Boxing / joe frazier
Today I Remember #14 - Joe Frazier a.k.a Smokin' Joe (famous American Boxer)
So, today the 12th of January marks the day that the legendary and former heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Joe Frazier, was born. And this phenomenal boxer, makes it into my "Today I Remember" series for today. Joe Frazier's birthname was Joseph William Frazier, but he also went by his nickname of the “Smokin Joe”, and is one of the most iconic boxers in boxing history. Image Source Joe Frazier hit the limelight as a 20-year old gold medalist in the heavyweight category of Tokyo Olympics of 1964. So much about this legend’s history fascinates me; because at just 20-years of age, Joe Frazier had already attained a heavyweight build and rep. He became a pro fighter in 1965 and subsequently fought his way to become the world’s heavyweight boxing champ, and by so doing, became the first American Olympian to achieve that. Image Source For three years, Smokin’ Joe ruled the world of heavyweight boxing in an undisputed capacity. He was famous for his jaw-shattering power punches, agility and endurance. He was also known for his signature left hook punches and jabs, which were responsible for knocking out several oppositions. Joe Frazier was undoubtedly a boxer with dope qualities. During his active years, he was widely feared because he had the highest percentage of knockout by a boxer, at the time. He encountered the famous Muhammad Ali on three occasions, and all three fights were regarded as boxing matches which epitomized athleticism, immense courage and great endurance. I recall watching a recording of Joe's first defense of his title. Coincidentally, the fight was also his first against Muhammad Ali; and it was indeed epic. Joe Frazier successfully defended his title in that very match which was considered the century's top fight, by overcoming Muhammad Ali via a unanimous judges’ decision. Image Source A rematch between both legendary fighters saw Muhammad Ali win the contest which involved no title, in 1974 at Madison Square. The fight was dubbed “Super Fight II”. Coincidentally, in the 1975 Thrilla in Manilla, Joe Frazier fought against Muhammad Ali again, in what was to be his last world title challenge, and this time around, he lost. Muhammad Ali once again won the encounter which was quite a brutal combat, at the time. The fixture was a boxing highlight of immense proportions in 1975. Joe Frazier soon afterwards retired, in 1976 to be precise, after he lost a match to George Foreman, who coincidentally was responsible for beating Joe earlier to make Joe Frazier lose his world title. Image Source Joe Frazier was and is still regarded as one of the greatest boxers in history. He has been ranked by several boxing associations and polls as one the greatest heavyweights of all time. The Ring magazine, BoxRec, the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) and the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) had at one point or the other ranked Joe Frazier in their list of all-time boxing greats. Most people may not even know, but Joe Frazier a.k.a Smokin’ Joe was also an accomplished musician during his boxing career. Image Source Joe Frazier had a passion for music and formed a group called "Joe Frazier and the Knockouts". The band was known for the soul-funk music genre and were recognized by Billboard. He toured the USA and sang with his band across Europe, and released several tracks during the group’s musical career. Sadly though, this great boxing icon passed away in 2011 due to health issues relating to liver cancer at the age of just 64 years. Did you follow the boxing era of the Smokin' Joe? What's your opinion of his boxing career?
Today in Boxing History | The 'Thrilla in Manila'!
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