Note: A letter has been
sent during the week of April 28, 2008 to this athlete to provide their contact and
charity information. Once we receive their response, their
information will be entered below. This has been done to
ensure that the information is correct and to protect the athlete's
privacy in case they do not want their information to be posted on
Contact Information (where autograph
requests should be mailed to):
Contact Person and/or Name of
State: _________ City:
__________________________ Zip Code: ________________
Name of charity or charities
the donations go to __________________________________________
1) If you sign items for free,
what are the maximum number of items you will sign for free? ___________
2) Do you answer questions
sent by fans? ______________
3) Do you prefer when fans
send you their own pens/markers? ______________
4) What can fans do to make it
easier for you to sign their items?
||Flats up to 8x10
|Flats up to 16x20
||Flats larger than 16x20
Who should the check/money
order be made out to: __________________________________________
Payment can be made by: Cash,
Personal Checks, Money Orders, Cashier’s Checks
Message to the Fans
Joseph William "Smokin' Joe" Frazier (born
January 12, 1944 in Beaufort, South Carolina) is a former world heavyweight
boxing champion, active mostly in the 1960s and 1970s. Frazier, considered one
of the greatest heavyweights of all time, is perhaps most famous for his trilogy
of fights with Muhammad Ali, the first of which, won by Frazier in a unanimous
decision, has often been called one of boxing's greatest bouts. Frazier was
known for a relentless pursuit of opponents, quickly cutting off angles of
escape using a chugging-locomotion style, reminiscent of a train's advance up a
hill. The contrast with Ali's dancing, non-linear style could not have been
Real name Joseph William Frazier
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 5 ft 11.5 in (1.82 m)
Birth date January 12, 1944 (1944-01-12) (age 64)
Birth place Beaufort, South Carolina
Total fights 37
Wins by KO 27
No contests 0
Olympic medal record
Gold 1964 Tokyo Heavyweight
Life and career
Birth; childhood; amateur career; Olympic champion
Joseph William Frazier was born in Beaufort, South Carolina on January 12, 1944
and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He notes in his autobiography that he
grew up poor but happy. Even as early as childhood, Frazier was "discovered" by
local Philadelphia trainer Yancey "Yank" Durham, a former middleweight boxer who
had to quit the game because of a bad back. Durham, along with veteran trainer
Willie Reddish, began to train Frazier as an amateur.
Soon after his 20th birthday, as the culmination of a successful amateur boxing
career, Frazier won the gold medal in the "84 kilograms (187 lb) and above"
category (heavyweight) at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Early professional career
After Frazier won the Olympic heavyweight gold medal, Durham helped put together
Cloverlay, a group of local businessmen who invested in Frazier's professional
career and allowed him to train full-time. Durham was Frazier's chief trainer
and manager until Durham's death in August 1973. Frazier turned professional in
1965, defeating Woody Goss by a knockout in the first round. He won three more
fights that year, all by knockout, none going past the third round.
In 1966, as Frazier's career was taking off, Durham contacted Los Angeles
trainer Eddie Futch. The two men had never met, but Durham had heard of Futch
through the latter's reputation as one of the most respected trainers in boxing.
Frazier was sent to Los Angeles to train, before Futch agreed to join Durham as
an assistant trainer. With Futch's assistance, Durham arranged three fights in
Los Angeles against Al Jones, veteran contender Eddie Machen, and George "Scrapiron"
Johnson. Frazier knocked out Jones and Machen, but went 10 rounds with Johnson
to win a unanimous decision.
After the Johnson match, Futch became a full-fledged member of the Frazier camp
as an assistant trainer and strategist, who also advised Durham on matchmaking.
It was Futch who suggested that Frazier boycott the 1967 WBA Heavyweight
elimination tournament to find a successor to Muhammad Ali, after the
heavyweight champion was stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted into
the military, although Frazier was the top-ranked contender at the time.
Futch proved invaluable to Frazier as an assistant trainer, helping modify his
style. Under his tutelage, Frazier adopted the bob-and-weave defensive style,
making him more difficult for taller opponents to punch, while also giving
Frazier more power with his own punches. While Futch remained based in Los
Angeles, where he worked as a supervisor with the U.S. Postal Service, he was
flown to Philadelphia to work with Frazier during the final preparations for all
of his fights.
When Durham died in 1973, Futch was asked to succeed him as Frazier's head
trainer and manager. In fact, Futch was also training heavyweight contender Ken
Norton at the time. He was in Norton's corner in March 1973, when Norton broke
Ali's jaw and won a split decision. After Norton lost the rematch to Ali in
September 1973, Norton's managers, Robert Biron and Aaron Rivkind, demanded that
Futch choose between training Frazier and Norton. Futch chose Frazier, but not
without regret at being forced to make the choice.
Late 1960s: making his presence known
In 1966, Frazier was undefeated in nine fights, winning eight by knockout before
gaining a split decision over Argentine fighter Oscar Bonavena, despite Bonavena
flooring him twice in the second round (a third knockdown in that round would
have ended the fight). Frazier's 1966 knockout victims included Charlie Polite
and Eddie Machen.
In 1967, Frazier won all four of his fights, including a sixth-round knockout of
Doug Jones and a fourth-round technical knockout (TKO) of George Chuvalo.
In 1968, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his world heavyweight title due to his
refusal to be inducted into the military and his opposition to the Vietnam War.
To fill the vacancy, the New York boxing commission decided to hold a bout
between Frazier and Buster Mathis, with the winner to be recognized as "world
champion" by the state of New York. Although the fight was not recognized as a
world championship bout by some, Frazier won by a knockout in the 11th round and
staked a claim to the heavyweight championship. He then defended his title by
beating Manuel Ramos of Mexico in two rounds, and closed 1968 by beating
Bonavena via a 15-round decision in a hard-fought rematch.
1969 saw Frazier defend his New York title in Texas, beating Dave Zyglewicz by a
first-round knockout, and beating Jerry Quarry by TKO in the seventh round. The
competitive, exciting match with Quarry was named 1969 Ring Magazine fight of
Early 1970s: defeats Ali; destroyed by Foreman
On February 16, 1970, Frazier became the undisputed world champion when he
defeated WBA champion Jimmy Ellis at Madison Square Garden by a fifth-round
knock-out. Ellis had beaten Jerry Quarry in the final bout of a WBA elimination
tournament for Ali's vacated belt, but Frazier had declined to participate.
In his first title defence, Frazier travelled to Detroit to fight world
light-heavyweight champion Bob Foster, who had set a record for the number of
defences in the light-heavyweight division. Frazier (26-0) retained his title by
knock-out in two rounds. Then came what was quickly dubbed the Fight Of The
Century, his first fight with Ali. This would be the first meeting of two
undefeated heavyweight champions, since Ali(31-0) had not lost his title in the
ring, but rather been stripped because of his refusal to be inducted in the
On March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden, Frazier and Ali met in the first of
their three bouts. With a worldwide television audience, and an in-house
audience that included luminaries such as Frank Sinatra (as a photographer for
Life magazine to get a ringside seat), comedian Woody Allen, singer Diana Ross,
and actors Dustin Hoffman and Burt Lancaster (who served as "colour commentator"
with legendary fight announcer Don Dunphy), the two undefeated heavyweights met
in the kind of media-frenzied atmosphere not seen since Joe Louis' youth. Louis
reigned for nearly 12 years and made 25 successful title defences, before
retiring after beating Jersey Joe Walcott (future champ) by TKO in 11. He was 34
years old and years removed from his prime.
Many factors came together for Frazier in this fight. He was 27 years old and at
his lifetime peak both physically and mentally, while Ali, 29, was coming back
from a three-year absence, taking on Frazier soon after a bruising battle with
Oscar Bonavena, whom Ali had defeated by a TKO in 15. Frazier had exhaustively
trained specifically for Ali under the tutelage of famed coach Eddie Futch, who
had developed a strategy based on Ali's tendency to throw the right-hand
uppercut from a straight standing position after dropping the hand in
preparation to throw it with force. Futch instructed Frazier to watch Ali's
right hand and, at the moment Ali dropped it, to throw a left hook at the spot
where they knew Ali's face would be a second later.  Frazier's staggering
of Ali in the 11th round and his knock-down of Ali in the 15th were both
executed precisely in this way.
Perhaps the most important factor in the fight was Frazier's fury at Ali in
which Ali continually derided and insulted Frazier and even made a visit to
Frazier's training site, a scene that nearly dissolved into a street brawl. Many
fans felt Ali lacked class in these exchanges and cheered Frazier in the
Frazier lost a number of early rounds but took Ali's combinations without
backing down. As Ali started to slow in the middle rounds, Frazier came on
strong, landing hard shots to the body as well as the powerful left hooks to the
head by virtue of Futch's instructions. Frazier won a clear, 15-round, unanimous
decision. Ali was taken to the hospital immediately after the fight to have his
badly swollen jaw x-rayed, and Frazier spent time in the hospital during the
In 1972, Frazier successfully defended the title twice, beating Terry Daniels
and Ron Stander, both in four-round KOs. However, the fight against Ali had hurt
him and diminished his skills, despite his young age.
Then came January 22, 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, and it was Frazier's turn to
lose his undefeated record of 29-0 and position as undisputed world champion at
the hands of powerful puncher George Foreman. Foreman dominated the brief bout,
stopping Frazier's famous tank-like advance with "armour-piercing" crosses and
hooks. The fight was stopped in the second round after Frazier was knocked down
for the sixth time, three times in each round (the three knock-down rule was not
in effect). The first of these knock-downs prompted Howard Cosell's famous call,
"Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! The Heavyweight
champion is taking the mandatory eight count, and Foreman is as poised as can
After his loss to Foreman, now 38-0, Frazier won his next fight, a 12-round
decision over Joe Bugner in London to begin his quest to regain the title.
Mid 1970s: another title shot; ensuing decline
Frazier's second fight against Ali took place in 1974, in New York, with Ali
winning a 12-round unanimous decision in what many consider a lackluster bout
(neither contender held a championship belt). Frazier finished that year with
another rematch, knocking out Jerry Quarry in five rounds.
1975 was, once again, a year of rematches for Frazier, but this time they
involved more overseas travel. He met Jimmy Ellis, the man from whom he had
originally taken the WBA title, in Melbourne, Australia, knocking him out in
nine rounds. That win made him once again the number-one challenger for the
world crown, now held by Ali after an eighth-round knockout of George Foreman in
the famous "The Rumble in the Jungle."
The now aging Ali and Frazier met for the third and final time in Quezon City (a
district within the metropolitan area of Manila), the Philippines: the "Thrilla
in Manila." Ali took every opportunity to mock Frazier, again calling him The
Gorilla, and generally trying to irritate him (and succeeding) at every chance.
In 1974, the two nearly came to blows in a studio interview with Howard Cosell
before their first rematch; this time, during another Cosell interview, Ali
famously said, "It'll be a chilla, and a killa, and a thrilla, when I get the
gorilla in Manila." Frazier fumed in his seat but was determined to let his
fists do the talking in the ring.
The fight for Ali's title, which was attended by Philippine President Ferdinand
Marcos, caused another media frenzy and was seen live around the world. It was
far more action-filled than the previous encounter (there was no belt at stake
in the second fight), and was a punishing display that ended when Frazier's
coach and cornerman, Eddie Futch, in an act of compassion rare in boxing,
stopped the fight before the 15th and final round with Frazier sitting on his
stool. Frazier never spoke with Futch again. For his part, Ali described the
match as "the closest thing to death" he had ever experienced.
In 1976, Frazier (32-3) fought and again lost to George Foreman, this time by
fifth-round knockout, and retired. Frazier's style was poorly suited to counter
Foreman's outside power punching, and Frazier finally despaired of reaching the
top again. Many critics believe that in most other eras in the heavyweight
division, Frazier would have ruled easily for five or more years; however, in an
era that included Ali, Foreman and Norton, he would have to settle for three
years as the undisputed champ.
Smokin' Joe made a cameo appearance in the movie Rocky later in 1976 and
dedicated himself to training local boxers in Philadelphia, where he grew up,
including some of his own children.
1980s: one fight comeback; trainer and coach
In 1981, Frazier attempted a comeback that lasted only one fight, drawing in 10
rounds with Jumbo Cummings in Chicago, Illinois. He then retired for good.
Since then, Frazier, who likes to meet fans and sign autographs, has involved
himself in various endeavors. Among his sons who turned to boxing as a career,
he helped train Marvis Frazier, a challenger for Larry Holmes's world
heavyweight title, and trains his daughter, Jackie Frazier-Lyde.
Frazier's overall record is 32 wins, 4 losses and 1 draw, with 27 wins by
knockout. He won 73 percent of his fights by knockout, compared to 60 percent
for Ali and 84 percent for Foreman. He is a member of the International Boxing
Hall Of Fame.
In 1989, Frazier joined Ali, Foreman, Norton and Holmes for the tribute special
1990s to present
Frazier lives in Philadelphia where he owns and manages a boxing gym. His health
is not the best, as he has diabetes and high blood pressure. He and his nemesis,
Muhammad Ali, have alternated over the years between public apologies and public
Frazier appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons ("Brother, Can You
Spare Two Dimes?") in 1992, in which he would be beaten up by Barney Gumble.
Frazier objected and was instead shown beating up Gumble. He appeared in another
episode of The Simpsons ("Homer's Paternity Coot") in 2006. In February 2006,
Frazier appeared in Fight Night Round 2 and 3, a game made by EA Sports.
Frazier's autobiography is titled Smokin' Joe and he was widely criticised by
Ali fans for relating many of Ali's actions that he considered offensive. Some
feel that Frazier has hurt himself with his unrelenting bitterness toward Ali.
In 1996, when Ali lit the Olympic flame in Atlanta, Frazier told a reporter that
he would like to throw Ali into the fire. Mismanagement of real-estate
holdings was cited by the article as a partial explanation for Frazier's
economic woes despite winning millions in the ring during the 1970s.
Frazier is still training young fighters, although he needed multiple operations
for back injuries sustained in a car accident. It has been reported that he and
Ali recently attempted a reconciliation, but as of October 2006 Frazier still
claimed to have won all three bouts between the two (officially, Frazier won the
first by unanimous decision, lost the second by unanimous decision, and lost the
third by TKO). He declared to a Times reporter, when questioned about his
bitterness toward Ali, "I am what I am."
Today much of his time is devoted to his foundation work: Smokin' Joe Frazier
Professional boxing record
32 Wins (27 knockouts, 5 decisions), 4 Losses (3 knockouts, 1 decision), 1
Res. Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Draw Floyd Cummings Draw 10 1981-12-03 Chicago, Illinois Scoring was 46-45
Cummings, 47-47 and 46-46.
Loss George Foreman TKO 5 (12), 2:26 1976-06-15 Uniondale, NY Bout was for the
NABF Heavyweight title.
Loss Muhammad Ali TKO 14 (15), 0:59 1975-10-01 Quezon City, Philippines "The
Thrilla in Manila". Bout was for the WBA
and WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win Jimmy Ellis TKO 9 (12), 0:59 1975-03-02 Melbourne, Australia
Win Jerry Quarry TKO 5 (10) 1974-06-17 New York City, NY
Loss Muhammad Ali Decision (unanimous) 12 1974-01-28 New York City, NY Bout was
for NABF Heavyweight title.
Win Joe Bugner Decision (unanimous) 12 1973-07-02 London, England
Loss George Foreman TKO 2 (15), 2:26 1973-01-22 Kingston, Jamaica Lost WBA and
WBC Heavyweight titles.
Win Ron Stander TKO 5 (15) 1972-05-25 Omaha, NE Retained WBA and WBC Heavyweight
Win Terry Daniels TKO 4 (15) 1972-01-15 New Orleans, LA Retained WBA and WBC
Win Muhammad Ali Decision (unanimous) 15 1971-03-08 New York City, NY "The Fight
of the Century". Retained WBA and
WBC Heavyweight titles, and also became
universally recognized as champion.
Win Bob Foster KO 2 (15), 0:49 1970-11-18 Detroit, MI Retained WBA and WBC
Win Jimmy Ellis TKO 5 (15) 1970-02-16 New York City, NY Won WBA and vacant WBC
Win Jerry Quarry TKO 7 (15), 3:00 1969-06-23 New York City, NY Retained NYSAC
Win Dave Zyglewicz KO 1 (15) 1969-04-22 Houston, TX Retained NYSAC Heavyweight
Win Oscar Bonavena Decision (unanimous) 15 1968-12-10 Philadelphia, PA Retained
NYSAC Heavyweight title.
Win Manuel Ramos TKO 2 (15) 1968-06-24 New York City, NY Retained NYSAC
Win Buster Mathis TKO 11 (15), 2:33 1968-03-04 New York City, NY Becomes World
Heavyweight Champion, as
recognized by the New York State Athletic
Win Marion Connor TKO 3 (10), 1:40 1967-12-18 Boston, MA
Win Tony Doyle TKO 2 (10), 1:04 1967-10-17 Philadelphia, PA
Win George Chuvalo TKO 4 (10), 0:16 1967-07-19 New York City, NY
Win George Johnson Decision (unanimous) 10 1967-05-04 Los Angeles, CA
Win Jefferson Davis KO 5 (10) 1967-04-11 Miami Beach, FL
Win Doug Jones KO 6 (10), 2:21 1967-02-21 Philadelphia, PA
Win Eddie Machen TKO 10 (10), 0:22 1966-11-21 Los Angeles, CA
Win Oscar Bonavena Decision (split) 10 1966-09-21 New York City, NY
Win Billy Daniels TKO 6 (10), 3:00 1966-07-25 Philadelphia, PA
Win Al Jones KO 1 (10), 2:33 1966-05-26 Los Angeles, CA
Win Chuck Leslie KO 3 (10), 2:47 1966-05-19 Los Angeles, CA
Win Don Smith KO 3 (10), 1:09 1966-04-28 Pittsburgh, PA
Win Charley Polite TKO 2 (10), 0:55 1966-04-04 Philadelphia, PA
Win Dick Wipperman TKO 5 (8), 2:58 1966-03-04 New York City, NY
Win Mel Turnbow KO 1 (8), 1:41 1966-01-17 Philadelphia, PA
Win Abe Davis KO 1 (8), 2:38 1965-11-11 Philadelphia, PA
Win Ray Staples KO 2 1965-09-28 Philadelphia, PA
Win Mike Bruce TKO 3 (6) 1965-09-20 Philadelphia, PA
Win Woody Goss TKO 1 (6), 1:42 1965-08-16 Philadelphia, PA
Joe Frazier was the first American boxer to win both the Olympic gold medal and
the professional world title in the heavyweight division.
He had a band called "Joe Frazier & the Knockouts" that released songs in the
In the 1990s, he trained award winning artist Richard T. Slone to box.
He has operated a boxing gym in North Philadelphia since the late 1960s, used by
fighters such as Michael Spinks, Meldrick Taylor, his son Marvis Frazier, and
He is the father of 11 children.
1^ The Men Who Could Beat Ali
2^ Article about Ali-Frazier match of 1971.
3^ The Men Who Could Beat Ali
4^ During an interview on The Howard Stern Show (1/18/07)
6^ October 18, 2006 New York Times article on Frazier
Source: Wikipedia.org at