Ali was still a great fighter and fought one of the best fights of his career that night.
Frazier's strength, aggression and determination made it impossible for Ali to fight at anything but his best, or Frazier would have half killed him.
Ali fought anyone except Joe Frazier that night, he would have been a knockout winner.
Let's not forget that Frazier was no walk in the park for Ali in their second fight and that he had Ali thinking "No Mas" after the 10th Round of their third and most grueling fight in Manila.
Ali has been quoted as saying Frazier was the roughest and toughest fighter he ever faced in the ring.
No one can deny the fact that Ali fought the world's top heavyweights from 1960 through 1980.
Shouldn't his opinion count for something when evaluating Frazier? He fought more rounds against him than any other fighter.
Joe Frazier was accepting the "Athlete of the year" for 1971. Joe was explaining what Ali was saying in the 15th round.
HBO's special on the Frazier-Ali along with truly ignorant reporters stated on more than one time that the people for Ali wanted the vietnam war to end and the people for Frazier wanted the war to go on.
WHAT A LIE!!!
LISTEN IN 1971 NOBODY NOT EVEN THE JOHN BIRCHERS WANTED THAT WAR TO CONTINUE.
Smokin Joe night.
No one would of beaten Joe Frazier on March the 8th 1971.
After reviewing several boxing publications, internet sites and conducting a personal survey of writers and trainers, I found two irrefutable parallels: (1) Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis were named one and two a majority of the time and (2) Joe Frazier was often found in the bottom third and consistently behind Jack Dempsey and Rocky Marciano. From the city of Philadelphia and from HBO AND THE dvd. No fighter past or present would of beaten Joe Frazier on March the 8th 1971. NO ONE
From the city of Philadelphia and from HBO AND THE dvd.
No fighter past or present would of beaten Joe Frazier on March the 8th 1971. NO ONE