The world lost a true icon when Muhammad Ali passed away last Friday after a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. The three-time world heavyweight champion transcended the sport of boxing in part due to his memorable in-ring battles.
“The Fight of the Century” against Joe Frazier divided a nation while “The Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman united another. Perhaps, in his most courageous outing, “The Fight to Save Earth” pitted Ali against the Man of Steel himself, Superman.
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Who Says Fighting Solves Nothing?
My parents hadn’t met each other yet when Joe Frazier was the heavyweight champion of the world. Still, I felt a lot of sadness when news of his passing broke. I’m a casual boxing fan at best who enjoys the big mega fight on occasion. Watching Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali, via VHS, was a moment for me that validated the notion that ethnicity is not defined by public perception or stereotypes. In the days leading up to their encounter at the Garden, Ali hurled a plethora of racial insults that questioned how “black” Frazier really was. Ali was loud and flamboyant while Frazier was reserved but fierce. Fight night arrived on March 8, 1971 and ‘Smokin’ Joe did his talking in the ring.
Continue reading “‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier 1944 – 2011”