October 18, 2006

Joe Frazier is still fighting Ali, three decades later.:

Over the years, Frazier has lost a fortune through a combination of his own generosity and naïveté, his carousing, failed business opportunities and a deep hatred for his former chief boxing rival, Muhammad Ali. The other headliners from his fighting days — Ali, George Foreman and Larry Holmes — are millionaires. But while Ali has benefited from lucrative licensing agreements and remains one the world’s most recognized and celebrated athletes, Frazier lives alone in an apartment one staircase above the gym where he and others train young fighters in a run-down part of town.

“But I guess, in a way, I’m rich, too. I have my family and I have a sound mind and a sound body, and after all of those brutal fights, I’m lucky to still have my eyesight.”

posted by dusted to boxing at 12:32 PM - 13 comments

“Ali always said I would be nothing without him,” Frazier said. “But who would he have been without me?” A bon chat, bon rat.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 01:08 PM on October 18, 2006

Back then is when the heavyweight division had this glow about it. When there was a heavyweight championship coming up, you could feel the electricity in the air, and I never had the fortune to attend one in person. I was just a kid, but when Ali was fighting or Frazier was fighting or Foreman was fighting, man, it was exciting! The heavyweight division has been watered-down since those larger-than-life personalities moved on. From reading Smokin' Joe's autobiography, I agree with the author of this story about Frazier being hurt by Ali. When Ali called Joe a gorilla, it seemed to hit Joe hard. He couldn't understand why Ali would be so vicious, not knowing Ali was in pre-fight hype mode. Hope Joe lives the rest of his life in peace. He seems like a good man.

posted by Desert Dog at 01:17 PM on October 18, 2006

Who would Ali have been without Frazier? He would have been the guy who beat Liston, and Floyd Patterson, and Foreman, and Ken Norton, and, and and and. I mean, I agree that Joe Frazier got a raw deal as far as legacy, and I wish him some kind of renaissance or at least a few bucks, but you can't really shortchange Ali for his legacy to get Joe his.

posted by chicobangs at 01:21 PM on October 18, 2006

“I have 11 babies — somebody thought I was cute.” I would hope that some of these babies are helping the old man out. Jacquelyn has lent a hand and it is a good sign that she attended law school and established a career for herself. How about Marvis--where is he and what has he done? How about the others? A big salute to Larry Holmes for his friendship and support. I have to say that I did not expect that from Larry.

posted by Termite at 02:26 PM on October 18, 2006

Man, that sounds lousy. Well, at least he is relatively healthy. I guess instead of comparing him to the rich and leagacy rich Ali, Holmes and Foreman there are loads of other boxers dead or worse off than Frazier. I sure hope he can sort himself out, if the chance is there.

posted by gspm at 02:44 PM on October 18, 2006

Maybe he can come back to the Ring and fight Mike Tyson

posted by texasred at 02:53 PM on October 18, 2006

His fate is fairly common in the boxing community. Very few boxers have come out of the ring with any substantial money or retirement fund. They are truly the men who believed in "Easy come, easy go"

posted by The Woj at 03:16 PM on October 18, 2006

when Ali lighted the Olympic flame shouldn't that be lit? Did Frazier right this? :-)

posted by bdaddy at 04:06 PM on October 18, 2006

The left hook that Frazier knocked Ali down with in their first fight is still the hardest punch I have ever seen somebody take. He lifted Ali's feet up off of the canvas. Ali was clearly a better "fighter" than Frazier, but Frazier threw his punches with bad intentions. The fact that Ali made it to his feet after taking that shot shows a lot about his courage and determination. But still.... He got knocked the f' out!!! I think Frazier vs. Tyson, both in their primes, would be a pretty interesting match up.

posted by SunnySide at 04:46 PM on October 18, 2006

I have always admired Joe and his determination, and wish him well as he deals with his problems. I suspect that Ali would trade a lot of his money for a body that didn't pathetically shake and speech that people could understand. Frazier is heathier, and therefore "richer",than his old adversary will ever be.

posted by judgedread at 08:21 PM on October 18, 2006

His bout with Ali in 1971 has to be considered one of boxing's greatest fights in anyone's book, knocking "The Greatest" flat on his back in the 15th... Even after beating Ali in "The Fight Of The Century", Smokin' Joe had a very tough row to hoe to keep his title against that great heavyweight division. I will never forget Howard Cosell's call "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!" in the second round of his first bout against George Foreman, seems like Joe was never the same after that fight, fighting only 7 more times, and losing 3 of them. (the other 2 to Ali in the last 2 fights of their "trilogy", the other to Foreman again.) Neither Joe's longevity, nor his charisma matched Ali's, but then, whose has?

posted by mjkredliner at 11:23 PM on October 18, 2006

The fact that Ali made it to his feet after taking that shot shows a lot about his courage and determination. Ain't that the truth. It's too bad Frazier didn't have the mouthiness that Ali had, or the showmanship as some would say. If he had he probably would have made a lot more money in his time. In 1973, Frazier purchased 140 acres in Bucks County, Pa., for $843,000. Five years later, a developer agreed to buy the farmland for $1.8 million. Frazier received annual payments from a trust that bought the land with money he had earned in the ring. When the trust went out of business, the payments stopped. Frazier sued his business partners, claiming that his signature was forged on documents and that he had no knowledge of the sale. In the ensuing years, the land was subdivided and turned into a residential community. The property is now worth an estimated $100 million. It seems like there are these types of people all over the boxing community. It is just sad that there is nothing being done to clean that part of the sport up. On the flipside of things it sounds like at least he still has Larry Holmes there to help him out whenever he needs it. I wonder how many of these boxers actually stick together like that, for this long.

posted by jojomfd1 at 11:54 PM on October 18, 2006

Strange. I posted a similar story about Leon Spinks last Christmas. It'd be interesting to compare the two.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:21 PM on October 20, 2006

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.