What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

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What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Urban Legend
Most people say that his skills began to detoriate after his 1971 battle with Muhammad Ali. I think this is true but he was still a dangerous fighter. Some people say that he might have done better against George Foreman if the fight took place years earlier. He also gained a lot of weight, going from 205 (at his peak) to around 213. He moved slower at that weight. What do you think of Joe during his "fading" years?
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Duggerman
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Good thread idea.

I think Frazier adapted gracefully to his declining skills. His handspeed and punching accuracy may not have been what they were in his prime, but he maintained that knockout punch and relentless aggression. Eddie Futch instructed Frazier to use his right hand more, which made him a bit more dangerous.

Frazier was never the same after the first fight with Ali but I think Foreman would always beat him. Foreman was more vulnerable to right hands than left hooks. Every time Foreman was knocked down, it was by a right hand. (Ali, Jimmy Young, and Ron Lyle) This is why I'd give Tyson a much better shot at beating Foreman than Frazier. But anyway, I don't think Frazier's weight or age had anything to do with him losing to Foreman. It's purely a styles thing.

Frazier was still a good fighter throughout the 70s. Terry Daniels and Ron Stander were not top fighters but Frazier looked good against them. He did a great job against Jerry Quarry in their rematch and gave Ali hell in Manilla. I think his worst performance was his rematch with Jimmy Ellis. It was a beat down but Frazier lacked something that night. He couldn't even deck him.

You mentioned his weight gain and I think he looked a bit bulky around 215. He moved a bit slower but his aggression and big punches made up for it.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Urban Legend
Duggerman wrote
I think his worst performance was his rematch with Jimmy Ellis. It was a beat down but Frazier lacked something that night. He couldn't even deck him.

You mentioned his weight gain and I think he looked a bit bulky around 215. He moved a bit slower but his aggression and big punches made up for it.
I have not watched Jimmy Ellis rematch in a long time. Certainly Jimmy's chin didn't suddenly improve. I wouldn't say Joe looked bad against Jimmy but more like a shell of himself, I guess. This is the fight that made Muhammad Ali assume that Joe was washed up. He figured that if Joe Frazier couldn't knock out a patsy like Jimmy Ellis, then he stood no chance with Ali.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Duggerman
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This post was updated on .
Urban Legend wrote
 I wouldn't say Joe looked bad against Jimmy but more like a shell of himself, I guess.
I'd say he looked like a shell of himself when he fought Jumbo Cummings in 1981. That was a shell of what Frazier once was.

Frazier was still better than your average fighter after 1971. Terry Daniels was shorter than Frazier, which is something he rarely had to deal with--Frazier was used to being the smaller man and destroying bigger guys. Terry being an inch shorter than Frazier gave him issues because his body punches would almost go south of the border if he wasn't careful. But he found a way to work around it. He also outsmarted Ron Stander who attempted to use Joe's own style against him. He tried to "pressure the pressure fighter." Frazier still won by TKO. You don't bring the fight to Joe Frazier like that, even if he's 29 and "past it."

Regarding Jimmy Ellis, Howard Cossell was right in the first fight when he said "JIMMY ELLIS IS A GAME, GAME YOUNG MAN." Ellis was no punk and could take a punch. He controlled the first two rounds in the first fight but was hurt by a left hook in the 3rd round that he never recovered from. From there, Frazier's non-stop attack knocked him senseless.

<br />GIFSoup

In the rematch, both guys were shot and I guess Frazier just couldn't finish him. Who knows what would have happened if Dundee hadn't stopped the fight? Maybe Frazier would have stopped him late. It is interesting however that Bob Foster (another famous victim of Frazier's left hook) was the referee for this fight.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Shane
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Urban Legend wrote
 This is the fight that made Muhammad Ali assume that Joe was washed up. He figured that if Joe Frazier couldn't knock out a patsy like Jimmy Ellis, then he stood no chance with Ali.
That would be my guess. Joe looked a bit pudgy but Ellis had nothing to hold him off with.

It was a far cry from their first fight in terms of quality but it was still an OK fight and I'd agree that it was more competitive due to Frazier slipping a fair bit from the first clash (Frazier was a beast in the first one).

I wouldn't be surprised if Joe's performance here lulled Ali and his camp into thinking Frazier had little left and gave them a false sense of security going into Manilla. If so they clearly underestimated the man.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Duggerman
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I also want to add that Frazier still threw unpredictable combinations after his prime. Who could forget this wallop on Jerry Quarry in their rematch?

<br />GIFSoup

A left jab followed by a smashing left hook. Brilliance. Smokin' Joe was no joke, even after his prime.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Zombies Ate Me
Duggerman wrote
I also want to add that Frazier still threw unpredictable combinations after his prime. Who could forget this wallop on Jerry Quarry in their rematch?

<br />GIFSoup

A left jab followed by a smashing left hook. Brilliance. Smokin' Joe was no joke, even after his prime.
Why does everyone keep insisting that Joe was past his prime after 1971? Wasn't he still in his prime when he dropped the title to George Foreman? He was moving great. Listening to you all makes it sound like Joe gained 800 pounds and went the route of Buster Mathis or James "Buster" Douglas. I think his best performance was against Muhammad Ali in 1971, but I don't think Joe started to look "washed up" until the Jimmy Ellis rematch. I admit he wasn't the same as he was in the 60s but I think it's a far cry to say he was "over the hill" right after the first clash with Muhammad Ali.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Duggerman
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Zombies Ate Me wrote

Why does everyone keep insisting that Joe was past his prime after 1971? Wasn't he still in his prime when he dropped the title to George Foreman? He was moving great. Listening to you all makes it sound like Joe gained 800 pounds and went the route of Buster Mathis or James "Buster" Douglas. I think his best performance was against Muhammad Ali in 1971, but I don't think Joe started to look "washed up" until the Jimmy Ellis rematch. I admit he wasn't the same as he was in the 60s but I think it's a far cry to say he was "over the hill" right after the first clash with Muhammad Ali.
All swarming brawlers have shorter careers when you think about it. Mike Tyson was only a shell of himself at 30 when he fought Holyfield the first time. Rocky Marciano was showing signs of decline when it took him 9 rounds to knock out Don Cockell (The Rock was only around 31 or 32 at the time.) Jack Dempsey was only 29 or so when he lost twice to Gene Tunney. These fighters sometimes eat two or three punches just to land one, and they put so much energy into their style. They burn themselves out quickly. Would you believe that Joe Frazier was only 30 when he fought Ali in Manilla? Just by looking at him, you'd think he was 45. Swarming brawlers like Frazier tend to have short careers but boxer-punchers like Ali, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes and Joe Louis fought well into their late 30s.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Zorro
^^good post. I remember thinking that "the smoke was up" after he lost to George Foreman. The way he was dominated, I just couldn't see Joe Frazier winning the title anymore. Not from anyone. I think the George Foreman spanking was engraved in all our minds. Joe lost his status as an invincible fighter on that night.

Jimmy Ellis is four years older than Joe, and was 35 years old by March 1975. In fact, get this: a quick check of Smoke's record indicates that Ellis may be the ONLY opponent over age 35 that Frazier ever competed against! (Machen was 34 in 1966.) After Terry Daniels, Joe only produced two knockdowns-Bugner, and JQ II. (And Bugner almost avenged his tenth round KD with a near knockdown of his own several seconds later, courtesy of a right which caught Smoke boring in, and appeared to have Frazier in very serious trouble against the ropes just as the bell rang to end the round.)

Certainly Ellis may have had improved spoiler survival skills gleaned from additional experience, but he had not defeated an opponent of substance since before his loss to Ali in 1971, and came in on a four fight winless streak.

Ellis II was strictly a keep busy workout for Joe to fill in time until Manila. If he earned his challenge of Ali, it was on the strength of his masterful performance in the Quarry rematch, not because of anything that happened in Melbourne. The Frazier of February 1970 would have crushed the Ellis of March 1975 near the outset of round two, much like he did Bob Foster.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Duggerman
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Zorro wrote
The Frazier of February 1970 would have crushed the Ellis of March 1975 near the outset of round two, much like he did Bob Foster.
I absolutely agree with this.  Frazier was still dangerous but had dropped a lot of skill from 1971 to 1975.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

49-0
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Urban Legend wrote
Most people say that his skills began to detoriate after his 1971 battle with Muhammad Ali. I think this is true but he was still a dangerous fighter. Some people say that he might have done better against George Foreman if the fight took place years earlier. He also gained a lot of weight, going from 205 (at his peak) to around 213. He moved slower at that weight. What do you think of Joe during his "fading" years?
To be really honest I think Joe started to slip right before 1971. He looked so much better against Jimmy Ellis, Bob Foster and Buster Mathis. In the fight with Ali, Joe looked more emotional than usual. I could be wrong but in my opinion the best Joe Frazier was from 1968 to 70. He was still great against Ali that first time but he was sharper in his previous fights. I can tell he wanted to bomb Muhammad out of there and he made a few mistakes because of that decision.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

GatorPurify
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Urban Legend wrote
 I wouldn't say Joe looked bad against Jimmy but more like a shell of himself, I guess.
I'd say he looked like a shell of himself when he fought Jumbo Cummings in 1981. That was a shell of what Frazier once was.

Frazier was still better than your average fighter after 1971. Terry Daniels was shorter than Frazier, which is something he rarely had to deal with--Frazier was used to being the smaller man and destroying bigger guys. Terry being an inch shorter than Frazier gave him issues because his body punches would almost go south of the border if he wasn't careful. But he found a way to work around it. He also outsmarted Ron Stander who attempted to use Joe's own style against him. He tried to "pressure the pressure fighter." Frazier still won by TKO. You don't bring the fight to Joe Frazier like that, even if he's 29 and "past it."

Regarding Jimmy Ellis, Howard Cossell was right in the first fight when he said "JIMMY ELLIS IS A GAME, GAME YOUNG MAN." Ellis was no punk and could take a punch. He controlled the first two rounds in the first fight but was hurt by a left hook in the 3rd round that he never recovered from. From there, Frazier's non-stop attack knocked him senseless.

<br />GIFSoup

In the rematch, both guys were shot and I guess Frazier just couldn't finish him. Who knows what would have happened if Dundee hadn't stopped the fight? Maybe Frazier would have stopped him late. It is interesting however that Bob Foster (another famous victim of Frazier's left hook) was the referee for this fight.
Yeah I was wondering why Dundee stopped it. I thought he'd let Jimmy continue and finish the fight. He was getting washed up but he should of let Jimmy continue.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Urban Legend
GatorPurify wrote
Yeah I was wondering why Dundee stopped it. I thought he'd let Jimmy continue and finish the fight. He was getting washed up but he should of let Jimmy continue.
You think so? Watch the last round again. Jimmy was defenseless.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Zorro
In reply to this post by 49-0
49-0 wrote
To be really honest I think Joe started to slip right before 1971. He looked so much better against Jimmy Ellis, Bob Foster and Buster Mathis. In the fight with Ali, Joe looked more emotional than usual. I could be wrong but in my opinion the best Joe Frazier was from 1968 to 70. He was still great against Ali that first time but he was sharper in his previous fights. I can tell he wanted to bomb Muhammad out of there and he made a few mistakes because of that decision.
That is an interesting opinion. How do you think the fight of the century would have turned out if they had fought in 1973 instead? That Frazier was still good but not as sharp as 1971. Ali would have gotten rid of the ring rust by then. I think Muhammad would have got a decision in a close fight.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Shane
1973-75 Frazier would still put a hurting on 1971 Ali. You saw how he vicious he was in Manilla. His style would always give Muhammad Ali serious problems. He also made up for his lack of speed by adding right hooks to his repertoire.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Duggerman
Administrator
I'm surprised no one mentioned his fight with Joe Bugner. Other than Frazier allowing Bugner to survive a knockdown, it was a good performance by Smokin' Joe. Granted, the peaking Frazier from 1968-1971 would have murdered him rather easily. The Bugner and Ellis fights were tune-ups for Ali in Manilla.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Maximillian
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Urban Legend wrote
 What do you think of Joe during his "fading" years?
He was still ugly.

GIFSoup
"Take that, Big George!! I'mma BAAAD MAAN!! I shook up the world!!! I'm pretty!!!!"
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Zombies Ate Me
Frazier was hurt twice against Joe Frazier. First, his legs were buckled in the 4th by a Bugner right. Later, in the 10th, Frazier's legs went limp after taking another Bugner right.

Although Frazier was never in danger of losing, it's also true that he had trouble throughout the fight. Bugner's resistance was tenacious; he belted Frazier with innumerable left jabs and frequent rights.

Look at the picture of Frazier's face after the fight: it is a swollen mess.

The Frazier-Bugner bout contribued to the perception -- started by the earlier Foreman loss -- that Frazier was an over-the-hill fighter, something I don't agree with.

I think it was Ken Norton who made the first statement that Smokin Joe wasn't
Smokin anymore.

Norton had said that in his early sparring days with Frazier, Joe would swat
Kenny all over the ring. But in several 1972 sparring sessions, Ken would stay
on even ground with Joe, even backing him up in several sparring sessions.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

Duggerman
Administrator
Zombies Ate Me wrote
Norton had said that in his early sparring days with Frazier, Joe would swat
Kenny all over the ring. But in several 1972 sparring sessions, Ken would stay
on even ground with Joe, even backing him up in several sparring sessions.
Probably so, but Frazier would have murdered Norton had they fought professionally. Norton was KO'd quickly each time he fought a puncher. (Foreman, Cooney, Shavers, etc) Frazier would be no different.

Joe Frazier did well after 1971 despite the onset of high blood pressure and diabetes. He did well for a while against George Foreman in 1976 (although this was in part due to Big George being afraid to pull the trigger as he worried about his stamina) and he convincingly won some rounds in his final fight with Jumbo Cummings in 1981.
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Re: What did you think of Joe Frazier after 1971?

GatorPurify
In reply to this post by Zombies Ate Me
Zombies Ate Me wrote
Frazier was hurt twice against Joe Frazier. First, his legs were buckled in the 4th by a Bugner right. Later, in the 10th, Frazier's legs went limp after taking another Bugner right.

Although Frazier was never in danger of losing, it's also true that he had trouble throughout the fight. Bugner's resistance was tenacious; he belted Frazier with innumerable left jabs and frequent rights.

Look at the picture of Frazier's face after the fight: it is a swollen mess.

The Frazier-Bugner bout contribued to the perception -- started by the earlier Foreman loss -- that Frazier was an over-the-hill fighter, something I don't agree with.

I think it was Ken Norton who made the first statement that Smokin Joe wasn't
Smokin anymore.

Norton had said that in his early sparring days with Frazier, Joe would swat
Kenny all over the ring. But in several 1972 sparring sessions, Ken would stay
on even ground with Joe, even backing him up in several sparring sessions.
Joe should of finished Bugner off when he knocked him down. He hit Bugner with a hard left hook but it was a delayed reaction. Frazier threw another left but stopped before it landed. Had he threw another left the fight would of been over. Frazier is definitely a sportsman, but he should of sent Bugner out.
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