‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier 1944 – 2011

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.

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