Boxing Books

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Boxing Books

Will69
Just finished this book:

Smokin' Joe - The Life of Joe Frazier By: Mark Kram, 4 June, 2019 It's a great book, but I'm biased because I like boxing books and I've never disliked anything I've read so far. Here are some random interesting snippets from the book: -As a kid, Joe was mischievous and he wanted to harass the pigs in the pig pen. One boar managed to get underneath Joe and toss him into the air. Joe landed on his left arm and possibly broke it. His mom said you had no business in the pig pen. Joe didn't see a doctor and his left arm was not properly set. So, it apparently healed crooked. This crooked left arm possible gave his famous left hook even more power and snap when he threw it. -Joe was described of having the power of Rocky Marciano and the tenacity of Henry Armstrong -Joe went into training at 240lbs. By the Olympics, he was 196lbs -it's kind of funny. boxers worked really hard to lose weight and get very light in those days. Today, most boxers do not want to be 205lbs. -Fraizer worked as a butcher (Abattoir) while training for the Olympics. Butchering cows never bothered him. Sometimes the cows would still be alive and run around with their throats cut, but it never bothered Joe -Buster Mathis defeated Joe in the Olympic tryouts, but due to an injury, Buster could not go to the Olympics in Japan. So, Fraizer was next in line and went instead. -Buster and Joe fought again, and Joe tired Buster out. Buster later deeply regretted his performance. He said he should have just blasted Joe with uppercuts, which he didn’t. -Fraizer and Ali had antagonism that happened well before fotc. Some say Joe's support of Ali to get his licensee back was a PR stunt, but who really knows. -Jerry Quarry said publicly he didn't fight for any race or religion, but at the same time he said it's time a white man should take the title from Clay. -Philadelphia didn't care about Joe much during his rise. It could easily been implied that they didn't care about any black athlete rising. Fraizer was well aware of this. He says he'd get treated better in the South than Philly -Joe was going to build a playground for kids in some place in the south. The local cops told his people they weren't welcome there and they should leave. -When Joe destroyed Bob Foster, how did that heavy-weight fight legally happen? Bob was 188lbs! -Despite the bugging Ali did with Fraizer, Ali congratulated Joe after the Ellis fight. -Joe and his mistress Denise had a great relationship for years. They really cared about each other. Denise even lent him some money in later years. Denis was with Joe on his deathbed. -Fraizer and Ali drove from Philly to NY, and Ali was telling him he was trying to stir up publicity for the fight. How much of that was really true, no one knows. They were both needling each other since. -After FOTC, Ali went to get his jaw x-rayed, and Joe went to the hospital. It was quite serious touch and go for Joe, but he got better and said he wanted a year off to chill. Joe's couldn't walk or eat. They needed to take Joe too the hospital and doctors thought he had a stroke. -Ali congratulated Joe after the fight, but Joe was still mad at Ali. -After the fotc, Fraizer wasn't the same. In sparring with Ken Norton to prepare for Foreman, Ken noticed Joe didn't have the same drive -Foreman said Joe was the only guy he ever feared. George said hist strategy was to just stand there and give him right uppercuts, which he did. -Fraizer really took his singing condition seriously. He sometimes appeared to be more interested in his singing career than his boxing career. His songs are pretty decent. Lots of soul! Check this out:

-Fraizer was mad at Futch for stopping his 3rd fight with Ali, but Eddie Futch had seen 7 boxers die, and Joe was pretty much one-eyed at that point and certainly done. Ali was also exhausted and finished, but if Joe got up, Ali may have mustered the energy to give one more round too. -Fraizer and Ali talked about doing a 4th battle. Fraizer got motivated after seeing Ali win some fights after their 3rd bout, but Frazier's camp said absolutely no way. It was obvious both guys were well past it. -One time, Joe got mugged at his own gym. There was a tussle, and Joe grabbed his gun that he kept. Joe was about to shoot the robber, but Marvis pleaded him not too. The robber got away. -Joe was likely too blind in one eye to be given a license to fight Ali in their 3rd fight, but he tricked the system and got through the physical each time. -Fraizer had 11 kids by 6 different women, and had to pay each of them for child support. -Fraizer managed his son, Marvis, but it is usually a disaster when fathers manage their sons. They are usually too eager to take on risky fights or play it too safe. (Like Jerry Quarry's situation where his dad pushed him way to far). Fraizer pushed Marvis to fight Holmes. Eddie Futch, who now trained Holmes, said to Holmes "don't hurt him". -Fraizer mentality never left the life of poverty in his head, and lived for the day. He didn't get involved with his own finances. Holmes said "As soon as someone has control over your shit, they take your shit." -Floyd Mayweather donated $70k for the funeral. -In 2002, Ali and Fraizer went to dinner before an all-star NBA game. Joe went to Ali's hotel room. Lonnie gave Joe a hug and let him in. Fraizer helped Ali get up and they hugged each other Ali put is head on Joe's shoulder. Both of them had tears rolling down their faces. Lonnie said "Joe. Thank you. Muhammad has just found peace." After dinner, someone said they should hold hands and pray. Marvis started a prayer, then Joe said: "Hey son, I got this." Joe lowered his head and prayed "Dear Lord, we have forgotten and we have forgiven. Please heal this man because he has given so much to the world. And he has grand kids and babies, and its time he can really enjoy his life. So please do whatever you can to make this man right again." At the game, they sat next to each other. Alicia keys sang America the beautiful. When the song ended Ali and Fraizer remained standing. When the spotlight moved to them, the crowd stood and began cheering. Ali leaned to Fraizer and whispered in his ear "Hey champ. We're still two bad brothers, aren't we?" "Yes we are. Yes we are!" replied Joe.

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Re: Boxing Books

Urban Legend
Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the share.
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Re: Boxing Books

Duggerman
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In reply to this post by Will69
I didn't realize there was a new book about Smokin Joe. I have his autobiography. It sounds like much of the information in this new biography was taken from it.
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Re: Boxing Books

Will69
Here's another book on Fraizer that I'll provide some random comments:

Smokin' Joe - The Autobiography of a heavyweight Champ by Joe Fraizer with Phil Berger



This book had a more casual style than "Smokin' Joe - The Life of Joe Fraizer”. I liked the personal feel and how it was written through the 1st person narrative, although Joe didn’t talk nearly as eloquent in real life. Also, the book provided a lot of little bits on detailed info, like the financial details of the whole Cloverlay setup and how Joe was reimbursed. This autobiography could have also been called “How much I hate Ali” because 75% of the book was about Joe voicing his hatred of Ali. In contrast to the book "Smokin' Joe - The Life of Joe Frazier" by: Mark Kram, there was no iota of clemency or settled feelings with Ali. This kind of makes sense because I think it wasn’t until the 2000s when they both started to make moves towards any mutual peace. An interesting point during the 1964 Olympic training, was that Buster Mathis used Joe as a training partner for the Olympics. Buster wasn't interested in doing any training or the Olympics for that matter. Joe couldn't understand why he seemed to not care about this chance of a lifetime. His Olympic coaches were going crazy with Buster's lack of motivation. Anyway, Buster hurt his knuckle in an exhibition fight. Joe wasn't sure if his knuckle was really busted, or his coaches used that incident to convince Buster he wasn't able to compete. Anyway, Buster didn't seem to care much either way and left the training on an injury. Fraizer's encounter with Foreman certainly gave substance to Foreman's indestructible aura. At first, Fraizer didn't think Foreman was anything special when he signed up to fight him. Foreman's strategy against Fraizer was like everybody else's: Keep Fraizer on the outside with your jab and you'll succeed. Everyone says that but Joe always finds his way in. However, Joe never felt anyone as strong as George. George was the only one who had the strength to push Fraizer back right infront of him, where Joe would be destroyed by hard uppercuts and straight rights. Foreman's punches were so powerful, the blows made Joe forget most of the fight. He was in a daze after the first hit. Fraizer said after the 2nd Foreman fight, he knew his career was over, although he wanted to get back in a few times later. This book was written in 1996, so it was nice for Fraizer to mention Holyfield & Bowe, Tyson and Lewis. Although I would have loved to hear Joe rate them explicitly or comment how they’d do in his era. Joe got criticised heaps for what seemed like pushing Marvis to fight Holmes and Tyson, or even accepting those fights. But Joe had some logic behind those moves, as far as any logic can be applied to the sport of legalised assault. Marvis got paid big dollars to fight those guys, which could have even set up Marvis for life, -with just those two fights alone! And, what if Marvis won those fights, or even lasted 12 rounds? Would those fights still have been considered “mistakes” by the critics? On the other hand, Marvis could have easily, and almost did, get killed or maimed in both those fights. The edition that I read was later edition, published in 2013, with an epilogue containing comments from some of Joe's children, with warm memories of their father. Throughout the book, you got a good sense of what was going on in Joe’s head during all stages of his life.