Joe Frazier

Smokin Joe

World Heavy Weight Champion 1968-1973

 

Born in Beaufort South Carolina on 12 January 1944, Smokin Joe stood 6' 3" and weighed 205lbs he won 32 27 KO's lost 4 drew 1, there are those who say Smokin Joe was unlucky to be born at a time when the best heavy weights wore plying their trade. Then some say who wouldn't want to get into the ring with the likes of Ali and Foreman.

 

His boxing career started out with a lucky break, he wasn't due to make the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 but Buster Mathis got injured and Joe got into the team. He went on to take the gold medal in the super heavyweights.

 

Turning pro in 1965 he was in an hurry to get to the top and it didn't take him long, in 1966 he fought no fewer than nine times the next year he had 6 fights.

 

Just when he thought he could have a shot at Ali the champion was stripped of his crown. The race was on for a champion unfortunately several organisations decided to compete Frazier went for the WBC's New York tournament and quickly despatched of Buster Mathis to become WBC Champion, he defended his title four times from 1968 to 1969.

 

Frazier v Ellis showdown

 

Madison Square Garden 16 February 1970 saw the fight everyone wanted to see Ellis was highly regarded and many felt that he was too good for Frazier, he certainly started the fight well but Frazier soon began to grind him down by the fourth round the contest was over.

Their was only one fight left that everyone wanted to see and that was Ali v Frazier 8 March 1971 New York saw this great encounter take place and after a terrific battle Frazier won on points.

 

After this epic battle Frazier took things easy and he defended his title just twice in the next year, he then decided to ignore Ali and give a rising star George Foreman a shot at the crown the rest is history. Smokin Joe went on to have more fights but he never again scaled the heights.